Book Review

ARC Book Review: Steelstriker (Skyhunter #2) by Marie Lu

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Roaring Books Press
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Explosive action and swoon-worthy suspense collide in this riveting conclusion to the Skyhunter duet from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Marie Lu

As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all, to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny.

But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare.

With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter.

Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara – or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be Talin and Red’s only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future.

While the fate of a broken world hangs in the balance, Talin and Red must reunite the Strikers and find their way back to each other in this smoldering sequel to Marie Lu’s Skyhunter.

Thank you to Macmillian Audio and Netgalley for an ALC.

WHAT I WAS HOPING FOR.

Duologies are a fickle beast. I have been disappointed quite a few times this year. Thank goodness, Steelstriker was not one of those books.

As I received an ALC I wanted to first mention the audio book. I listened to Skyhunter via audio and Steelstriker had the same narrators. LOVED IT. Seriously fantastic. I was able to listen at 2.5x speed and had no trouble with the narration. They did an incredible job and would highly recommend!

Now the book itself, ohhhhh the ACTION [and the pain]. This book is not light-hearted or for the feint of heart. Full of drama and intrigue as page by page I wasn’t sure who would survive. With that, there were some times I felt the book was slow (most of the middle). Some scenes and portions of the plot didn’t seem to work towards fulfilling the ultimate goal that was set-up in book one. It came noticeable enough to mention, but luckily the rest of the book carried over well.

And I would have desperately loved even more romance. I adore Red and Talin. These incredible brave, tough and scarred souls who found each other amidst everything crumbling around them. Wow I couldn’t get enough of their connection and the handful of moments I got with them on the same page.

Gratefully, those needed taken down are and the world can start grappling with all that has befallen their nations. I’m glad for an epilogue (that was necessary) to tie up some plot points and give a glimpse at the future.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to one implied closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes, mutilation and medical experimentation, torture, poisoning, blood and gore depiction, executions

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Book Review

Book Review: Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Sci-fi
Length: 374 pages
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Release Date: September 29th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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?

FANTASTIC.

A nod to the audio for this one as well. I loved it.

This book was great. I have a hit and miss vibe with Lu’s books, this has renewed my faith that I do love her writing and story telling. I was captivated from the first chapters for Skyhunter. It’s so easy to fall into the writing style and to be captured by how everything starts out.

I loved the scheming and plot. I knew what the story was about and loved the shock value moments of finding out new information. Talin was such a formidable heroine. She is strong and memorable. Talin and Red are a new fav ship that better be sailing off in the next book. Their connection and friendship really helped drive the story as two people from different sides of the land. There’s so much action, and twists and turns. For a sci-fi/dystopia novel I was enraptured (it’s usually not my go-to). The flow kept things moving and I don’t remember anything ever dragging.

But also, THAT ENDING. Talk about a cliffhanger. I have no idea where things are going now and I kinda love it. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia / sci-fi
  • Language: a little
  • Violence: physical, creature attacks, zombie (referred to as ghosts) attacks, depictions of battles; bloody/gory but not overly so

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: December 2020

We’ve made it to the end of the year! I wrapped up the year with 250 books and am excited to see what a new year holds. I know I won’t hit that high of books again, but it was fun to expand genres and authors I’ve read.

Happy New Year y’all.

Favorite Reads: Forever Wild, A Sky Beyond the Storm, Skyhunter, and A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
Least Favorite: Winterkeep, The Christmas Swap

  • Forever Wild (The Simple Wild #2.5) by K.A. Tucker
  • A Match Made at Christmas by Courtney Walsh
  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend
  • A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
  • A Christmas Spark by Cindy Steel
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities #1) by Shannon Messenger
  • Layla by Colleen Hoover
  • [ARC] A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright
  • On the Second Day of Christmas by Deborah M. Hathaway
  • Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend
  • Firefight (The Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson
  • [ARC] The Lion of the Sea (The Maiden Ship #2) by Micheline Ryckman
  • Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu
  • The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
  • [ARC] Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4) by Krisin Cashore
  • Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2) by Shannon Messenger
  • A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
  • A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  • [Gifted] Ex on the Beach (The Extra Series #11) by Megan Walker and Janci Patterson
  • Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

How was your reading this month? Did we read any of the same books? Lets talk in the comments!

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