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Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

I heard a lot of buzz about this book, particularly noted for its diversity and fresh setting. I couldn’t wait to read it, but when I did, I was left a little shocked to be honest.

*Spoilers ahead – you’ve been warned!*


Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

This book is YA, meaning it’s technically for teen readers about teen characters doing teenish things and dealing with teenish issues even in fantastical settings. And it was with that understanding that I cracked open the spine on this novel.

While I did thoroughly enjoy the Spartacus TV series (back when Andy Whitfield was the lead) and can generally handle the violence and brutality in shows like Game of Thrones, I was absolutely not prepared for the brutality of one of the very first scenes in this book. Remember this novel is aimed at teen readers… and yet, in one of the opening scenes introducing readers to Elias and his life at Blackcliff (much like the ludus in Spartacus only for kids as young as 5) a ten-year-old boy is publicly flogged to death by a commanding officer. I struggled with this scene. Even more so because the vast majority of the characters in the story seem so unaffected by the brutal abuse (actually, it goes beyond abuse really) of a child. A child! I should’ve known from this opening scene that the rest of the book would continue in a similar vein.

This book is brutal! The CO of this elite warrior school is an unapologetic sadist delighting in the continuous and brutal torture of slaves and Martials (the upper echelon attending the warrior school), even tormenting her own son! The brutality visited upon Laia is unspeakable and had me cringing for the majority of the book. If this were a movie, it would have to be R-rated for violence. But it gets worse, because the physical damage done by a sadist isn’t nearly as bad as the psychological torment Elias endures as part of the trope-ish three trials he is meant to pass in the hopes of becoming Emperor. The violence and brutality kicks up yet another gear to the point where I actually felt queasy reading some scenes and had to put the book down. I was so overwhelmed by the brutality, which often felt unnecessary and senseless, that when the few tender moments did happen, I was so relieved, I felt myself falling in love with these characters for the most minor of niceties.

Aside from the brutality – which I really shudder to think is considered okay for inclusion in a book aimed at young readers – the plot is complex and kept me intrigued. The main characters you couldn’t help but feel for given their circumstances and heinous mistreatment. I loved Elias and Laia although I could’ve done without all the convoluted love-quadrangling going on.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the constant threat of sexual violence against the girls in the story and the numerous near-rape scenes. Had there been at least one threat of sexual violence toward a boy (completely realistic) it would’ve perhaps felt more balanced, but as it stands, it seemed to be a stereotypical ‘boy taking what he thinks he can get without consequences from the weak and frightened girl’. Even the strongest female character in the book wasn’t immune to rape threats and that infuriated me! Why is rape always used!?

Had this book being marketed as adult or even new adult, I probably would’ve enjoyed it more or at least handled it a little better because I would’ve known to expect a different level of violence. There are several books with big cross-over appeal being marketed toward a more adult audience, books like Six of Crows and A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I think An Ember in the Ashes should’ve been marketed similarly. I was left emotionally damaged after reading this book and had nightmarish images of dead children playing in my mind for days after I turned the last page. Even as an adult book, I think this story will upset some readers with the amount of violence leveled at children. Did I mention a five-year-old little girl gets deliberately blinded with a hot poker as retribution for something an adult slave did? Yeah. Nauseating.

So, good plot, good characters, good prose if not very descriptive, and an interesting world with a slightly Arabic or Middle Eastern flavor featuring a cast of PoC characters, but it wasn’t quite as diverse as I was hoping. I kept waiting for an LGBT+ character to make an appearance but sadly, they never did. I find it really difficult to rate this book. I was intrigued, I kept turning pages – when I wasn’t battling nausea – and I did sort of enjoy it, but the brutality was simply too much for me. This gets 3.5/5 ink splats from me.3.5 inksplats

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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized


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New Release: Eden Underground by Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hey folks, something brand new and different for you!

