Mar 10, 2023

Review--Steelstriker by Marie Lu


As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life.

Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny.

But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare.

With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine—a Skyhunter.

Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara—or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be their only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future.

While the fate of a broken world hangs in the balance, Talin and Red must reunite the Strikers and find their way back to each other in this smoldering sequel to Marie Lu’s Skyhunter.



Steelstriker is Marie Lu's conclusion to her Skyhunter duology and was just as exciting as the first! Once again I find myself settling back into the dystopian genre! I've found my love for it again, but also, sometimes, my desire for just a little more. While Steelstriker was an entertaining read, there were times I couldn't help but for something "more" to happen. It was still a fun read in and of itself, but I couldn't help my longing.

Some time has passed since the first book, not much, but long enough that Talin is now a changed person, she's in fact, a Skyhunter now...the Premier's personal Skyhunter. Talin is forced to do everything the Premier commands of her or else her mother, who is his prisoner, will be tortured; if she behaves, her mother gets pampered. When we get into these kinds of situations I always wonder if the one being "blackmailed," so to speak, should refuse to do whatever they are being told, saying something like "if you hurt the person you're holding against me, then I won't do whatever it is you want." But I guess then that's why they have to do the things they don't want. I guess I see the defiance in the situation, like I won't do IT, but if you hurt that person, I really won't do IT. I don't know, I feel like it would be going around in circles and that's perhaps why authors usually just write the hero/heroine doing whatever it is the bad person in charge is commanding of them.

So yes, Talin, must do all the Premier's evil biddings and if she doesn't her mother will suffer. But she has to go against her own people and friends to do it, for as long as the Premier has her mother, she will be a prisoner herself, forever. It doesn't help that the Premier hides her mother every few weeks and Talin never knows where she'll be until their once in awhile meetup. Mainly it's done so she can see that her actions greatly effect her mother.

Meanwhile, we have Red and Talin's friends trying to plan an uprising. They remain hidden with other citizens who escaped the Premier's clutches and Red is doing everything possible to rescue the girl he loves.

Things really morphed into a simple kind of plot almost, Talin tries to find ways to defy the Premier, Red is trying to find a way to rescue Talin and her mother...plans are made in secrets, people are found out, people are just felt...simple. But still done in a way that was exciting. I mean we see people backstabbing one another in the Premier's circle. I mean, it really shows how messy politics can be, especially in fantasy and dystopian worlds!

I was a bit sadden that Talin and Red were pretty much separated the entire book. There were few moments they managed to steal with one another. Once or twice it was in person when they happened upon each other in the streets, most times involved with their connection that remained strong despite the Premier trying to break it and fully exert his control over Talin.

I guess I've just been gone from the dystopian world for too long as things just didn't seem to fully hold my attention. I mean, I did enjoy myself and I wanted to see how things would end...but at the same time, I couldn't help for some other major plot twist to come about and really shake things up. It was a simple sort of take that as you will. But again, I do want to stress that I did enjoy the book to some extent, I just kept hoping for a little more umph...or something like that!

If you're looking for an entertaining kind of dystopian read I would still highly recommend the Skyhunter duology! While it wasn't my full cup of tea, it was still a very enjoyable kind of read that kept me entertained for the days that I was reading it! Looking forward to Marie's next adventure later this month...but I think that one may be a duology as well, so I probably won't start it until next year to save my sanity some grief...too many canceled series in my reading time.


Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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