Book Review: Skyhunter by Marie Lu (ALC)

Skyhunter

Author: Marie Lu

Narrator: Natalie Naudus

Publication Date: 29 September 2020

Genre: YA – Fantasy & SciFi

Length: 11 hours 58 minutes

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

A broken world.
An overwhelming evil.
A team of warriors ready to strike back.

Talin is a Striker, a member of an elite fighting force that stands as the last defense for the only free nation in the world: Mara.

A refugee, Talin knows firsthand the horrors of the Federation, a world-dominating war machine responsible for destroying nation after nation with its terrifying army of mutant beasts known only as Ghosts.

But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front to Mara’s capital, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? What secrets is he hiding?

Only one thing is clear: Talin is ready to fight to the death alongside her fellow Strikers for the only homeland she has left . . . with or without the boy who might just be the weapon to save—or destroy—them all.

Loyalty is life.

This was my first foray into Marie Lu’s writing (gasp, I know…I need to catch up), BUT it will most definitely not be my last. I listened to the audiobook for Skyhunter, and Natalie Naudus does an incredible job of capturing the essence of the characters and really bringing this story to life.

It is really difficult to classify the genre for Skyhunter because this story is equal parts sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy. Our MC Talin is a voiceless refugee Striker for Mara, the last free nation of the world since the rest have been brutally overtaken by the Federation. Talin and her team fight tirelessly fight the Federation’s Ghosts (mutated beasts). After capturing a Federation runaway, Talin notices that the man is concealing himself as a warrior and calls for his life to be spared. What Talin doesn’t anticipate is the warrior being assigned to her as her new Shield. Now that Talin and Red are bonded, together they must find a way to destroy the Ghosts of the Federation for good.

I’ll be honest that the story started a bit slow for me as we learn about the inner workings of the Federation and the history that has greatly impacted Talin and the rest of the world. That being said, once Talin and Red become bonded, the plot kicks into high action and doesn’t let up. The worldbuilding in this story was incredible. There’s also just the right amount of gruesomeness with the Federation’s Ghosts.

I really enjoyed Talin as a character. Talin is rendered mute after she survives a brutal attack by from a Ghost when she was younger. You’d think that this would be a severe handicap for her, but it actually ends up being a huge strength. Talin communicates using sign language. The Ghosts typically know where to attack humans thanks to their sensitive hearing, but since Talin doesn’t speak this gives her a fair superior advantage and makes her one of the strongest Strikers.

I also enjoyed the chemistry between Talin and Red. I don’t want to give anything away about their bond, but it is a huge factor in the trust and feelings that these two have for each other. Their relationship felt authentic rather than forced. Romantic feelings are alluded to, but it is not the focus of this story. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see where Talin and Red’s relationship goes, but I am glad this wasn’t an instalove situation.

Overall, Skyhunter is a promising start to this series and I definitely look forward to what happens next.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for my gifted review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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