Helge Mahrt’s Sky High opens in a future where the Earth has been completely covered by cities. Only the very peaks of the highest towers, the Spires, offer a view of the sky. Because there is nowhere else to go, the government enforces genetic selection, neutering those with genetic defects, but fostering those who show signs of developing some extra-sensory perception. Mark Deloite is a nobody, living with his mother so far down in the city he’s next to the crime-ridden Bottoms – but the government is willing to do whatever it takes to get him and his mother under their control. A mysterious delivery is Mark’s only clue to follow, and it may well be the start of a dangerous journey.
Sky High, told from the viewpoint of the teenaged Mark Deloite, offers a compelling mix of action, intrigue, and ingrained distrust of authority. Helge Mahrt has developed a highly believable civilisation, complete with its own slang, as a backdrop to Mark’s adventures, and the close focus on Mark allows the reader to experience the setbacks and the action with a wonderful sense of immediacy. The storyline is full of twists and turns, some of which Mark only manages to survive by luck and some coincidental contacts in the right places. Overall I found this story had a lot to offer across a range of genres from YA to sci-fi to dystopia. Definitely worth reading!