Review: Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb

March 27, 2014 3 stars, Book Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult 11 ★★★

Review: Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip WebbWhere the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb
Published by Chicken House on 3/25/14
Genres: Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

The moon has been split, and the Visitors have Earth in their alien grip. But the captive planet? That's not her problem. Megan just wants to track down her missing dad...

The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it--and an alien showdown.


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Curiouser and curiouser…
The peculiar situations that are constantly unfolding in Where the Rock Splits the Sky are completely engrossing. The planet has stopped turning and in the area of Texas where Megan has grown up, they are locked in a forever sunset. What would it be like for it always be that time of day!? – and to have no moon because it crumbled apart 20 years ago? While the earth doesn’t rotate anymore it does continue on its orbit around the sun. Billions of people are dead and millions disappeared having been abducted by the aliens or just weird phenomena. Occasionally some return and people are frequently inhabited by the visitors (aliens) themselves. Some technology still works but it doesn’t work everywhere and towns are spread across the countryside broken up by dangerous lands between that defy all natural laws once you step within them. These lands are constantly shifting their borders sometimes releasing one town to swallow up another. It’s all so eery and sets a great tone for the story and the three teens moving through it.

The Zone creates the perfect opportunity for the author to showcase some off the wall things that were in turn shocking, hilarious and unsettling. There was no way to know what the heck to expect next and this more than anything else kept me reading. I definitely did like the combination of science fiction, with an almost magic like feel, to that of a futuristic western.

Here is where the other shoe drops
So hands down, Where the Rock Splits the Sky is a good story but it fell short of my expectations. I really wished I could have loved it instead of only liking it. However, there were a few key things that really hampered my enjoyment and more than peeved me as I continued reading. Some things I can get used to while reading others…not so much.

The hauntingly vivid writing style sucked me in and really made me see and feel all the things being described. But! But but! The dialogue pulled me right back out of the story. Every time someone opened their mouth it all felt too forced together because of their warring speech patterns. Megan talks like an adult who is trying to sound sophisticated, Kelly – like she’s a 10 year old trying to impress the big kids, always cracking lame jokes and Luis’s first language is Spanish so all of his dialogue is in broken English. There is some very slight use of Spanish, usually without translations, some is decipherable but could probably also leave you feeling like you want to look up the words to be sure. I never like that feeling. The characters themselves are done in extremes. Overly serious, overly hammy, or lacking a personality that I can attach to because of the disconnect in dialogue.. Due to each of the characters personalities and dialogue styles veering drastically in different directions it made those parts of the book not gel together for me.

There is however on the flip side some really great and hilarious moments. So don’t get me wrong thinking its all bad. I did still like the characters otherwise I wouldn’t have continued reading.

“Will you be able to drive it across the gap?” I have no idea what this vehicle is capable of.

“Sure. Just put you belt on, will you, goddammit?”

“¡Rápido, Kelly!” Luis cries.

Kelly turns the engine on and looks at me. There is a reckless glint in her eye. “Always wanted to do this.”

“What?” I ask. The truth is I am a little shaken by the crooked death-wish smile she throws me.

Where the Rock Splits the Sky is an intriguing read if a touch irritating at times. I felt like a bouncy ball as I was reading, taking turns between in love and annoyed with it. The things that bothered me I truly believe might not matter to other readers at all. I know if it weren’t for these little things bugging me I would have loved it because all of the oddball things were so much fun. Overall it was still a good read and one that I’d say other sci-fi young adult, post apocalyptic readers will really enjoy.

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*gasp* This book was provided by the publisher! Now worries though it’s an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. This post might also contain affiliate links. To view my full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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11 Responses to “Review: Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb”

  1. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    This sounds kind of cool….I really like that cover. I mean, heck yeah to those creepy sorts of apocalyptic covers. But I have enough trouble “getting” books that are in English, let alone with dialogue in Spanish. And dialogue/characters are SUPER important to me, so, meh, I don’t know. I’ll consider this one. Great review!! 🙂
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Night Vision by Ella West + Fabulous GIVEAWAYMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I like the cover as well though something about the bottom I wish could be changed, though I have no idea what haha. I really like that you get a feel for how different the world is going to be by looking at that shattered moon. There really is not that much Spanish in there – just the occasional use of a Spanish word here and there. Seeing your reaction I updated my wording a bit to reflect that it really is a very slight or minimal use of Spanish.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Hooray!! There are things I like and dislike about the cover. I really do like the shattered moon in the sky but I wish the bottom part of the cover were done a little differently. But I’m not a cover designer so I have no idea how I would even change anything haha.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      It was awesome in so many ways! I’m glad that the things I had issue with didn’t deter you from giving it a try!! Because my really good friend Anya read this one and she freaking loved it. She did comment on some of the dialogue as well but she didn’t find it bothersome like I did.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      It really doesn’t does it!? I was seriously torn. I mean it was such a cool story and the atmosphere and events were great. I was just so sad that I couldn’t get comfortable with the dialogue of the characters but luckily it didn’t stop me from liking the book!