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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Part of the Galactic Dreams Series, Break the Sky by Karen Harris Tully is a wildly imaginative and futuristic retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, and it lives up to expectations. Seven years after the attack of the Naturalist on planet Epiphany, the young pickpocket Jak Moon continues to ply her pickpocketing skills with even greater challenges as neighborhoods have built walls and hired private security. A loving sister who would do anything to protect her younger brother, Jak runs out of options when an ally betrays her trust. She breaks into the Tower, home of Epiphany’s infamous Godmother, and gets more than she bargained for. Godmother gives her the mission of retrieving one piece of technology that proves to be a strange, shining beacon of hope in the night after the attack seven years ago: the Car. If Jak succeeds, Godmother promises to reward her efforts with a life-changing wish. Jak has a wish not for herself but for her brother. To fulfill the task, she would have to team up with her crush, Gill Cuvier, whose trustworthiness is questionable.
I love reading fairy tale retellings. They meet the needs of readers searching for an alternative scenario to the bedtime stories they have grown familiar with. Karen Harris Tully is so inventive that I take my hat off to her spin on Jack and the Beanstalk. Break the Sky is original and thoroughly entertaining. One of the things that fascinated me is Tully’s ability to apply speculative science in a fantasy story. It is a neat touch that you don’t often find in other retellings. You cannot overlook the imposing space stations and occasional technobabble because they are essential to the world of Galactic Dreams. There are plenty of fairy tale retellings out there, but I strongly suggest that you start with this one. It has plenty more to offer than just "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum!"