368p. Tor. 2015. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9780765377838; ebk. ISBN 9781466858206.
Gr 6–9—Kirit is ready to take her wing test and apprentice as a trader in her sky-bound world of living bone towers. However, her heritage gives her a unique talent that the Singers, who are the ruling class of the City, want to make use of. Kirit is ultimately forced to become a novice in the Spire. There, she learns that the history of her world is different than she has been taught. The misinformation spread to the populations living in the Towers is for their protection, she learns. Over time, Kirit begins to see that the power held within the Spire is damaging to the City and begins to take steps to overthrow the Singers from within. The world of Updraft is complex and unique. The low-tech society set in the sky is both agoraphobic and claustrophobic in nature. Those who own silk wings have mobility and access to information, but those who do not are trapped in their towers. While the world is fascinating, the plot is overly complex. Fortunately, the themes of a corrupt central governing body being challenged by a teen who is able to stand up for what she believes is not new. Readers will be comfortable enough with these tropes to ignore the parts of the plot that are confusing. Lots of aerial fight scenes make for a fast-paced read. Refreshingly, Kirit has close relationships with friends and family, but there is no romance.
VERDICT Fans of dystopian fiction who don't require romance will enjoy this unique setting.

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