Series Review: Heartland, books 1 and 2, by Chuck Wendig

Under the Empyrean Sky.


Ahem. I’m being silly, because I already know the date that the third and final installment The Harvest is due, as it was announced in a cover reveal blog post:  it’s due out on the 14th of July, 2015.

So with that wonderful thought gyrating on the horizon, here are my reviews of the first two books in the trilogy:

Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy, #1)Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I described this book in a blog post I did last July, when I’d just started reading it:

“It’s about corn, floating sky cities, desperate bad luck, ships that sail on corn, competitive scavenging, the mayor’s bully-boy son, and punching back at an unfair world, right in the kernels.”

Nope, it’s about so much more than all that. It’s also about forbidden love, broken hearts, hope, loss, drinking fixy, railroad maglev sleds…

When you start reading, keep in mind that the story is on a kind of exponential curve: it builds gradually at first, following the everyday struggles of corn-sailing scavenger captain – Cael McAvoy (great kid – reminds me of Marty McFly). There are a lot of secrets still being kept from the reader at this point, and SO MUCH STUFF that you probably won’t see coming. Just keep riding the story through the build up. When you get to the steep climby bit of the curve, don’t plan on being able to put it down, and get ready to buy book two.

Oh, and warning: the climax will melt your face off. Melt. Your face. Get ready.

Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy #2)Blightborn by Chuck Wendig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So you’ve read Under the Empyrean Sky, and it was quite amazeballs towards the end – pedal to the metal stuff.

Then you get to book 2, Blightborn, and the gas pedal gets swapped out for a single big red button. There’s decadence, and pride for sale, corruption and power and madness and defiance. You get epic dystopian empires and plummeting sky cities, and a mechanical pegasus rocket. I FREAKING LOVE MECHANICAL PEGASI.

Now I know that can be a thing at least.

So in summary, these are some excellent books. If you don’t read YA, I’d still suggest giving these a shot: we’re talking about some brilliant corn-punk, sci-fi, dystopian stuff; the only YA hallmarks are the scarcity of swearing and some teenage protagonists. Nothing wrong with either of those things to my mind.

I give it five-out-of-five rocket-bottomed pegasi

View all my reviews

For some annoying reason Amazon feels the need to review my reviews (for extra reviewy-ness?), so I can’t leave those links here, but if you want to find these books on the ‘Zon, here’re the links to the kindle versions:
Under the Empyrean Sky

What has everyone else been reading lately? Anything I should have a go at?

Best regards,


About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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2 Responses to Series Review: Heartland, books 1 and 2, by Chuck Wendig

  1. Millie Ho says:

    Well, you have me sold. Added to my To Read list!

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