Released today, and costing you only .99c – a collection of dark, visceral poetry by Alessandro Manzetti:

Eden Underground full cover

“Eden Underground delivers an intense and visually stunning collection of horror scenarios. Rich in eldritch dreams and manic visions
these poems get under your skin. Manzetti is a maestro of the dark fantastic.”
– Bruce Boston, author of Resonance Dark and Light

“…a personal take of the world that surrounds all of us, those hidden parts that create monsters and that serve as a dwelling place for demons that invade our lives, thoughts and actions.” – Tanja Jurkovic,

“From the first stanza of the first poem in this amazing collection, I was drawn into the incredibly dark scenes of a disturbing and nightmarish “Eden”.”Marge Simon, multiple Bram Stoker Award® winner

The works by Alessandro Manzetti are exciting and clever. Anything he writes is a must-read.” 
– Jeani Rector, Editor, The Horror Zine

“… Manzetti’s intelligent view has the ability to create out of such horrors, powerful and admirable images that can surprise.”  – Helen McCabe, author of Piper

“I couldn’t put it down. So intense is the writing that I had to keep reading. If you have never read a book of poetry before or if you never thought you could be a fan of poetry let this book be the one to introduce you to the words of verse.”Horror Novel Reviews

Check out Alessandro’s website here, order your copies here, and don’t forget to check out Crystal Lake Publishing for more fantastic, creepy reads! :)


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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


A Land Fit For Heroes: Games Based on Richard Morgan’s Fantasy Trilogy

Heya Folks, Dave here with some news that is bound to make plenty of people very happy!

Liber Primus Games and Gollancz Announce A Land Fit For Heroes Fantasy Adventure Game-book App

Choose Your Own Adventure game-book series based on bestselling book trilogy by Richard Morgan coming to iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Steam Formats later this year

Indie Developer Liber Primus Games, developer of the Narborion Saga, in collaboration with Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, announced today that a new handheld fantasy adventure app, based on the bestselling Richard Morgan trilogy of books A Land Fit For Heroes is coming to the App Store for iPhone, iPad, iTouch as well as Amazon Kindle Fire and Android on Google Play. A PC version of the game-book will be available on Windows PC for Steam.

The game-book, A Land Fit For Heroes, will be produced in collaboration with Richard Morgan and the story will run parallel to that of the first volume in his book trilogy, The Steel Remains. Morgan’s dark and violent fantasy trilogy series of books, published by Gollancz, also features titles, The Cold Commands and The Dark Defiles, which will set a much darker tone than that of typical game-books traditionally aimed at a younger audience.

Morgan’s previous stints in video games include writing duties on Crysis 2 for Crytek and the 2012 Sci-fi update of Syndicate for Electronic Arts.

Richard Morgan said: “I’m extremely excited about this collaboration on A Land Fit For Heroes as a game-book. It’s a fresh format of storytelling for the trilogy and one I’m really looking forward to developing with Liber Primus Games over the coming months”.

Traditional paperback game-books or CYOA (Choose Your Own Adventure) books, as they were also called, were popular during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and have seen a digital revival of late. A Land Fit For Heroes aims to engage a more mature audience based on the dark adult themes and characters in the books.

To discover more about A Land Fit For Heroes game-book project and Richard Morgan’s books, fans can register at the game’s holding page found here:

The Steel Remains

The Cold Commands

The Dark Defiles

About A Land Fit For Heroes

Based on Richard Morgan’s trilogy of dark fantasy novels, A Land Fit For Heroes is the new interactive game-book experience telling the story of three unlikely heroes with three interlocking storylines. Kirellin of House Caith is a skilled war veteran, Calnar is a young Majak warrior and Ilaria is an accomplished thief. Each of their paths will cross in this adventure where they are tested to the extreme – but wherein the reader decides upon their fates.

