It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is books on my wishlist. I have a TERRIBLE habit of buying only one or two books from a series, mostly because I read so much at the library, so I have tons of lone sequels and threequels and such. So this list is mostly comprised of books I want to re-read, and that would complete a series I don’t fully own.
I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s for a good three years, and since first reading Warcross, she’s been one of my favorite authors. So of course I had to preorder Skyhunter over the summer (and who wouldn’t, with that gorgeous cover?).
It came in the mail the Sunday before last, and by the time I finished my library holds, I realized that I never knew how much I needed this book in my life right at that time. Last week was an incredibly taxing and emotional week for me, and immersing myself back into Lu’s lush prose was just the thing I needed to get me crawling back out of the pit of despair I’d fallen into. And even if I hadn’t been in such a dark place last week, I’m positive that I would have loved Skyhunter just the same.
Talin has lived a life of turmoil. Her home country of Basea was swallowed by the Karensa Federation, and she and her mother were forced to flee to Mara, the only nation who hasn’t been choked by their iron grip. But the warfront shrinks every day, and hordes of Karensa’s Ghost–captured humans that have been mutated and trained to kill–encroach on Mara’s territory every day. Fighting against them are the brave Strikers, Mara’s league of warriors trained to keep the Ghosts at bay.
When a defector is brought from the Karensa Federation, Talin knows that he hold secrets far beyond what Mara and the Strikers could have possibly imagined. Assigned to keep watch over him, Talin soon learns that his name is Red–and that he may hold the key to turning the tables on the Karensa Federation. But should she go against the Strikers based solely on faith–or leave Red to die?
Skyhunter came into my life during a rough patch (which still hasn’t entirely faded), so that may or may not put a bit of bias on my high rating. But then again…it’s Marie Lu, of course I’m going to adore it. Over the past few years, Lu has proven herself to be a true master of her craft, and Skyhunter is no exception–a tale of resilience and resistance in a time where we all need just that.
I’ll spare you all from my blabbing about the cover, but seriously, I could go on for DAYS about it–the minimalist style, the blending of the colors, the figures…the EVERYTHING?
Marie Lu was one of the first pioneers of YA Dystopia with her Legend trilogy, and with Skyhunter, she proves once more that she is a wordsmith to be reckoned with. Every detail–be it in the worldbuilding, the characters, or the plot–made me love the story ten times more, and there’s clear evidence on every page that Lu truly poured her heart and soul into this tale.
As with most of her novels, the characters are what stood out the most to me. Talin is such a stubborn yet resilient heroine, and her determined nature drove the story into fantastic places. Red was my personal favorite–he had wonderful chemistry with Talin and the rest, and I loved all of his little quirks and his sarcastic mannerisms. (Also, his mouse deserves a medal–that poor thing’s probably traumatized from riding around in his pocket while Red just…does his thing.) Jeran and Adena had wonderful chemistry with them, and Lu did an incredible job of making them feel fleshed-out and authentic. Also, even though I could go for Talin and Red being a thing, I appreciated that Lu didn’t throw them headfirst into insta-love or a forced romance. Again–there could be an ADORABLE possibility for some classic enemies-to-lovers romance by the time book 2 rolls around, but it could honestly work either romantically or platonically.
Skyhunter has plot twists aplenty, most of which I didn’t see coming. Combined with the fast-paced plot and gripping action, I just could NOT put this book down–every time I had to set it down, I found myself anticipating getting to read more of it later on. There’s no shortage of vivid imagery, and I felt immersed in the story in a way that I haven’t felt in quite some time. The worldbuilding helped the latter fact as well–the different cultures of each country that the characters visited had such well-thought-out cultures, and everything felt wholly real, like I could just walk through the pages, and I’d be in Talin’s mother’s house, or on the middle of the warfront. My favorite aspect of the worldbuilding, as far as the Karensa Federation goes, was that of the Ghosts. I’m just a sucker for any kind of freaky, Mike Mignola-style monsters in stories, so…(I kind of imagined them how the wendigos are drawn in B.P.R.D.)
TW FOR THE IMAGE BELOW: Blood
And through it all, there’s themes of fighting back–against colonialism, against discrimination and prejudice, and against all odds. It’s just the right blend of resourceful determination that we need in these troubling times, and even though most of us have grown tired of dystopias as a whole (seeing as we’re currently living in one…[ahem]), it’s a must read for all.
All in all, another stunning gem of a novel to add to Marie Lu’s near-flawless repertoire, and a tale of resistance and resilience that will stand the test of time. 4.5 stars!
