Author: Nina Varela
Age Range: 13+
Published: By Harper Teen on 1st October, 2019
Content Warning: Death of family, violence and drug consumption
Format I Read: Kindle e-book
Grade: Exceeds Expectations
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will. Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death… by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.
Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.
Everyone who appreciates diverse SFF books is talking about this book now and I was so happy when I was accepted into the blog tour! I had heard nothing but praise from trusted bloggers in the community, so I was really looking forward to this becoming one of my new favourites.
Crier and Ayla were naturally my favourites. They were the most developed characters and I also liked how we got both points of view. The romance between them was a delicious slow burn but I was not so sold on their initial attraction, which was a very minor drawback that hampered my reading experience. The side characters were memorable and I want to see a lot of more of Kinok, Benjy and Storme in the sequel.
The story was well-paced with enough happening in it to keep me hooked. There was an element of mystery, a sense of constant danger and complex politics that added a lot of depth to the plot. The ending made me feel both satisfied and yearn for the sequel as it was a cliffhanger of sorts. The world-building was my favourite element because it was refreshing to read something that felt both familiar and yet completely different at the same time. Crier’s War had all the elements that one would expect from a ‘humans vs robots’ kind of narrative but also showed the history behind the world through flashbacks and excerpts that I found fascinating.
It touched upon some very important themes that I personally thought were superbly woven into the story – cultural appropriation, colonisation, men getting the credit for the work of women in STEM fields, the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressor and many more. The writing was lyrical and pulled me in instantly with rich descriptions. Overall, I think this is a fantastic work of fiction with a central F/F romance that adds a fresh twist to old sci-fi tropes.
I would highly recommend fans of YA sci-fi to check out this book. It is also great for those looking to get into sci-fi as it’s not science-heavy and quite accessible to casual readers. For the music, I’d recommend some ambient sounds or something along the lines of Vivaldi’s Autumn. For the food, I’d recommend some light snacks or bakery items that you can munch on to feel better as the plot gets quite dark.
About the Author
Do you enjoy sci-fi? Which is your favourite book involving robots or androids? Do you have any book recommendations for SFF with F/F romance? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.