Children go missing in the marshes. Ancient spirits awaken. Powerful machine-demons manipulate the fate of mankind. But all of this is just a game for even darker forces. In the first of its kind, bestselling author Richard Morgan brings his trilogy of novels to life as a three-player game-book set in the world of A Land Fit For Heroes.

About Liber Primus Games

Established in 2014 Liber Primus Games is a small Indie developer based in Budapest, Hungary. The studio’s ultimate goal is to bring immersive story driven games to the digital marketplace. Their previous game-book titles include The Narborion Saga I & II.

About Gollancz

Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through its long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz have one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.

About Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a writer of novels, comics, and video games and has won the Arthur C. Clarke, The Philip K. Dick and The John W. Campbell Awards. The movie rights to the first Takeshi Kovacs novel was optioned by Joel Silver and Warner Bros on publication, and a film version is currently in development with Mythology Entertainment. Richard Morgan is a fluent Spanish speaker. He is married and lives in Glasgow.

Publicity Contact: Aidan Minter

Plan of Attack on behalf of Saga Scribe Games:

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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Book review: Sea of Shadows

It’s been a while since I’ve read an epic fantasy novel, YA or not. This week’s review is of Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong and marks my first foray into a work by this prolific author. Not knowing Armstrong or any other works, I think probably helped me approach Sea of Shadows without any preconceptions or expectations.



In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court–one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

So this blurb just about gives away the entire story. Really. No spoiler warning required because it’s all in the blurb.

I enjoyed Sea of Shadows, although I often found myself wondering why. Most of the book is spent partly with Ashyn as she bumbles through the wastes with her thief turned protector confronting monsters, and partly with Moria as she bumbles through the wastes with her obdurate guard turned friend confronting different monsters. At times, I just wanted the girls to get to court, because that’s where the secret and intrigue awaits, but it’s literally only in the last couple of chapters that the girls make it to court. Granted the ‘secret’ – aka plot twist – is pretty clever and does throw quite the curveball, but the book ends where the blurb does and left me feeling cheated and rather disappointed. I knew this was a trilogy, but I did expect more story and less traipsing through the wastes in the first installment.

Why did I like it then? The characters, or more specifically, the character interactions. The girls are superbly teemed up with boys who act often as foils and sometimes as mirrors. Ronan is a thief who challenges Ashyn’s rather black and white perspective on the world. He’s also been around the block, which makes for some funny and blush-worthy banter between him and the ever so innocent girl. Moria is the antithesis of her sister: brash, opinionated, argumentative and far more open if no less experienced in the ways of the world. Her guard is an equally opinionated warrior, and their scathing repartee (which of course develops from animosity into affection) makes for entertaining reading. I read this book for the characters and I will probably return to finish this trilogy because I have come to care deeply about this foursome.

The weak point in this book is the world-building. We have a forest of restless souls, which come back as the walking undead called shadow stalkers, and these shadow stalkers are only kept at bay by warriors of the North. If it sounds familiar, I guess that’s because GRR Martin called dibs on anything undead strolling around the North. The world also seems to be somewhat influenced by Asian culture with character names like Kitsune and Tatsu and a scene that hinted at the use of chopsticks rather than knives and forks. I really liked the Asian aspects but they seemed few and far between, with the girls – the main heroines – being described as pale, red-headed northerners. There are other characters, however, with darker skin and ’tilted’ eyes. The description of the architecture also seemed odd to me – going from pretty standard Castle Black-like villages to something that called to mind the white-washed abodes of Greece and then perhaps something resembling the Forbidden City. I’m all for a non-Western, non-European fantasy, but this felt like it couldn’t quite make up it’s mind about whether the influences were Western or Eastern. Perhaps the rest of the series will flesh out the world-building a bit more. I hope so, although I’m not sure that will save it from feeling a little derivative.

Come to think of it though, can any epic fantasy these days survive being compared to Martin or Tolkien? Some of the most cliched elements of fantasy are the reasons I love the genre!

