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When I tell you this book hit the ground running and did not let up even on the last page? Whew.

There is so much to like about this book for folks who are fans of dystopian/post-apocalyptic/sci-fi/adventure stories. Strange unexplained monsters who used to be human? Check. Political corruption and class dynamics? Check. Cinnamon roll characters who are also stealthy assassins? Check. Leaves you exhausted yet wanting more at the end? Double check. Think Attack on Titan meets Wolverine meets A Quiet Place (I haven't seen this movie, but the previews seem like a good fit...).

I think the part of this book that I connected with so much was the humanity of each of the essential characters. They were all so fully realized and each had their own back stories that helped to shape who they are and how they exist in their world. Lu does an especially great job of showing the various ways that trauma can impact individuals and how responses to that trauma can vary so greatly. As with a lot of current YA novels, Lu also weaves in some timely and urgent social matters such as racism, immigration, and corruption.

I cannot wait to jump into the second part of this duology and get all of my questions answered. This is the first book that I have read by Marie Lu and based on how I felt afterward it is certainly not going to the last.