Cloudworld by David Cunningham

August 9, 2012


Cloudworld by David Cunningham
Released: 6th February, 2006
Series: Cloudworld Series [Book One]
Format: Published
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Source: Purchased
Buy it: The Book Depository (free shipping) | Amazon

Imagine a planet entirely covered in clouds…

Imagine an ocean of cloud, stretching away as far as the eye can see, forever shifting and changing…

Imagine peaks rising out of the clouds, their gentle slopes covered in fields and orchards…

Imagine a citadel standing on each peak…

Heliopolis. A prosperous citadel divided into five layers, its rigid social structure ensuring that it is run efficiently and the citizens know their place.

But there is one uncertainty that all Heliopolitans share. What lies beneath the impenetrable sea of cloud? An abyss of nothingness? The fiery realm of the god, Omnium? 14-year-old Marcus is about to find out. Isolated and lonely, Prince Marcus lives in the soulless palace at the very top of the citadel. When his father fails to return from a diplomatic mission, Marcus mounts an expedition across the cloudscape in search of him. But he discovers too late that danger lies closer to home - somebody wants him dead. And when his flying vessel is sabotaged, Marcus finds himself plunged into a terrifying new world beneath the clouds...

The Short
Cloudworld is set in a fascinating and vivid world, filled with mysterious characters and a quest that is nail-biting and leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat. It is highly enjoyable


The Long
The concept of this story was so unique, the idea of a world up in the clouds! The constant sunshine, endless see of white clouds. I like the sound of that. The unknown, what lies beneath the clouds, and all of the customs and lore associated with it. That part was especially interesting to discover.

For the most part, the descriptions were very effective and helped illustrate the gorgeous cloudscape. At some points the descriptive language slowed down the pace a little, but it didn't exceed a level of over-description which was nice.

Marcus was a great main character. He was brave, intelligent and very empathetic to the people in his kingdom. I like seeing characters in powerful (well soon to be since he is the heir) positions, who aren't solely seeking power and glory. He certainly developed and grew throughout the story. I loved seeing how much he worked towards changing how the people around him see him - acknowledging his personality and who he truly is, rather than the prince. I liked him as a character, but I always have a little trouble connecting with main characters in stories written in third person. Personally, I prefer first person for this reason - I like being able to witness every emotion and reaction and thought.

The other characters were very interesting indeed. Some of the characters are not who you think they are, which was shocking to find out. Certainly did not expect that! Then Marcus' companions on his expedition - it was great to see how close everyone got due to their situation and circumstances. Overall, those involved were amazing, with so much bravery and selflessness.

The ending leaves you satisfied with how things turned out for the characters, yet there is still so much to be explored and resolved. I am eager to continue on and read the sequel.


The Good 
Vivid world-building, great character development, shocks and twists!


The Bad
Not a strong connection with the main character.


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