Monday, July 12, 2021

Marie Lu: Skyhunter

In the first in a new series, a girl who is seen as a street rat, will be the one that helps the world she lives in survive:

There is only one country standing, Mara, against the Karensa Federation, who have made it their mission to conquer any country that stands in their way. Talin is a refugee from the Karensa Federation and although she is seen as an outcast there, Talin is part of the legendary Mara force, The Strikers and she is one of their best. When the Federation sends more and more Ghost creatures during each battle, Talin does her best to kill them all. When a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front lines, all of Mara is seeking his death, but Talin sees something more in him, is he a spy, or a secret weapon that could help save them all. With the Federation on their doorsteps Talin and the Strikers have to strike now in order to save Mara and all of her people.

This is the second book that I have read bu Lu and I liked it better than Warcross. I found that book was more mature and darker than Warcross and I felt that the characters were more complex as well. You can tell that Lu takes on larger topics in this books with the class system, racism, discrimination and sexism too. I have no problem with these topics being introduced in a YA novel, as all these aspects occur in our society now, but some of the darker moments may be a bit too mature for a younger YA audience. There is also a political game that is played throughout this book and I think this adds another dimension to the overall story that I really enjoyed, and this is where you see a lot of the class system and disparity played out in the story.

Talin became mute from the attack on her former home but she has not let this define her in any way shape or form. She is one of the best fighters in Mara's elite force, the Strikers but not just that she is smart and appears to understand battle strategy better than some of her superiors. It also has allowed her to remain on the outside of things and observe body language and read lips in order to understand what is going on around her. Talin is a survivor and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect those she loves and the country of Mara even though many of them scorn her.

The darkness in this book really stem from the Federation and what they are will to assure that they win at all cost. This includes threats to their soldiers' families as well as the creation of the Ghosts. Honestly the Ghosts are the scariest things in this book, and to have to witness a family member become one is just horrible to think of. 

I found the world building a little lacking in this book and I had to use my own imagination to fill in some of the gaps, but I think because we are learning about this world from Talin's POV. Her life was altered at a very young age, she does not fully understand why the people of Mara do not accept her and those who also fled there, but also why The Federation is hell bent on conquering everyone. We do get some bits and pieces of this information here and there but not to fully flesh out this world and it's part (though I have a feeling more is to come in the next book).

Now does this book feel like it has a bit of a formula that we often read in the YA genre, Yes, but that does not mean that I did not really enjoy reading this book (Plus I'm happy to report that Lu stayed away from the love triangle aspect, that you Lu). 

This book is a fast paced dystopia YA book that will have you want to read it in one sitting. Lu has mastered creating strong/interesting female character. I really enjoyed this book, and found that I was turning the pages faster and faster in order to read what happens next. I look forward to reading the next book in this series to see where Lu takes the story and her characters.

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