When we last saw Skylar and Win, they managed to complete their part in a mission that would save Skylar’s Earthen world and Win’s Kemyan. Basically, Skylar was able to see and notice this guy while on a field trip at school, and this guy, Win, kind of kidnapped her explaining he’s an alien from the planet of Kemya and there’s a device that could obliterate this time field a corrupt group called The Enforcers have been using to manipulate the planet to how they please. The boss of the mission, and the leader of the Travelers, Jeanant, died right before all the proper information could be given. But now Skylar and Win are aboard the Travelers’ main headquarters, en route to Kemya. Skylar makes a few new acquaintances, such as Isis, a girl who's the best in the tech business, and her girlfriend Britta, who loves a mixture of computers and field work, Thlo, the second-in-line for leader after Jeanant’s demise, and someone who’s grieving for him right now, Jule, a guy about Win’s age who has not settled an unknown conflict between him and always refers to him as “Darwin”, and a few more. They all know English but are also obviously fluent in Kemyan, and Skylar manages to use a language application with their tech to learn the basics and intermediate levels of their talking, and she learns most of the language abnormally fast with its help. She still doesn’t know everything but knows enough so that she can act as a spy when they get to Kemya, because the people there see Earthlings as pets, as people too ignorant to ever know how to say “Yes” in Kemyan, allowing her to play dumb and gather information. Information for what? Well, missions have been getting bad interference, and Isis believes there’s a mole among the group betraying info of missions to enforcers. Will Skylar be able to find who before the traitor unmasks them all to the ruthless Enforcers?
There is a lot to like about this sequel to Earth & Sky. The cover is top-5-beautiful, better than the first book’s. Skylar feels like you or I if we were put into her situation; improvising, trying her best, and ending up with floundering material that may be a waste of time, may not be. A time gap ends up ensuing for Skylar, causing her to go a significant time period into the future, and Crewe adequately thinks about this, leaving in potential for the last book I'm going to look out for. The language barriers of Kemyan that Skylar is sometimes able to get her way around allow for a new way of hearing dialogue, suitable for a mystery novel. She hears the majority of what they're saying, but a few words are left out, allowing the information she receives to feel even more disjointed, providing a sense of realism to how tricky spying can be. The dire thing is, however, this book is missing the first entry’s primary ingredient; a fast pace. There were several times where I felt I needed a break, so I can imagine reluctant readers will have them too. Also, I hate to say it, but the twist was obvious, the winks noticeably winks. There’s a twist after that I did not see coming, so points for that, but the predictable twist was the main point of most of the book.
Several chapters begin with explaining to us it’s the next day, or a few days have passed, which can be realistic for lots of stories. I love writing about stories that transcend a few days to keep it fast-paced but there are some that have significance over weeks or months. The beginnings, however, the start of the chapters when they start a new day, felt a bit like “Okay, well, here we go again.” A lot of this book takes place over spying for the smallest of details, which is fine. But the first book was completely different. Skylar and Win kept jumping to different time periods to, yes, find things, and you could say the chapters begin with a new beginning like these ones, but there was always an Enforcer that caught up with them due to their tracking technology, making me anticipate when that would happen, and if they’d get out of it. It was non-stop wonderment with all sorts of different time periods, making every pit stop they took unique in several ways. Here...
After finishing this, I think I’m going to change my rating of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from one and a half stars like this one to one star. I’m still going to finish with the Earth & Sky trilogy. I do care what’s going to happen to these characters. Basically, The Clouded Sky is a relatively good book that I wish I could’ve enjoyed reading a lot more than I did, and I wish I could say readers would too, but I gotta follow my gut sometimes.