Fast-Paced Dystopian

filled star filled star filled star filled star star unfilled
kmanos Avatar


I've heard people raving about this book since it was announced, and so when I saw BookishFirst offering it for a raffle I used my points to redeem it (and early, too, since redeemable copies went fast). I wasn't expecting a finished copy to wind up at my door, and, in my opinion, it's stunning - beautiful cover, "Skyhunter" on the edges, and even the hardback is nicely textured with the printed title. Thankfully, the inside was just as stunning. I'm usually not one to pick up dystopian novels, aside from The Hunger Games back in the day, but something about the plot intrigued me enough to want to give it a try. A refugee Striker, Talin, the first of her kind, vows to protect the country of Mara from impending Karensa Federation Forces. I found the balance between description / backstory and action to be one of this book's strengths - the reader got to experience the present while reliving / learning about the past with the main character. The stakes were always high - whenever the characters entered an action / battle scene, I was never sure if everyone would make it out alive or unharmed, which increased the suspense and kept me reading to find out. And while I'm not usually a fan of zombie book (which the "Ghosts" in this book essentially are), I did find some of the science behind them to be fascinating, without giving any spoilers.

While I don't think this was such a prominent part of the book, I did really appreciate the message Lu was telling through Jeran. One of the strongest Strikers on the force, he is abused by his brother and father, both high members of society in Mara. Once upon a time, there was an opportunity for him to outrank them both, but he chose to turn it down, because he knew that their abuse was never about rank. There is also a stark contrast between sibling relationships of Jeran and his Shield, Adena. Adena was close to her brother, and Jeran never disclosed the full extent of his abuse because he felt it wasn't fair to Adena after she had lost her brother to Federation soldiers. Several times Adena has to tell Jeran that his father and brother are not family, they are monsters, and I think the commentary about struggling to comprehend how you can continue to love someone who hurts you was poignant.

Overall, I am a little upset that I read Skyhunter so close to its release, because after that ending I'm so ready for book 2. I highly recommend picking it up if you're looking for a new dystopian novel. **Thank you to BookishFirst and the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, for the finished copy, all thoughts and opinions are my own.**