Genre: YA Science Fiction, Dystopian
Series: Skyhunter #1
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “Because my mother taught me that, in spite of everything, I must choose goodness.”
ABOUT: A broken world.
An overwhelming evil.
A team of warriors ready to strike back.
Talin is a Striker, a member of an elite fighting force that stands as the last defense for the only free nation in the world: Mara.
A refugee, Talin knows firsthand the horrors of the Federation, a world-dominating war machine responsible for destroying nation after nation with its terrifying army of mutant beasts known only as Ghosts.
But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front to Mara’s capital, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? What secrets is he hiding?
Only one thing is clear: Talin is ready to fight to the death alongside her fellow Strikers for the only homeland she has left… with or without the boy who might just be the weapon to save—or destroy—them all.
Loyalty is life.
My Review: Skyhunter is an epic story that wowed me beyond belief! I have been missing out on a talented author and storyteller. Just, wow!
I normally don’t read dystopians, but there was something so interesting about the premise that I decided to read the chapter samples on NetGalley (read my first impressions here). It included only the first three chapters of Skyhunter and oh-my-surprise I was blown away! I couldn’t believe what I was reading nor how already in love I was with the world-building and main character. Skyhunter easily became one of my favorite reads of 2020.
If you’ve ever seen/read Attack on Titan and/or Dr. Stone (both of which I highly recommend), then you will love Skyhunter. It was like I was reading a brilliant blend of the two. This story I think takes place in the distant future of reality where we the readers are referred to as the Early Ones. There are ruins of pointed buildings, relics, and tech that humanity in the story has salvaged and improved upon. The fantastical element being Ghosts, the horrific results of human experimentation.
Talin is now one of my favorite characters. Even though she can’t speak, she can still clearly communicate sass, sharp wit and deep ocean compassion. Talin is willing to lay down her life every day for a country that scorns her and other refugees like her who exist in the Outer City. As the novel progresses, we slowly unravel the complex layers that make Talin who she is and why she fights. She is a warrior and her story will transcend time. A true Striker and heroine.
Red I loved even though there wasn’t much character development for him. Based on his backstory and the fact that there are more books to come, I think book 1 Red was meant to show the contrasting life of humanity: the Karensa Federation, the self-proclaimed inheritors of the Early Ones, and Mara, the last free nation. I think book 2 is when we’ll see the most growth.
The main antagonist, the Karensa Federation, became more and more familiar the more information learned about them. They believe in their right to rule over all and be better than what the Early Ones left behind. It is their “Infinite Destiny,” a somewhat close parallel to the US’s “Manifest Destiny.” How eerie. But it works so well in this story.
In one scene, the most critical question of the book “why do you fight?” really stuck out to me. Mara faces insurmountable odds and Ghosts whose venomous bits will turn you. The answers are so distinct to each character. It was such a quiet, haunting moment.
Skyhunter is an incredible story that really shakes you to your core. It’s happiness and sadness, triumphs and tragedies. It is a devastatingly shining example of a great dystopian story. I was left stunned breathless, filled to bursting with tumultuous emotions. I can only imagine what book 2 will bring.