Loyalty is Life

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Publication Date: September 29, 2020

Summary from NetGalley:

A broken world.
An overwhelming evil.
A team of warriors ready to strike back.

Talin is a Striker, a member of an elite fighting force that stands as the last defense for the only free nation in the world: Mara.

A refugee, Talin knows firsthand the horrors of the Federation, a world-dominating war machine responsible for destroying nation after nation with its terrifying army of mutant beasts known only as Ghosts.

But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front to Mara’s capital, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? What secrets is he hiding?

Only one thing is clear: Talin is ready to fight to the death alongside her fellow Strikers for the only homeland she has left . . . with or without the boy who might just be the weapon to save—or destroy—them all.

Loyalty is life.

ARC provided by Roaring Brook Press via NetGalley for an honest review.


This is going to be a really hard review to write because I just adored and loved everything about this book that words are just not going to be enough. The characters are amazing and will you will love them, the world building is superb and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Let’s start with Talin, who is the sole narrator of the story. She is a refugee in a world constantly at war. But even though most people in her adopted country treat her like trash, she finds a home and purpose with the Strikers, an elite fighting force that sounds a bit like ninjas. She is an amazing young woman who is loyal to her friends and loves her mom. She is also willing to stand up for what is right and speak her mind when she needs to. She is strong and fierce even when things go against her. I really liked the fact that she was mute, and communicated with signs.

Red is the prisoner that Talin saves and befriends, they have a very special link that perhaps will save them both. Red is such a tragic character, so much has happened to him in his young life, that it just break your heart. I liked that we learn about his past in small pieces and how his true character is revealed slowly over the course of the book.

There are some brilliant secondary characters as well. I adored Rooke and her clever weapons, and her fighting partner Jeran, who was just a gentle soul but such a lethal killer. I loved them and how much they cared for Talin and eventually Red.

The world building was phenomenal as well, of course. There were many times that I could see everything that Talin and her friends saw with such clarity in my mind. The plot was action packed with fight scenes and friendly banter between the characters. But all the horrors of war were there as well. Refugees and how they are treated, death and the evil behind the conquering forces. All masterly well done. There is only one thing bad I can say about the whole book and it something that is just totally my thing. I have just never bought into the whole injecting serum/blood into someone and that totally changing them into a mutant monster. It is just something that has never worked for me, but that said, the Ghosts are monsters that I never want to meet.

Overall a thrilling new series by a brilliant author whose work I always enjoy. This is one you don’t want to miss.

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