Sea of Shadows is a highly enjoyable YA fantasy read with characters you can really care about even if the plot isn’t terribly exciting in this first book. I’m definitely going to read book 2 so Sea of Shadows scores 3.5/5 ink splats from me.

3.5 inksplats

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Posted by on April 21, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized


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Film Review: Interstellar

Christopher Nolan – check! Matthew McConaughey – check! Space stuff – check! Quantum mechanics – check! Epic soundtrack – check! This movie had so much going for it and I couldn’t wait to see it even though it clocked in at almost three hours. Two weeks ago, I finally got to see the film that the Internet had been buzzing about.

*Warning – There may be spoilers ahead*


I only watched this film two weeks ago and I’m having a hard time even remembering what the story was about: dust, NASA, ghosts or aliens or something, wormholes, black holes, space – lots of space, Ellen Burstyn. This is indicative of one of the problems I had with Interstellar. It started off strong and there were interesting snippets about the world and the sort of future we had made for ourselves but no real explanation as to how the blight had come about and why leaving the planet was the only option – what other options had been explored? We never find out and to be honest I was starting to get bored. After about twenty minutes, I started browsing Facebook and checking email, letting the film run in the background. What the hell? This is Christopher Nolan! Inception and his Batman movies had me rivetted even if they were flawed and Memento I’ve watched so many times I’ve lost count, but this film struggled to hold my interest.

Finally, something happens. Is it a ghost, is it an alien? In a sort of M. Night Shyamalan moment of weirdness, Cooper finally discovers the remnants of NASA – yay, space! Nope… More stuff happens and I just wasn’t emotionally involved enough. Yes, there are some interesting parallels to the whole one-way ticket to Mars debates currently happening in certain corners of the Internet and the father-daughter moments are poignant, but I knew I was being manipulated so I didn’t really feel very much.

Space! Now we get to the good stuff! But what the actual (insert expletive)? So, this advanced civilization called ‘they’ (super original) drop a wormhole supposedly for humanity’s convenience – although how this conclusion is reached I just don’t know – near Saturn. Saturn. Two light years away. Would’ve been a heck of a lot more convenient to drop that wormhole a little closer considering ‘they’ can just manufacture wormholes where they please. Now this wormhole leads to another galaxy with supposedly, hopefully habitable planets, which will save humanity, so Cooper is tasked to go take a look and follow up with the previous space explorers. I’m down with that, but if ‘they’ are behind this and want to help humanity and can manufacture wormholes why on earth can’t they give the exact co-ordinates to the best hospitable planet straight away? It makes no sense, but then there’d be no movie without the exploration of the bad planets and all the drama that naturally ensues for more than two freaking hours! Also, the planetary system humanity has been gifted happens to have a giant black hole at its center which doesn’t make for a super hospitable environment given how black holes devour light and gravity and time. ‘They’ are starting to seem like total jerks.

Then we get into the science of Interstellar, which bandies about terms like ‘relativity’ and ‘gravity’ providing superficial explanations at best for what they think is going on, but, basically, by the time Cooper and crew have sussed out the planets and found somewhere for humanity to colonize, it’ll be too late and Earth would’ve perished because of the whole time flux thing. Again, ‘they’ are total assholes because ‘they’ must’ve known this. ‘They’ are not proving very helpful. Then stuff happens and there are waves and Anne Hathaway tears and a very weird conversation about love being some sort of transcendental force and more about gravity. (It’s starting to feel like this movie wanted a different title but Alfonso Cuarón got there first). By this time I kept checking the time, wondering how much longer there could possibly be of this movie.

