The dystopian world that Marie Lu creates in this novel is not anything out of this world, but it’s definitely intriguing and easy to jump into. Talin is a Striker fighting for her country of Mara. We start the story with Talin and her Shield fighting against mutants known as Ghosts used by the Karensa Federation in the war. Starting out with a cut to the heart strings, Talin is faced with facing the fact that she has failed her Shield and must take her shame back with her to his family. Struggling with the loss of her best friend, Talin is persuaded by her friends and fellow Strikers to attend an execution of a Federation prisoner. Little does she know that this prisoner will completely pivot her life and open her eyes to a whole new world in this war.
What I love about Lu’s writing is that she brings you straight into the world and these characters’ lives. My heart was breaking with Talin in the first few chapters, and then immediately followed with a strong relation to almost all of the characters. Jaren, Adena, and Red are all very strong characters with unique voices.
If you are familiar with Lu’s work, then you will enjoy this if you enjoyed her previous novels. If you enjoy dystopian YA, then you will also enjoy this. I’m really excited to continue on with this story and read Steelstriker, the final novel in this duo.