“It is always the gentle ones I fear for the most, those willing to bare their hearts, who grieve for others and feel happy for others’ happiness.”
- Title: Skyhunter
- Author: Marie Lu
- Genre: YA Science Fiction
- Pages: 371 pages
- Publication date: September 29, 2020
I love Marie Lu’s books, so of course I picked up Skyhunter.
Skyhunter follows Talin, who’s a Striker, an elite fighter that you will never hear coming. All the Strikers fight for Mara, which is the last of the free nations. If they lose a fight, they must die before turning into a mutant beast called a Ghost. If they lose the war, the entire nation will fall.
Talin is a diverse character that I loved to read. She’s mute since gasses destroyed her lungs after she fled her home country. So, she signs all the time. Sign language isn’t something I see in books often. The only other book I’ve read with active sign language was a Neal Shusterman book, but I don’t remember which one. I could tell the signs weren’t American Sign Language—because I’m the nerd who looked for that detail—but that fits with the book. Her only signing does bring a new view to the book that I loved.
The main cast—Talin, Red, Adena, and Jeran—are all different and didn’t feel too copy and pasted from another book. They all have their backstories explored well, which I enjoyed. Though, I will admit, none of their backstories are pleasant. Jeran’s backstory hit close to home, but the last piece of Talin’s backstory hit me the hardest.
The book makes Talin’s mother a prominent character, which I enjoyed. In YA, I don’t see supportive parents or adults often. But Talin’s mother is there from the beginning to the end, which is refreshing to see.
The book does deal with some difficult topics. The main one is fighting for a country who doesn’t even treat you on equal footing or with respect. It reminded me of minorities in America, especially the Indigenous Nations. There are a few mentions of family abuse, though not in long, drawn-out detail. Violence is throughout the book, especially with slicing necks, but nothing too gory. None of the above takes over the main story; they’re mentioned to develop a character’s background or to state how life is.
The thing that got me was predictability but only for half the book. In the first chapter, I could predict how things would go. A few moments after were predictable as well, but the bigger moments still got me.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I kind of realized I like this book more than I initially thought while writing this. It’s a quick read; I finished it in under a week. I’d recommend it.
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.11/5