Review: Oh, That Shotgun Sky (The Songs of Sefate #1.5) by Sarah Chorn

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis

Days after the Boundary falls, six strangers converge in a one-horse town, all of them on the run. Some from the past, some avoiding the future.

When men from Shine Company arrive to reclaim their own, these desperate travelers have to decide if they stand with the law, or against it.

Men pull the trigger and blood spills.

Fate pulls the strings and everybody dances.

Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, That Shotgun Sky picks up directly following the events in Of Honey and Wildfires (you can read my review of that here.) We follow a new cast of characters as they try to come to terms with the destruction of the Boundary and their newfound freedom from Shine Company. Like before, Sarah has managed to sift through the weeds of my soul, take hold of my feelings, and completely rip them from my chest. To be fair to the author, I had an idea of what to expect coming in to this fresh out of her previous novel.

That’s what love is. It ain’t all soft and pretty; it’s hard and biting, too. It’s a hungry wolf, and you just keep feeding the beast bits of yourself.

Sarah’s excellent characterization continues, with a new cast of characters who all bring their individual desires and fears to the table. Even though my time with them was much shorter, I developed an even stronger connection to Ned, Saul, and Sally than I did to Arlen and Cass. My favorite was Ned, the straight-edge, former Shine Company enforcer, suffering from burnout to the Shine he never purposefully ingested. His chapters were some of the most heartbreaking, feverish scenes I have ever experienced and watching a disease that he didn’t earn take its toll on his psyche was brutal. His POVs read like a bad trip laced with heartache. There’s also something to be said about the way his addiction is discussed in-world. I thought the commentary on addicts, especially addiction as an often misunderstood disease, was quite refreshing to read.

That this was a novella served the story very well, I think. Oh, That Shotgun Sky pulls no punches, while delivering the complex, emotional story that I have come to know as Sarah’s style. It is also one where after reading I was left with a profound sense of hope, which honestly was very helpful after the gut wrenching journey that the prior novel took. I felt like I could breathe a smidge easier while waiting for the next Sefate novel.

“I know it hurts something awful, but you will get through this. You will breathe again, and you will breathe easier than you ever have before.”

Oh, That Shotgun Sky took everything that I loved about the previous entry, Of Honey and Wildfires, and improved upon every bit of it. Sarah excels at pulling on your heartstrings and making you feel everything that the characters are going through and her writing style practically oozes with empathy. If I wasn’t sold on her as an author before, I certainly am now. If you like your fantasy biting, painful, and full of melodrama, then I recommend this series wholeheartedly.

Possibility is a knife. I’m balanced on its edge. I can feel it cutting.

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