There is this idea out there that YA reads tend to all follow a similar storyline. I tend to agree. What I’ve come to look forward to is the unique characters, the hierarchies, possible creatures and unforeseen twists. I think these facets are what make these books so much more to me as a reader.
Lu has a wonderful writing talent. Though this was fairly predictable in its plot progress it didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed listening to this audio. Talin is definitely a relatable character. She is strong, flawed, hearing impaired and laden with being a part of an outcast people. I am thoroughly impressed with Lu's ability to bring a character with the inability to speak and incorporate sign-language as the main means of communication in the Striker force. The monstrous Ghosts and post-apocalyptic feel is exactly what I love in my dystopian type books. Even the underlying themes are reminiscent of current events with the refugees seeking asylum and racial tensions.
Natalie Naudus narrates this novel and carries a voice perfectly befitting of Talin. I would’ve enjoyed a little more distinction between the other characters but there is enough distinction to know which character is currently speaking. She also hold true to cadence throughout the novel splendidly.
If you love Marie Lu, dystopian fiction, relatable flawed female leads or young adult fiction than I definitely recommend grabbing this one. Special thanks to Libro.FM, MacMillan Audio and Roaring Brook Press for the ability to listen to and read this advanced copy for an honest and unbiased opinion. True rating 4.5/5, rounded for Bookishfirst.