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Breaking sky

Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Fire, [2015]
Physical Description:
408 pages ; 22 cm
In the year 2048 Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx," is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental "Streaker" jets at the junior Air Force Academy, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father, and as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret.
Reading Level:
Ages 14 and up.


Call Number

On Order



To save her country, Chase must put everything on the line. Including her pride. And her heart.

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx", isn't one to play it safe. In 2048, America is locked in the second cold war--and the country's best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chose to fly an experimental "Streaker" jet. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trails, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky. Only few know the pain and loneliness of her past.

As the world tilts toward war, Chase discovers a military secret. There's a third Streaker, and it's young pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country, she'll have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Breaking Skyis a gritty coming of age tale with tons of action, a fascinating dystopian society, humor, friendship, romance and heart-stopping, high-stakes flying that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Praise for Breaking Sky:
"Smart, exciting, confident--and quite possibly the next Big Thing."--Kirkus
"Breaking Sky is an action-packed thrill ride that smashes through allkind of barriers at a Mach 5 pace."--Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of the Need series
"Had me in its grip from take-off to landing. Chase is a kick-butt female and the swoon-worthy flyboys kept me up way past my bedtime." --Joy N. Hensley, author of Rites of Passage

Author Notes

CORI MCCARTHY studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at CoriMcCarthy.com.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-The year is 2048. Teenager Chase, better known by her call sign, Nyx, is a pilot in training for the American military's topmost secret project. Back in 2020, American pilots were massacred in an airfight by drones-dictator Ri Xiong Di's most effective weapon. The entire world has endured a second Cold War ever since. No other countries are allowed to aid the U.S. at all, and the people are suffering. The military is secretly testing two new plane prototypes that might outrun the drones. However, their pilots must be young and strong enough to withstand the tremendous force on the human body that occurs when traveling at high speeds. In order to get funding for more prototypes, Nyx and her comrades must prove the worth of the project. On a training mission, Nyx spots a third prototype that she didn't know existed. In her haste to discover the identity of its pilot and country, Nyx endangers the entire project and many lives as well. But, if she can start dismantling the wall she's built around herself since her difficult childhood, she might be able to trust someone, fall in love, and save the day. Similar to the S.J. Kincaid's "Insignia" series (HarperCollins), this novel distinguishes itself. The dialogue is authentic, and the characters are nuanced. Chase has determination and resolve, even in the face of her fears. The description of her flights is breathtakingly realistic. VERDICT Strong characterizations, action, adventure, and emotion combine to produce a sci-fi novel that is more than just the sum of its parts.-Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chase Harcourt is "an excellent pilot. And, if she was being honest, kind of a crappy person." Arrogant, impulsive, confrontational, and competitive, her promiscuity and brashness are bywords in the rec room of the Air Force's United Star Academy, where she is the favorite cadet of the commanding officer, General Kale. (Fans of the Battlestar Galactica reboot will see more than a little Starbuck in Chase.) With her brilliant crewman Pippin, Chase flies the Dragon, an experimental Streaker jet and America's fragile hope of countering the threat of the world's only superpower, Ri Xiong Di. Only two Streakers exist-until Chase encounters a third one that no one in command will admit to. World War III and the pilot trials loom, but Chase focuses on one thing: proving that the third plane is out there. McCarthy (The Color of Rain) deploys breath-stopping depictions of high-stakes piloting with enviable ease, and the in-your-face personal confrontations are nearly as taut. Both will keep readers glued to the page. Ages 14-up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Teen pilots fight for the cause in a dystopian future.Despite her checkered past, Chase Harcourt has become one of the top pilots in the United Star Academy. Going by the call sign "Nyx," Chase and her team are piloting the Streakers, a new aircraft that may be America's last hope in ending the Second Cold War. While out on a routine training exercise, Chase sees something that should be impossible: a Streaker with enemy markings. Even though her superiors and commanding officers call her crazy, Chase has no choice but to find out what exactly she saw, even if it means breaking every rule in the book. Mixing the thrills of Top Gun and the political intrigue of the Hunger Games makes for an alluring read. Leading with a strong, multifaceted female character certainly won't hurt the novel's chances with its target demographic. It's no stretch to imagine a Hollywood announcement of development soon after release. And they'd be right to do so: The author's storytelling is incredibly cinematic, equally adept at capturing extended flight sequences and Chase's interpersonal struggles. Emotions run high toward the novel's end, and the author isn't afraid to play a bit rough, making this feel less like a novel capitalizing on current trends and more like a great story being told in a very cool way. Smart, exciting, confidentand quite possibly the next Big Thing. (Dystopian thriller. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

By 2028, America has descended into poverty as a cold war with the New Eastern Bloc, Ri Xiong Di, has cut them off from allied support. Chase Harcourt, call sign Nyx, is one of the U.S. Air Force's best pilots, even though she's only a cadet. She's training to fly one of two experimental Streaker jets, designed to combat Ri Xiong Di's lethal drones and save America. No pressure, right? Cocky, competitive, and reckless, Chase is itching to pilot her Streaker against the enemy, but she may lose her chance after disobeying her superiors and exposing a key military secret: there's a third Streaker and a pilot training covertly, and no one is happy he's been discovered. This thriller is a heart-stopper, both for its adrenaline-fueled descriptions of flying maneuvers and its nuanced daredevil lead character. As the war heats up, McCarthy puts her characters in increasingly tense situations, testing them to the breaking point and giving what could have been merely a popcorn thriller sudden gravity. This crazy-cool story should soar.--Hutley, Krista Copyright 2015 Booklist