Car-En has been sent to Earth for the first time in order to observe and report back on how a small population is surviving. Now you might think that she is some sort of alien upon first reading the description of The Sky Woman, but she is just as much an Earthling as the people she is watching. Car-En is an anthropologist from the sky, who has been raised in a ringstation. These satellite living systems are full of people who left Earth following a number of depopulations, in which the Earth slowly became less and less populated. While it had been thought that no one lived on the Earth small groups have been found and Car-En has been tasked with watching a Viking-like village. What happens when she breaks protocol will reveal some new and interesting things about the world she knew and the world she is investigating.
The Sky Woman focuses not just on Car-En, but also on the people of the Happdal village. These Viking-like people have somehow managed to survive by establishing a primitive place that maintains a life like that of the long gone Vikings. Throughout the book there are theories for how this way of life was able to exist following a massive boom in technology that ultimately added to the decision to leave Earth with the populations that still existed. Car-En has begun to find herself connecting more and more with the people she watches at a distance and when the sister of a man named Esper is kidnapped she chooses to intervene, completely against the protocols of her monitoring operation. When she intervenes she becomes part of a Esper and his brother’s quest to find their sister and along the way she sees how technology has managed to continue to impact this new sort of world.
Beyond watching her voyage we also get to see what has happened to Katja, the sister who was kidnapped. This delves into a great deal of technology based science fiction and shows that there have been others trying to understand those who survived depopulation, but in a chilling way. The Sky Woman creates a world that mixes fantasy with science fiction and examines the different paths humans could take following an apocalyptic world change. I found the characters interesting and Katja surprised me the most in the evolution that takes place in her personality. I also appreciated the inclusion of the history surrounding what has happened to Earth and how the ringstations came to be. If you enjoy science fiction and alternate realities you will have the perfect read in The Sky Woman. You can find it on sale now.
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