What’s it About? (from Goodreads)
In a world broken by war, a team of young warriors is willing to sacrifice everything to save what they love.
The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death—transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.
The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.
Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.
Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.
When a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?
Genre: YA Dystopia
Final Rating: 4.5 Stars
Skyhunter was . . . amazing. Actually amazing. I think this is the best book Marie Lu has written. And that’s saying something, because I absolutely LOVED Warcross (Find my review here).
The book follows 18-year-old Talin Kanami. She’s a striker, aka a part of the best warriors in the country, who protect Mara from the Federation’s ghastly mutant . . . experiments.
All strikers, because of being silent assassins, use a type of sign language so they won’t break their soundlessness during battle and missions. They are silent but deadly.
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the prime storytelling, dystopian world-building and oh-so complex characters.
As always, Marie Lu spins yet another un-putdown-able story. She had the perfect pacing, the scenes were the perfect speed. She knows when to slow down the story, and when to have the punchy, fast-paced action scenes I have come to love.
If I’m being honest, I don’t have super high expectations when it comes to world-building. For me, the characters and pacing is far more important. I mean, in one of my first reviews ever, I called the world-building of Cinder (by Marissa Meyer), “phenomenal”. Um, yeah, I love Marissa Meyer, but now I’m realizing that the world-building wasn’t that good (Of course, she improved immensely with Renegades). But I feel like, for most peoples’ standards, this was impressive. There was a slow and careful increasing of the world as the character’s knew it, and their are so many details and loose ends that are taken care of perfectly.
And also, Talin was such an admirable character. Strong, brave, skilled, she has it all. And she understood firsthand the cruelty of the Federation, being a refugee from Basea. And, she’s mute (points for representation!). She can’t speak, due to physical and emotional scarring from her escaping Basea.
I loved her friendships with her fellow strikers, Adena, Jeran and Aramin. Aramin and Jeran are so good together, FYI. I loved smart Adena so much and Jeran was a complex character, with the different parts of his personality, his wanting of his father accepting him, and his real personality, the one he lets out when he’s with Talin, Adena and Aramin.
And also, what was that ending? It can’t have just ended like that. I am going to go on Strike if a title doesn’t come out in the next 2 months.
So, if you have been reading until now, you probably have realized that I loved Skyhunter, and
now I don’t know what to do with myself. Marie Lu didn’t disappoint with this amazing YA dystopia.
P.S. I tried some book photography and graphics (using Canva for the graphics, but my own image). What do you think?