Skyhunter is the first book in the Skyhunter duology, followed by an untitled, forthcoming second novel set to be published in 2021. Marie Lu is also the author of the Legend series (Legend, Prodigy, Champion, and Rebel), the Young Elites trilogy (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, and The Midnight Star), the Warcross series (Warcross and Wildcard), and the standalone The Kingdom of Back.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Friday, bibliophiles! Man, I’m so glad to have a few days off…
Brianna @ Brianna’s Books and Randomness tagged me (thanks so much!), but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find who created the tag. (If you know, please let me know!) I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, and the results were definitely interesting…
Pick 8 books off your shelves (try to not pick just your favorites!)
Arrange them into a random order (randomizers are good for this).
In the order they are arranged, open them to a random page and write down the first name you see. Don’t mix up the names!
In the last book, find the name of an animal/pet and write it down.
Put the names in the right category.
Tag people (spread the love) copy and paste these rules in your post, or write them out yourself.
Okay, so this tag leaves a lot to be desired in the fictional parent category (shoutout to my actual parents for being the most amazing and supportive people), but KADY WOULD BE AN AMAZING SISTER. SHORT GIRLS UNITE!
And on that subject, WHO’S EXCITED FOR MEMENTO? I preordered it, I can’t wait to read it!
I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s works ever since I first read Warcross, and the Legendseries after that. Her writing has never failed to stun me, no matter what genre her novels happen to be in. So naturally, I decided to buy this one on my first bookstore trip since the pandemic started. And though I expected to love it, The Kingdom of Back blew me away–one of her best novels to date.
For as long as she can remember, Nannerl Mozart and her younger brother Wolfgang have had an unbreakable bond, spurred on by their shared talent for music. But as her brother grows older, it becomes clear that he is a musical prodigy. Her father now overlooks her in favor of her younger brother, even though she possesses an almost equal musical prowess. Now, she and her brother are to perform for the royalty all over Europe, only stopping when she is of age to be married off.
But one night, before they leave on their grand tour, Nannerl is visited by an ethereal stranger, who claims to come from a faraway land beyond human sight. This land is the same place that she and Wolfgang have dreamed up, a backwards reflection of our own world, dubbed the Kingdom of Back. He offers her the chance to be remembered in history, but in exchange, she must complete a quest that will take her through the perilous underbelly of this fantastical world. These feats may secure her place in history alongside her brother–but at what cost?
Ladies, gentlemen and others, this is solid, concrete proof that Marie Lu can dish up a lavish tale in any genre that she so chooses, and do it masterfully no matter what.
The Kingdom of Back reads like a lush fairytale. Lu’s signature writing style shines through in the worldbuilding, both in the historical setting of 18th century Europe and the magical Kingdom of Back. Her prose is positively enchanting, transporting me to faraway lands and making me enjoy every single minute of it. Every word painted a gorgeous picture of a land that I would gladly immerse myself in. I read this one up in almost a single sitting, and a beautiful treasure was found on every single page.
And the characters. CAN WE TALK about these characters? With both Nannerl and Woferl/Wolfgang, Lu has breathed new life into these figures, transforming them into sister and brother that could fit into any fairytale. Nannerl’s struggles with being overshadowed and being a society that doesn’t take kindly to women expressing their talents were all too real, making for a lushly relatable character. Oh, and HYACINTH. HYACINTH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH…again, Lu’s prose makes him seem beautifully real, and though I did predict that something was shifty with him, I adored him anyway. He might have been my favorite character, reminiscent of the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, and many others.
All in all, one of Marie Lu’s best novels to date, an ethereal fairytale with relatable characters and prose to be reckoned with. 4.5 stars!
The Kingdom of Back is a standalone novel, but Marie Lu has many other series out, including the Legend trilogy, the Young Elites trilogy (my favorite of the bunch), the Warcross series, and the upcoming novel Skyhunter.
This just popped up on my recommended. I haven’t heard anything by Slum Sociable, but I love “Somebody to Love Me,” and this is a great cover!
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!
It would be an exaggeration to say that I was excited for this book to come out.
Since I finished it in November, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a sequel, clicking the “want-to-read” button before it even had a cover, and patiently looking through Marie Lu’s Instragram stories for the quotes she put out every Wednesday for a while. And at last, all of my prayers have been answered! I managed to find a signed copy (SQUEE) of Wilcard at the bookstore over the weekend, and I cradled it in my arms (along with a paperback of Shadow and Bone) all the way home.
And I must say, my expectations were pretty high, but Wilcard exceeded them all. FANTASTIC SEQUEL, if I do say so myself!
Now, before I begin, if you want to read my review of the first book in this series, go check out 11/28/17. 🙂
Enjoy this week’s review!
