A Girl Called Ari by P. J. Sky – Book Review

A Girl Called Ari by P. J. Sky – Book Review

A Girl Called Ari by P. J. Sky

A Girl Called Ari

Author – P. J. Sky
Pages – 274
Released – 15th February 2020
ISBN-13 – 979-8608817878
Format – ebook, paperback
Review by – Julie
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.
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In a distant future… A world divided… A walled city in a devastated wasteland… a struggle for power becomes a struggle to survive… with friends like these, who needs enemies?

How would you survive beyond the comfortable walls of your world?

For Starla, a struggle for power becomes a struggle for survival when she finds herself on the wrong side of the wall. Fleeing her abductors and lost in the wasteland, she faces starvation, warring factions, bloodthirsty creatures, and the endless burning sun.

And then there’s Ari… who is she really? And can she really trust this girl from the wasteland to lead her back to the city gates?

One thing’s for sure, Starla’s once privileged life will never be the same…

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‘A Girl Called Ari’ is the debut novel from British author, P J Sky. This is the futuristic tale of Starla Corinth, the daughter of the mayor of a walled city, known as Alice. The chapters are all fairly short and the story is told from the perspectives of Starla and the girl she meets in the dusty, arid desert, Ari.

We join the action just before Starla is kidnapped and taken from the safety of the city. She manages to escape and literally falls into Ari’s cave, when Ari is working in the salt mines. After an uneasy start to their relationship, the dynamic between two girls develops. Starla and Ari are of similar age but very different backgrounds, nonetheless, they have a common aim. So the scene is set for their journey from the town of Cooper through barren wasteland, with all its inherent dangers, to the city.

The author gives us detailed descriptions of the two main protagonists, along with a few of their foils. Although apart than Starla and Ari, the supporting characters are fairly peripheral. Most of them represent a threat of one form or another. They do find respite with some friendly folk who help at a perilous time but mainly, their survival depends on Ari’s physical and mental strength and skill.

The syntax is a hybrid, with British spelling and some American terminology. The structure is tight and the author doesn’t lose sight of the plot’s direction. There is little in the way of subplot but with fast moving action, this is no bad thing. I would have liked to have known more about their surroundings as the girls made their way through the wasteland. This would have painted a stronger, more vivid, picture of just how tough the conditions were.

Whilst the story develops mainly in the third person, the author reverts to the first person when sharing the character’s thoughts. Once I got used to this, I didn’t find it particularly distracting. We have a little foreshadowing in the beginning with its promise of menacing dark times ahead. There are a few flashbacks which don’t really add much to the story but a little ironic black humour helps balance the bleakness of the girls’ situation.

The story comes to a satisfying conclusion and I think the author can be pleased with a job well done. I’m sure this will appeal to its intended target audience and award four stars.

Book Reviewer – Julie

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About the Author

P. J. Sky is a writer of short stories and novels, mostly in the post-apocalyptic and dystopian genre, for YA and adult readers. Born and raised in the UK, P. J. Sky wrote from a young age. A Girl Called Ari is their first novel.

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What did you think of A Girl Called Ari? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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6 Responses

  1. Kathy West says:

    Not my type of book but I am glad you liked it.

  2. DJ Sakata says:

    Excellent and thorough reviewing! I cannot bring myself to read this genre, dystopian is just too disheartening for me.

  3. Anna says:

    Not my genre, but certainly sounds like a unique dystopian

  4. vidya says:

    i have not read too many dystopians, though i do watch them.. glad you enjoyed it

  5. Melissa's fandom world says:

    “Whilst the story develops mainly in the third person, the author reverts to the first person when sharing the character’s thoughts.”

    That’s a ‘special’ way of writing haha. I like a dystopian from time to time. This one looks intersting, thanks for sharing.

  6. Robin Loves Reading says:

    I’ve only read a few dystopian books, and they’re just not my favorite.