Review: Fighting Gravity by Leah Petersen

I bought this book soon after it came out, as Leah Petersen and I had discussed writing on twitter for a while. So when she released Fighting Gravity, I picked it up for Kindle. At the time I wasn’t much of a Kindle reader, and so the book sat unread for a while—until I started reading more on the electronic device. In a way, I’m glad I waited, so I could read the whole series back-to-back!

Fighting Gravity is told in first person from the point of view of Jacob Dawes, a young genius physicist. Jacob is a fantastic character, and even though he makes so many “wonderful” (read: awful, terrible) choices, those same things make him feel incredibly real on the page. It is his ability to fail so spectacularly and in such a way that, as readers, we understand that make him so incredible.

Not to jump into the plot too much, but in the first chapter Jacob is picked up to go to the ICC—a school for genius children so they can invent new things for the empire. It is always to the ICC that Jacob seems to turn to, and though Petersen does not allow much time on the page for this schooling to happen, we know enough to see this place as a part of Jacob. It is through his connection with the school that he meets the emperor, and starts a romance that captures our hearts.

Petersen has an excellent touch for voice and a fantastic sense of character. In this book, and throughout the series, each character is seen again and again, popping up, much like they do in our own lives. Her use of language and details is well-planned and immediately gives us the information we need to know. Her descriptions are well-placed and just sparse enough to create a little craving which she satisfies bit by bit.

Fighting Gravity is a fast-paced story. I read through it in two days, and only because I had obligations to attend to, otherwise I certainly would have finished it sooner. The text is very readable. There are no huge historical descriptions to decipher through or long passages about why things are they way they are. Petersen knows this world, but she doesn’t shove it down your throat—she offers a trail to follow and slowly unfolds the beautiful world she’s imagined.

Download or pick up a copy of Fighting Gravity. You won’t be disappointed!