Received from NetGalley for review.
‘History records, but stories ground us. Prove that these limitless terrors have a limit, that our universe holds something greater than darkness and stronger than fear.’
Split the Sun is set in the same universe as Inherit the Stars, this time on the planet of Galton, but the two stories don’t really cross over apart from that. It tells the story of eighteen-year-old Kit, who finds herself suffering from the repercussions of her mother’s actions – blowing up the Archives and killing Lord Galton. Everyone seems to want something from Kit – information on what her mother was planning, either to bring her down (the government) or hold her up as a god (the Brink kids who don’t want their planet destroyed).
The story itself is incredibly fast-paced and action packed with a narrative that is wonderfully easy to read, but I found that it lacked enough depth and substance for me to become completely invested it in. As with Inherit the Stars the world building doesn’t really exist – Galton is simply there and always has been, as has the museum where Kit used to work. The basic premise is that Millie Oen has blown up the Archives and killed Lord Galton after discovering the destroying of planets to provide the three main houses with energy, and continues to wreak havoc across Galton. There’s not much more of a backstory than that, although we do learn more about Kit as the story progresses. I enjoyed reading this more than Inherit the Stars, but I think that was largely down to Kit being a much more relatable and badass character, and the romance between her and Niles being way more enjoyable than Asa and Eagle.
I really felt for Kit. Her family, with the exception of her recently deceased Grandma Yonni, are all useless scumbags who only think of themselves and only want Kit for their own advantage. She finds herself ostracized because of her mother’s actions and targeted by her family for money and help as Yonni left her everything. She feels the blame for her mother’s actions deeply, so accepts people’s actions towards her which is something I’ve never really grasped; I don’t quite know why people place the blame for other’s actions on themselves and feel they deserve any negativity they receive because of it. There’s the potential for some depth with Kit – she’s lost her Grandma, her parents, her job, all because of something out of her control, but I feel that the suicide angle Elwood used didn’t work. Kit frequently considers jumping off buildings and into traffic because of her situation, and I would be completely invested in her mental health issues if they were properly explored but, as with the world building, it lacks depth and exploration.
Many of the secondary characters were infuriating, if fairly bland – Kit’s family are largely repulsive and made my blood boil with their actions, but their appearances were brief enough to push them aside. Yonni was a babe, though. The story mostly revolves around Kit dealing with the aftermath of the Archives being destroyed, and then the relationship that blossoms with the equally troubled Niles, who lives in the same building as her. I have to admit, I did enjoy the relationship between Kit and Niles; Niles was there for Kit as a friend (even though she didn’t think she wanted one) and looked out for her before the inevitable romance happened, and there was something about the pairing that had me rooting for them. Everyone needs someone to look out for them and I’m glad Kit had Niles.
Split the Sun is definitely the more compelling of Elwood’s books, but it is still a mostly superficial story that centres around Kit and Niles, and the aftermath of her mother’s actions. There’s no denying, however, that it is a quick and compulsive read, and a brilliant book to pick up for some not-too-heavy space adventure fun.
Read: December 1st-4th 2016