Book Notification

Nick James Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Skyship Academy Books

Nick James is an American young adult fantasy author. He was born and raised in the small rural island town of Anacortes in Washington. His encounter with publishing was in third grade when they were encouraged to write, publish, bind and present stories. James began writing seriously at college, and several practice novels later, he became a published author.

The Pearl, the first book in Skyship Academy, is set in 2095 when the world is in a total mess and society is divided. We have the privileged ones who live in cities where the living conditions and the temperatures are controlled by the Pearl energy- a power source that comes out of the sky in balls of green glow fire. Then there is the less fortunate, or rather criminals, sent away from the Chosen Cities to live in the wastelands of the Fringes.

Living in the sky are the Skyshipper- a breakaway group from the Unified Party which governs the Chosen Cities. The Skyshippers took control of the great sky cities before they were launched. The governance of the Skyshippers in no way trusted the Unified party- not after they leveled entire cities using nuclear bombs to respond to a terrorist attack. The attack, dubbed the Scarlet Bombings destroyed most of the major cities in the USA, and no one ever came forward to claim responsibility.

We are introduced to Jesse Fisher, who has lived his entire life on a Skyship. He was trained at the Skyship Academy and was assigned to retrieve the Pearls. His first mission is supposed to be like a walk in the park in a deserted Fringe town but goes seriously wrong when he crosses paths with a Pearlhound known as Cassius Stevenson.

Cassius is a man who has spent his entire life training to kill. He was brought up in the Lodge by a strange and ruthless Madame who he is loyal. The madame treats him as her son, and Cassius is blinded by this treatment, thinking he’s the only one receiving special treatment- but he’s about to be surprised when he finds out otherwise. His dedication makes him willing to do anything to please her master. And knowing that his master likes nothing more than the Pearls, he embarks on a journey to Fringe town to get a Pearl before it falls into the hands of the Skyshippers.

While in Fringe town, he meets Jesse. Unfortunately, Jesse’s combat skills are limited, and when the two men confront each other on a rooftop, Cassius wins without effort, making Jesse fall twelve stores from the rooftop. Before falling from the rooftop, he momentarily holds on to Cassius’ hand and feels something strange happen.

Back in their respective worlds, Cassius and Jesse discover that the adults they’ve always trusted are keeping secrets from them. When the two meet again, each of the boys seeks answers, but the politics of the Surface and the Skyship conspire to keep them from discovering what they need to know.

The author deliberately makes Cassius a less likable character than Jesse, who appears more like the protagonist. But the two character’s subplots intertwine, and you may end up feeling some sympathy for the ruthless Cassius in the end. Jesse has many friends in the Skyship but doesn’t know who to trust. Why does Captain Alkine all of a sudden show interest in him? Then why is there an older girl who seems to track his every move? Should he trust his friend Skandar? And is Avery indeed attracted to him?

Soon Jesse begins having stranger interactions with the falling Pearls, making him question his true identity.

On the other hand, Cassius questions the intentions of his Madame, the head of the Surface government and the only closest person he has to a mother. Does the Madame care about him? As his body shows strange reactions after his encounter with Jesse, he vows to find the Skyship and see if they can make things normal again. Soon the two boys find themselves on the run, running after each other, from each other, and from greater forces hunting them as they head to Seattle, where they believe they will unravel the truth.

Crimson Rising, the second book in the series, is a fast-paced story that blends science fiction and action against the well-developed post-apocalyptic world.

The second book in the series kicks off, and we find Cassius on the run. After destroying a government building and betraying Madam, he was forced to flee to Canada’s Polar Cities. His objective was to remain unnoticed by the Unified Party while he learned how to harness his newly awakened strength. Since his encounter with Jesse four months ago, his strength has been building, and he now poses a grave threat to Cassius and those around him.

Their fortuitous encounter also activated Jesse’s ability. A unique ability that permits him to break Pearls. Ever since the Scarlet Bombings, the whole planet has relied on Pearls as its sole energy source. Nobody knew where they originated or why they continued to fall from the sky. They were indifferent as long as they powered the Bio-Nets, Chosen Cities, and Skypships. Not until Jesse cracked the first Pearl did they comprehend what was contained. And that marked the moment they discovered their origin and destiny.

The two are not only brothers but also the first Drifters to make it to planet Earth. Their mission was to break these Pearls and free others of their kind, including their parents and the founders of the Haven’s Resistance, as they prepared for what was to come- an invasion that would result in doomsday for the human race.

Like in the first book in the series, Nick James will keep you guessing and pondering what will happen next. The author has a knack for creating unique stories that are both new and different such that it’s impossible to know what to expect. When you think you’ve figured out what to happen next, everything else changes. The story is told in alternating points of view, with Jesse’s story told in the first person and Cassius’s in the third person, which works well for the story. Additionally, the character development and world-building is quite impressive. Throughout the story, we learn different things about the world, the characters, and the history of the world itself.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nick James

Leave a Reply