Mar 5, 2023

Review--Skyhunter by Marie Lu


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?


I finally picked up Marie Lu's Skyhunter and it was a pretty exciting read! Since Marie is coming to a library near me this month, I thought I would get caught up on her books prior to the new release of a new series. I know it's not necessary, but it's just how my brain works! Lol.

This was definitely an interesting start! I'll admit, it's been awhile since I read a dystopian book! I can't quite remember what I last read that could be called dystopian. Talin was an intriguing heroine, she's our storyteller, and yet, she's mute. She wasn't always this way, something happened when she was a child, something that she can't quite remember that made her voice vanish. There was a bit of chemical damage involved as well that played a part in her muteness, but whether it is the sole cause is unclear. I am not certain if she will speak again by the final book's end, but stranger things have happened.

Talin is a refugee of sorts; she lives in Mara and is apart of the elite task force called the Strikers. They are the ones designated to protect the city. They are one of the last free cities outside the Federation's control. But everyday the Federation grows stronger and it won't be long before they swarm on the city Talin calls home and she will be among the few who will die to protect it.

When out defeating Ghosts--experiments of the Federation that have gone horribly, horribly wrong--her partner and protector is killed. For ever Striker is partnered with a Shield who will help protect them in battle. Devastated at the loss, Talin isn't sure how she will be able to go on. She's looked down upon for her lack of speech and is treated poorly, but pretty much everyone except for a few loyal friends. Then that is when other Strikers bring in a captured experiment of the Federation. This is something different though, for he is no Ghost.

Red is a young man around Talin's age or so, who has wings and incredible strength. But he's wild and uncontrollable. Just before he is put to death, Talin steps in and saves him, for reasons even she is not sure of. Before she knows it, Red is made into her new Shield and she will have to learn to communicate with a boy who doesn't know the language of Mara nor the sign language she and her friends have picked up over the years.

This book was very much an us vs. them kind of story. Two sides who are meant to battle it out to the death until the very end. We do learn of secrets and betrayals, and more secrets on top of that! It's a read that will keep you intrigued throughout. While I did keep hoping for something a bit more to the story, I just never found that spark I was hoping was buried somewhere deep.

I will say that the characters did keep me mightily entertained! I love Talin's strength, she was constantly looked down upon by many of her colleagues, by her enemies, by her one ever thought highly of her. I will say again, she did have two friends, Adena and Jeran who were always on her side and are the ones who join her and Red in her quest for answers. Red was another interesting character! I mean here we have a heroine and a hero who both are nearly incapable of speech. They do form a connection of sorts that will lead to them being able to communicate mind to mind and understand each other, regardless of language barriers. But I found myself mesmerized by this concept of a heroine and hero who couldn't physically talk to one another.

There was a good deal of action in this one coupled with a decent amount of suspense and mystery! There are quite a few secrets going on in the background of this one and when all is revealed in the end, it was pretty shocking! I'm glad I have the next book at the ready as I feel like it would be a little hard to remind myself of everything that happened! Duologies are always best binge read in my opinion! That is why there are so many of them in my TBR pile! lol.

I am very excited to continue Talin's story as there were a few cliffhangers. Nothing too dire where the wait would've devastated me, but all waits are pretty devastating come to think of it! Lol. But I am happy that I did wait and can dive in at the ready and see what new adventures will be had! Things were dicey in the end and I can't wait to see how things will be resolved by the sequel's conclusion!

Skyhunter was an entertaining dystopian read for sure! It reminded me of why I was drawn into this genre! It's a classic at heart and will be enjoyed by all with a sense of adventure set in a troubling world landscape! This one is sure to delight you as much as it did me and since you waited as long as I have you can happily dive into the next one as soon as you finish the first! A win-win!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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