“Climbing that cliff was not easy,”
“Easier than having faith.”
For the first stop on my Indie Book Tour, I have read the short story, Skies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath
First of all, wow, what a fantastic title. It’s the kind of thing you wish you thought of first, and can’t help but admire.
Skies of Dripping Gold is told from the point of view of Gabriel, a young man living in a dystopian hell, whose sister, Lilly, is suffering the ill effects of “the Poison”. Gabriel struggles with his lack of faith in a paradise or heavenly afterlife. In contrast, his sister’s belief is unwavering even in the face of her incredible pain.
This story was not really about the dystopia, or the poison. The reader’s questions about the surrounding circumstances are only answered as far as is strictly necessary to forward the plot. I didn’t mind this, as I have read enough dystopian novels to easily fill in the blanks.
Instead, the story is about faith. Faith in the unseen, the unproven, the benevolent. Gabriel’s struggle is painful to read, because I think many of us would feel similarly if we found ourselves in the same situation. It makes you question the strength of your own faith. Faced with hell on earth, would you stay strong in your conviction, or would you falter and lose hope?
Warning: Here there be minor spoilers.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this story was the bond between Gabriel and Lilly. Many novels these days concentrate on rivalry or animosity between siblings. In this case, it was clear that extreme adversity had fused the siblings even more tightly together. The love that they have for each other is so pure and unwavering it is inspiring.
Gabriel’s literal climb up a sheer cliff was an interesting element, you were rooting for him to succeed and find what he needed at the top, but at the same time, I think that would have been a disappointing end. Instead, when he arrives and finds nothing, his agonized shouts toward a God he doesn’t really believe in anymore are an emotional blow after the struggle that came before.
The end caught me off guard, I turned a page and suddenly, it was over. The reader is left to ponder what really happened, and what Gabriel will do. I was sucked in enough that I was truly ready to go down this rabbit hole. You could sell me this concept as a full length novel easily. This would also make a good part one to a serial.
However, though abrupt, I liked the open end because it put my imagination into overdrive.
Overall, this was a good read. The imagery was excellent, the characterization on point. My favorite thing about it was the character, Cole. A young man with a child-like view of the world but a similarly blind faith. It’s the kind of faith we should all strive to have.
It was a short story, but it definitely gave me a good feel for the author’s style, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
Or, Click Here to visit Hannah Heath’s terrific blog.
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