Comparable to AOT + dystopian throwback!!

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There's this young man called Eren Jaeger and then there's this brave Striker, Talin Kanami.

Attack on Titan is the first thing that came to my mind when I read the first half of the story - a world in chaos dominated by a powerful federation (Karensa) through the help of these so-called Ghosts which are humans transformed to monsters. Plus a group of young defenders laying their life in line for the honor of defending Mara, the last state in Karensa that remains free from the shackles of colonialism.

And then we have this courageous main character in the name of Talin Kanami whose backstory reflects on the struggles of immigration and seeking refuge in a foreign land that is not that welcoming. Leaving Basea after succumbing to Karensa, Talin and her mom managed to survive the chaos and flee to the neighboring state that is Mara. But not all Marans had their arms opened to the refugees and Talin being a member of the elite Striker force made her a bigger target of this discrimination.

Add another main character, Redlen - a humanoid developed by the same Karensan force that were dubbed as Skyhunters - part human part cyborg who has the ability to ravage a fleet of soldiers and Ghosts in one swoop.

Marie Lu writes great character arcs. I remember being shocked after one of the characters got killed off in the first chapter after being introduced as the face of compassion and kindness. The heart attack she gave me after finishing the first chapter without sparing the life of Corian wen Barra was too much I was zoning out most of the time as I read through the next chapters.

Aside from that, I was also in awe whenever the characters of Jeran and Aramin were mentioned in the plot. Reading the chapters with subtle focus on these two really made me swoon, I am more than willing to start a "protect Jeran at all costs" campaign.

But one thing I noticed as I go on with the book is how these main characters share a common connection with monsters but with different definitions.

Talin's monsters is her firsthand experience of Karensan's cruelty in Basea and her fear of losing her mother, the only remaining family she have. Redlen's is being manipulated by Karensa to a cyborg and losing the will to live after seeing how the federation killed his families.

Adena's monster is witnessing her first Shield, her brother, being shot by a Karensan soldier and living with the trauma since then. Jeran's definition is different because his monster is his family - with his ingratious Senator father who constantly abuse him physically and verbally.

This factor planted the seeds of finally standing up to their own monsters which fuel their will to defend and fight for Mara.

The plot is well above average. As I mentioned earlier, this book gave me AoT vibes which really helped me devour the book. Dystopia is not dead with Skyhunter as the story poses a great potential of being the next big thing.

It's uplifting to read stories that feature characters standing up to an oppressive ruler or government. And Skyhunter semi-delivered in this part.

Semi because I have issues with the ending. The last part is where I lost interest and the plot became pretty predictable. It is not a secret that I looooooove Marie Lu and I read all of her books. Sadly, this one ranks with Wildcard in the low tier of my Marie list.

I won't elaborate all of my unanswered questions here because that'd be too much of a spoiler but let me just say that it's not okay to leave people hanging about specific characters that were well-developed.

Right now, I can honestly say that I'll still read the second book because the story has a lot of potential and I'm really hoping that Marie Lu will make a comeback in the second Skyhunter book.

RATING: 3stars