Wildcard (Warcross, #2)
After the shocking events of the Warcross championships and discovering the true intent of Hideo Tanaka’s newest invention, Emika Chen barely has time to catch her breath. But now, she’s been swept off on another mission, one with international consequences. With a massive bounty lying on her shoulders, she and her fellow Phoenix Riders team members are determined to take down Hideo and expose the truth. But the only place where they may find the answers-and protection-is from Zero, the notorious assassin who’s action affected the Warcross championship forever. Will Emika be able to send Hideo’s empire crumbling-and escape with her life?
Wildcard was just as thrilling, if not more, than its predecessor. Marie Lu’s signature writing, paired with a vibrant world and utterly lovable characters with perfect chemistry, made for a sequel that truly packed a punch. If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you read Warcross, and immediately follow it up with this book!
Since it only came out about a month ago, we don’t have any news about the sequel. But if Marie Lu is sticking to her usual format, we can reasonably assume that we’ll get an end to this trilogy in this coming year. And man, I really hope we do, because the end left me gaping like a fish. I’M SO EXCITED.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s review, and have a great rest of your day!
Before I get on with this post, I’d like to mention a few things.
Happy Holidays, guys! I hope you all are enjoying your Holiday season!
Oops. Sorry about the absence of the BRT this Tuesday. I had just gotten off the high that was Christmas Day and the thought of doing the book review never crossed my mind. I won’t be able to do a BRT 2-year anniversary post (that would have been tomorrow) nor a first BRT of 2017 for I will be in Florida once again. Sorry, guys.
Alright, I take back what I said about 2016 being the best and worst year of my life. It’s now probably just the worst. 2017 was…well…like 2016, but a little less horrible. Like last year, lots of people died, humans did a bunch of terrible things, there’s been a bunch of horrible natural disasters, and one of the best singers of all time came out with an underwhelming fifth album. (Sorry, Annie…) What I’m saying is that it’s been one heck of a ride this year. I’m glad we’ve gotten through it…well, technically, we’ve got a couple more days, but you know what I mean.
But as with 2016, there have been some truly great things that happened this year. We’ve gotten a truckload of fantastic books (Nightfall, Darkness of Dragons, Warcross, Whichwood etc.), movies (The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and even though I haven’t seen it, I know this one’s going to be awesome, The Shape of Water), albums (Everything Now, Heartworms) and TV shows (Stranger Things 2). Of course, we’ve gotten meh material from all of those categories (Thor Ragnarok, MASSEDUCTION, etc.), but man, as far as some of those things go, we’ve gotten pretty lucky. Pretty lucky to have all of these amazing things, and lucky to be alive in the first place.
And this year has been a big year for me personally as well. I’ve conquered some fears, visited some astounding and eye-opening new places (the Grand Canyon and New York City), honed my drawing skills, and realized my writing potential. Also, meeting Millie Bobby Brown at Denver Comic Con was most definitely a highlight. She was such a nice person. It was such an honor to meet her. If you’re reading this, Millie, thank you so much.
Now, 2018 is just around the bend. I’ve got hopes that we’ll further rise from the ashes of years previously, strive to be brave, strong, and kind. We can try and make the world a bit of a better place. Also, we can try and hold in our excitement for Avengers: Infinity War until May. OH MY GOD, THAT TRAILER LOOKED AWESOME!
Let’s make 2018 a great year, everyone. Together. *holds out lightsaber for no apparent reason*
Hey there, everyone, and welcome to the last BRT of November 2017! I hope you all had a spectacular break and Thanksgiving! Let’s get through the last two days of this boring months together…with BOOKS!
I read this over break, as you might have gathered. I initially found it because it was a nominee for the “Best YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy” category on the Goodreads Choice Awards this year. Scythe was there too, so I voted for it, but I clicked on Warcross because, well, to put it simply, the cover is FANTASTIC. And the description seemed really cool, too. So I checked it out at the library, and was blown away. I hope you are too!
In the not-so-distant future, people can escape to exciting game worlds with a pair of virtual reality glasses. And one of those games is Warcross-a competitive game with a global following. Emika Chen is only one out of countless fans, but she’s got a special job-she’s a bounty hunter, searching for players who do illegal deeds in-game. But her family is struggling, so she uses her hacking prowess to steal a rare object in Warcross. Intending to snag some money, Emika instead catches the eye of the game’s billionaire creator, and is soon spwept into the International Warcross Championships, acting as an in-game spy. Rumors of corruption are spreading, with potentially global consequences. Can Emika track down the source and save the games?
I still hope Scythe will win the GCA this year, but I won’t be surprised if Warcross wins, either. Marie Lu has built an imaginative, realistic future world, complete with unforgettable characters and splendid writing. Sci-fi fans, look no further! This is the book for you.
Well, I hope you guys have a fantastic night. I promise I’ll try and get out some more fan arts for you soon. Bye bye! 😉