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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Science Fiction Book of the Month - The Times.

Drink down the brew and dream of a better Earth.

Skyward Inn, within the high walls of the Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the time before the war with Qita.

But safety from what? Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Innkeepers Jem and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars.

Their peace is disturbed when a visitor known to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.

Did humanity really win the war? 

©2021 Aliya Whiteley (P)2021 Penguin Audio and Rebellion Publishing

Critic reviews

"Skyward Innfeels like an instant classic of the genre." (The Guardian)

"Rarely has a writer who is not Philip K. Dick had so much fun building a world only to take it apart." (LA Times

"When it comes to misdirection, Aliya Whiteley is the very devil." (The Times

What listeners say about Skyward Inn

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strangely compelling

I loved the setting and descriptions , excellent narration and some clever ideas about life

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Dreary and full of bad stereotypes

The pov character of a teenage boy was 2d and stereotypical to the extreme. He only cared about masturbation and violence, and was shocked he felt love for a family friend and her dog. The performance sounded like everyone was almost on the point of tears, very one note, but then, so was the book. Disappointing.

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  • Cinnamon
  • 14-05-21

Creeps under your skin

I really liked the story. I really like the unusual way in which the story was told. You are going on a journey with these characters and learning about them and before you know it you get swept up into some unusual happenings and you can't turn away. I enjoy author's style of writing her other book "The Beauty" was also wonderfully told this is also a great story. Skyward inn  addresses themes like loneliness, togetherness, love, acceptance, and if you like these themes mixed with strange fiction then I recommend this book.

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  • MyBeehive
  • 08-04-21

Dreamy, weird

Slowly unfolding, dreamy, weird scifi. It’s evocative and philosophical, hits all the right marks. Not for everyone maybe (fragmented narrative, multiple perspectives, dips in and out of immersion & self-awareness). Loved the ending. I like the author so much I’m off to read The Beauty right now!

The narrator might have paused a little between narrative shifts so it would have been easier to discern who is speaking.

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  • Iben Krutt
  • 02-04-21

A breath of fresh air in sci-fi literature!

Beautiful book! I see other reviewers comparing it to Ursula Le Guin’s ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’, but I found the themes and scenarios to be much more along the lines of Octavia E. Butler myself.

The characters felt human if a wee bit flat. I struggled with getting into their head, so perhaps the ending didn’t quite have that impact the author was hoping for. The abrupt jumping between POVs was confusing at first but made more sense as the story progressed.

If you enjoy sci-fi that explores the consequences of imperialism and colonialism, as well as cool aliens and body horror, this is definitely a book worth checking out.

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  • Chris Y
  • 25-03-21

What Even Is This Book?

I don't even know where to begin. I'm spent. My heart hurts. I feel utterly disconnected from the world... like I just unlearned all my pragmatic notions about humanity. Why are we even here?

After being lulled into a dreamy stupor with the appropriately slow pacing of this beautiful narration, I found myself not wanting to leave this place. I'll be thinking about this for a long time. Do listen.