Caeli-Amur: an ancient city perched on white cliffs overlooking the sea; a city ruled by three Houses, fighting internecine wars; a city which harbours ancient technology and hidden mysteries. But things are changing in Caeli-Amur. Ancient minotaurs arrive for the traditional Festival of the Sun. The slightly built New-Men bring their technology from their homeland. Wastelanders stream into the city hideously changed by the chemical streams to the north. Strikes break out in the factory district.
In a hideout beneath the city, a small group of seditionists debate ways to overthrow the Houses. How can they rouse the citizens of the city? Should they begin a campaign of terror? Is there a way to uncover the thaumaturgical knowledge that the Houses guard so jealously? As the Houses scramble to maintain their rule, it becomes clear that things will change forever in Caeli-Amur.
I loved both available covers, I was curious about the summary and enjoyed reading the preview at tor.com. Given all that I was sure I would love this book. I expected to read an epic story about minotaurs that comes with an interesting new setting. I thought I would enjoy this immensely and would go on and search for similar books right after. I was so sure… and I was wrong.
An interesting magic system, a magical city with a fancy history and minotaurs
These were all the things that made me enjoy reading this story, that were interesting and held some fresh new aspects. Davidson brings something new to the genre and created a fascinating world that I couldn’t get enough of. Especially Caeli-Amur’s past was something that I could have read about page after page. My problem is that I didn’t get enough of that, not in the slightest. I was especially disappointed what a small role the minotaurs play. There is one on the cover so that I thought they would be constantly present and play a big part but they didn’t.
A political story
This story mostly concentrates on the political system of Caeli-Amur and the people wanting changes and fighting for these. I wouldn’t say this made for a boring story but it couldn’t grab my interest either. I wanted more of those things mentioned above, the city, it’s past and the minotaurs and instead got a group of people fighting for their rights, playing politics. The story is still interesting but had this dark cloud hanging over it because of me being disappointed about not getting to read what I got so excited about.
Lack of a connection to the characters
On top of this being a political story I had also troubles caring about the characters. Characters are the most important part of a story to me and when I’m not interested enough in their story, the story itself looses its appeal for me.
This story comes with multiple POVs and I only liked one of them and that one only at the beginning. These characters were interesting enough and give some great insight into the different views on the system of the city, how these different kinds of people live under these circumstances. Even though it always makes for an interesting story to see how such different characters meet eventually, I thought some of these POVs have been more interesting before they met others.
I’m still not sure if this book just wasn’t for me, not my kind of story or if my completely wrong expectations let to me not fully enjoying Unwrapped Sky. It definitely is not a bad or boring story. Davidson writes about some fresh new ideas that I think will provide people, who have been reading in this genre for a long time, with something they haven’t read about before. Caeli-Amur is as magical as the Unrwapped Sky’s UK cover makes it look like. Had the minotaurs played a much bigger part in this I think I would have liked it more. The way it is, it just couldn’t fully grab my interest.