Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Shattered Veil

When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?

War has invaded Atalanta's quiet villages and lush woodlands, igniting whispered worries in its glittering capitol. Far from the front lines, 18-year-old Aris Haan, a talented wingjet flyer, has little cause for concern. Until her beloved Calix is thrust into the fray, and a stranger makes her an impossible offer: the chance to join a secret army of women embedded within the all-male military.

Aris's choice to follow Calix to war will do more than put her in physical danger; it will make her question everything she believes about herself. When she and her enigmatic commander uncover a deadly conspiracy, her expert flying might be the only hope for her dominion's survival...and her own.

It's Mulan meets Battlestar Galactica, with a heroine who is strong enough to save a nation...but only if she's willing to sacrifice everything, even the one promise she swore she'd never break.

Beth says 5 Stars...
When a book bills itself as Mulan meets Battlestar Galactica it a) is immediately interesting to me and b) has very high expectations to live up to, especially when coupled with a lovely cover.  I was a bit worried going into this since I've been burned recently by a bunch of books.  Luckily for me, this book is all manner of awesome!  I absolutely devoured it and could barely put it down once I started.  The world is complex, complete with a dystopian style job selection process.  Although I generally dislike books that switch between different perspectives, it felt right with this narrative.  It allowed the scope of the book to widen, encompassing some of the politics behind the war as well as what was happening on the front lines.  The threads of the story all came together at the end in a satisfactory manner, complete with a little twist or two.  The plotting was tightly paced and keeps interest throughout the whole book.

Aris was fragile and strong, depending on the situation.  Constantly underestimated by those who know her and coddled because of a childhood illness, nobody expected her to do anything save stay in her small town.  After Calix is unexpectedly placed in a military position, she accepts the challenges that come with having to hide who she is because of joining the all-male military.  Her response to various stresses throughout the book showed growth as she began to believe in herself and her abilities.  By the end, Aris grew into her own and started to develop her own reasons for moving forward.  The supporting characters, particularly having Galena's perspective, added to the story without being placeholders.  Everyone served some purpose, or at least there was a hint of one to come later on in the series.

Overall, this book was wonderful and completely fulfilled my expectations. The world was well drawn and the society outlined just enough to feel interesting and leave room for growth.  I can't wait to see more of this series and will grab the next one as soon as I can.
ebook from Netgalley


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