Honestly, I’ve forgotten why, but there’s a math problem on Earth and they need to gather data from beyond the event horizon in the black hole to help people on Earth solve this equation and save humanity so naturally the answer is to go through the black hole because science says this is possible and is a great idea, NOT! The logic here baffles me, but hip-sounding science words like singularity are bandied about so it’s all good. Cooper and his sidekick AI’d robot TARS head into the black hole and find themselves in a tesseract (another cool sciency word) made by ‘them’ and now suddenly Cooper can communicate with his daughter across space and time because their love transcends I don’t even know what at this point. So turns out Cooper was the alien-ghost sending his daughter messages via gravity – I don’t know how gravity is the scientific explanation to this but okay – which creates a big problem with the whole space-time continuum Hollywood frequently exploits and fails to understand. Cooper also has the revelation that ‘they’ are in fact advanced humans and now that TARS has the quantum data he needs to solve the equation back home it’s all cupcakes and balloons for the future of humanity.

‘They’ presumably then save Cooper from the black hole and send him safely back to Saturn where he gets picked up by the Earth armada who are hanging out near the wormhole waiting for Anne Hathaway to give the all clear from a potentially habitable planet. Humanity has left Earth without knowing for sure that there is a habitable planet – I just don’t even. Also, more stuff about gravity and relativity and love that I just don’t care about because hallelujah this movie is over and the closing credits soundtrack is awesome.

These three hours weren’t an entire waste of time though. TARS and CASE (the on-board robots) are super awesome and are undoubtedly the best characters in this movie. Matt Damon makes an appearance and his story ARC, though limited, provides one of the more interesting moments in this film. It is super pretty too. The cinematography is outstanding and all the space stuff – when you eventually get to it – is visually spectacular.

I am not impressed with Interstellar, mostly because the story weaved quantum mechanics with quantum mysticism and didn’t seem to realize the difference between the two. This film was just too long. Had it been an hour shorter I might’ve enjoyed it more but at almost three hours of questionable science and scenes set on Earth that felt an awful lot like filler, I just couldn’t enjoy it. If you enjoy more philosophical, mystical approaches to science fiction then I strongly recommend Mr Nobody or even Sunshine. I know I’m in the minority having read other reviews and seeing the IMDB ratings for this, but Interstellar gets 1.5/5 ink splats from me.

1.5 splats


Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


Film Review: Mr Nobody

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post a review about what is likely my favourite science fiction film ever, so here it is…

*There be mild spoilers ahead*

mr_nobody This movie took my breath away, and continues to do so every time I watch it, which isn’t nearly as often as I would like given it’s almost three-hour run time. The entire film hinges on a single existential concept, that of choice and that in the moment before we make a choice, everything is possible. Nemo – our protagonist – is introduced to us as a very old man on his death bed in a futuristic city where he is a fascination being the last human being to die of old age. Through a series of interview questions, Nemo gradually starts to relieve and reveal his complicated life story, which hinges on a single moment in his childhood. As a kid, Nemo is presented with an impossible choice – to stay with his father or go with his mother when his parents split (a horrific choice no parent should force a child to make) – and because he is unable to choose, everything becomes possible. This is where the movie spins out into the tangential and convoluted, dipping into quantum theory and various structuralist and deconstructionist philosophies as we follow the various paths Nemo’s life might’ve, could’ve, did and didn’t take. Some lead to happy marriage, others to emotional instability, disfigurement and even homelessness, yet another leads Nemo to Mars! I knew Jared Leto could act after seeing him in Requiem for a Dream and as Mark Chapman in Chapter 27 (this all prior to his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club), but he excels in Mr Nobody by playing not one version of the character, but no less than 12 unique iterations. It is a wonder to watch the actor realize each version of Nemo as life choices mold and shape who he becomes. Of course, these various life trajectories becoming increasingly complicated and interwoven, becoming entangled with each other as Nemo’s choices continue to change and distort reality. If you’re looking for an action-orientated sci-fi flick, look elsewhere. This film is higher grade, requiring constant concentration – and it is not a short film – and probably a second or third viewing to catch all the subtleties and nuances present not only in the obvious story, but happening in the background thanks to some truly fantastic cinematography. This movie is at times contemporary romance, YA love story, sci-fi action (with some amazing scenes on Mars), sci-fi thriller, high drama and family saga. All these threads weave together to create an epic tapestry that is difficult to digest all at once. I strongly suggest multiple viewings of this film. It’s so beautiful with a stunning soundtrack, and so sincerely acted by Leto who transforms physically and psychologically between the roles so effortlessly, that I don’t think setting aside three hours for this film more than once is such a tall order. Mr Nobody is quite easily my favorite film of all time and I strongly recommend it to those who enjoy sophisticated science fiction, which delves beyond the superficial aesthetic of a dystopian future. 5/5 ink splats for this one of course! 5 inksplats


Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


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A review of NIGHT WITCHES by L. J. Adlington

Hi everyone, I’m new to the blog *waves* Thank you Dave for inviting me over to review some super cool speculative fiction. I’ll mostly be reviewing YA books, but I’ll also review the odd film or two. I have a quirky taste in books and films so I hope my reviews will introduce you to lesser known but no less awesome SF/F stories.


About me in a nutshell:

My name is Suzanne and I’m a tattooed story-teller from South Africa, but I currently live in Finland where I hibernate during the long winters writing, reading and watching everything under the speculative fiction banner – except horror, because I’m a wuss. I have a peanut butter addiction and a shibu inu called Lego. You can find out more about me and my books at my website. And instead of giving you a picture of my face, I thought I’d show you the cover of my forthcoming YA novel, I HEART ROBOT, because this cover is so much prettier ;)

You can also hang out with me on Twitter or Facebook if you’d prefer.


And now for the review…

A supernatural thriller-romance set in an all-girl teenage bomber-pilot regiment, combining witchcraft and legend.

TWO NATIONS AT WAR. ONE GIRL CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE. Rain Aranoza is a teenage bomber-pilot from Rodina, a nation of science and fact ruled by the all knowing Aura, where the belief in witches or any type of superstition is outlawed. Rain’s regiment is made up of only teenage girls and their role is vital to the war effort against the Crux, a nation of faith and belief, where nature and God are celebrated and worshipped.

But Rain is struggling with another battle. She’s always had a sense that her nature is different from everyone else’s, and that a dormant power threatens to burst out of her.

When she encounters a young Scrutiner she falls in love with him, but is torn between what she has been taught is right, and what feels right. As her understanding of her latent power grows, the enemy threatens both her friends and her love. She can no longer ignore the power but she must choose how she uses it … But what will she lose in the process?


When I reached the end of this novel, four words came to mind: Brilliant! Amazing! Original! Enthralling!
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this up at the library. The cover immediately caught my attention (hooray for a person of colour being on the cover!) and then that blurb. Teenage bomber pilots? Sign me up! This book was astonishingly good, the perfect blend of science and fantasy starring a sympathetic MC who I adored. That said, it was the secondary characters who stole the show here, and one of the secondary characters was even genderqueer.
This book scored lots of points for diversity. What really had me captivated though wasn’t the MC, or the cool planes, or the love interest with tattooed eyelids (creepy and awesome), but rather the world. The author weaves a rich tapestry that pits religion against science, humanity against artificial intelligence, and nature against machine using appropriate vocabulary and teenage slang born from the fantastic world the characters live in. This all added a most authentic feel to the book and had me fully immersed in the story world from cover to cover.
What sealed the 5 ink splat deal for me was finding out this story was inspired by the real night witches: all-female fighter pilots from the Soviet Union who became a rather formidable force during WWII. The fact that this bit of history is woven into the story, including thematic material gleaned from Stalinist philosophy, added an extra dimension to the book, one which I found fascinating and terrifying, especially considering the YA demographic for which this book is intended. It was a brave move by the author and one she executed flawlessly.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong YA science fantasy featuring diverse characters in an incredibly well-constructed world. This book gets 5/5 ink-splats from me! Right, I’m off to find more books by this author.


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