Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Teen/YA Review: Bent Heavens

In the mood for some fast-paced sci fi, I recently listened to Bent Heavens, a teen/YA novel by Daniel Krauss. It was a twisty, dark, action-packed story with plenty of unexpected surprises.

Liv Fleming is just trying to get through her last year of high school, so she can move on and go to college. She's been through a lot. Two years ago, her father went crazy in a very public way and then disappeared shortly afterward. He showed up in a public park, naked, and raving about alien abduction. As her school's high school English teacher, he also directed a very strange version of Oliver Twist, all about aliens. So, the whole town knows. Before he disappeared into the woods and never returned, his passionate insistence on the dangers of aliens convinced Liv and her childhood best friend, Doug, to help him build traps all over the Fleming's overgrown backyard. Even though he's been gone for two years, Liv and Doug trudge out there every Sunday to check and maintain the traps (and an impressive homemade weapons arsenal in the shed), just like her dad taught them. Doug is still committed to this routine, but Liv is ready to move forward ... until the Sunday when they actually find something in one of the traps. The creature is like nothing they've ever seen before, but it does match some of her dad's lunatic ravings. Does this mean her dad was telling the truth the whole time? And could this thing know something about her dad and what happened to him? Could her father still be alive? Liv and Doug must decide what to do next.

This is a rollercoaster ride of a sci fi thriller and also quite an emotional ride as well, with Liv's complicated feelings about her dad and her guilt that she hadn't believed him. The plot is original and super twisty, and I was constantly surprised. However, the story is quite violent and sometimes brutal, which was hard to listen to, even though the audiobook was very well done and gripping. All in all, it's a unique premise and well-written, but you have to be prepared for a dark ride.

304 pages, Henry Holt and Company
Macmillan Audio

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here, a flashback to Liv's dad's sudden naked appearance in a park, and/or download it from Audible.

You can purchase Bent Heavens from an independent bookstore, either locally or online, here:
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Or you can order Bent Heavens from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


  1. This so doesn't sound like my kind of book, but I am glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I generally like sci fi, Helen, but this was a bit too brutal for my taste, too!