I waited way too long to write this review. This was an incredibly good book and I have already not done it justice by putting off writing this for so long. This book was recommend by a friend who really only had to tell me it had giant mecha in it to get me to buy it.
I really liked the characters in this book. They were all pretty flawed, marred by very different histories that shaped them that way. The relationships between the main characters were yet another source of tension but also love, growth, and learning to accept someone, not just in spite of their flaws, but in part because of them.
I liked the Asia centric themes in this book. I always go back to Eurocentric fantasy as my original and true love, but stories with these non-Eurocentric themes are a real breath of fresh air; something new in a literary world of Tolkienesque sameness. Don’t get me wrong, that Tolkienesque sameness is where my literary passion lies, but I believe that fantasy and sci-fi centered around other cultures is a vital component injecting fresh life into the genre. This book delivers big time on that.
This book is also going to piss of the “anti-woke” crowd. This is a huge plus for me, though. I don’t think I can say why without providing spoilers so I’ll just leave it at that.
Overall I highly recommend this book. It has giant mecha, which if you are like me is more than enough. It has a strong female lead character who is easy to love, even while you are angry at the choices she makes from time to time. It also has a handful of other – to avoid being spoilery I’ll just say – “modern” themes that I really enjoying seeing. While I love the classic heroic prince saves the damsel in distress stories, I also enjoy these fresh ideas and different representation even more so.
Go buy this book online, or even better at your local independent bookstore. If you live near me, I highly recommend Sidetrack Books in Downtown Royal Oak. You can also order from them online if you prefer.