Magic or Science

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Publication Date: September 8, 2020

Summary From Goodreads:

Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines, powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the Surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope.

North’s and Nimh’s lives are entwined—though their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.


I usually don’t like it when authors try to blend Science Fiction and Fantasy together, but it totally works for this book, and I will admit that I really liked it.

The story is told from Nimh’s and North’s point of view. I really liked both of these characters, but for different reasons. Both of them experience a heartbreaking loneliness, which is what initially draws them together. They are also both wanting to be accepted for who they are, not who they are being told they should be.

North was my favorite, he is just so polite and such an idiot at times, that you just want to scream at him. Granted he is out of his element, once he lands on the planet. He is trying so hard to explain everything around him with science, that he has a hard time accepting that maybe there is something to this magic that Nimh is showing him.

“It’s not magic,” I say. ‘It’s science. Science means you can explain it, that you know how each part of it works. Magic is – I mean, it’s science you haven’t figured out how to explain yet.’
‘I can explain my magic,” Nimh replies. ‘And you just said you could not explain your engines.’
‘Well. Maybe I should shut up, then.’ ”

Nimh is also a great character, who is so lonely, yet resilient and strong. She so wants to be touched by anyone, but knows that the consequence of that is losing her magic. Some of the scenes between her and North, were amusing and so very sad for that reason. And then you have to love anyone who has a cat like hers. I loved Brindle Cat, he was such a character and showed his emotions so well. He was also pretty crafty as we know all cats can be.

This book was definitely more focused on the worlds and their differences, than it was on characters. But that was okay, because the worlds being built here are simply amazing. We don’t see much of North’s world in this book, that will be the focus of the second book, but the little we do see, makes you amazed at the technology. North talks a lot about his world with Nimh, so we get more info from him than actually seeing the world. Nimh’s world is amazing also, but for different reasons. It is full of scary creatures that lurk in the woods, and a fog that drives people crazy. The religion that has sprung up around the myth of North’s people leaving the planet is also well thought out and makes for an interesting story.

Overall I really enjoyed this one. It is a long one though and at times a bit slow, but the story on the whole makes the slow bits tolerable. The ending was amazing, and a bit of a cliffhanger, which makes me all the more eager to get my hands on the next one. If you like stories with great world building and a really interesting story, then this is one you don’t want to miss.


  1. I actually haven’t seen very many reviews about this one but I can see how you can either love it or hate it but I think I might end up loving it. The worlds sound really cool and I love characters who can pull your heartstrings and make you feel for their situations. Brindle Cat sounds awesome too 😻 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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