Skyhunter by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Skyhunter by Marie Lu is such a solid start to an exciting new series! Everything I love about dystopian fiction is depicted in this strongly character driven & compelling story.
First, the world-building is spectacular! In a post-apocalyptic setting, the Federation is dominating all Nations, winning by sending in mutant human hybrids called Ghosts. They are fierce killing machines that have the ability to turn their victims in to a Ghost with a bite. Mara is the last Nation that the Federation hasn’t been able to invade. It has a unique class setting; Strikers, the elite force that are trained to kill Ghosts and are intensely loyal. Then there are the refugees who are not allowed inside of Mara’s walls yet able to set up stands in the market outside and live in ramshackle homes. Then we have the insanely wealthy that look down on the refugee’s even as they adopt their lifestyle and food choices.
Then there’s the compelling cast of characters! Talin, our main character is a mute refugee who gained a place as a Striker thanks to her Shield (each striker has a shield, sort of a protector when they’re fighting). She is quietly badass and loyal to Mara despite the fact that her mother isn’t allowed in to Mara proper. Her fellow Strikers, Adena and Jeran play a huge supporting role in Skyhunter and I quickly became invested in their stories, too, each of them is loyal, smart, and quite possibly the best type of friend to have in a world fighting an intense evil. Red is the mysterious prisoner that Talin saves and he is a conundrum for the Striker group, he’s from the Federation but what is his motivation to cross in to Mara? Talin risks her position, not only as a Striker but as a Maran, to save him. Will he be worth it?
The plot is tight, there’s action and suspense and a fair amount of atmospheric creepiness. The narration is done by Natalie Naudus, she has such a pleasant and harmonious voice that captured the essence of Talin beautifully.
I think this is a solid start to what will be a fantastic series. Now, to wait for book 2!
Thank you Macmillan Audio for the gifted ALC.
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