*I received an ecopy of this book via YA Bound Book Tours. This has not influenced my review.*
One of the main reasons I was interested in this book was because it’s a sci-fi book with disability rep, and I’m happy to say I was not disappointed in that regard. Breaker had lost his entire leg when he was younger, and even though he had a really good prosthetic that had a knee joint and everything, it wasn’t so perfect that it was like a real leg. He still had struggles with it, like pain from the harness that kept it on, pain in his stub where the prosthetic rubbed, difficulty walking through mud, inability to walk on a downhill slope without help, a limp, having to clean and oil the prosthetic every time it got wet or dirty, etc. There was also other types of disability rep, like Luka’s migraines, Breaker’s panic attacks, and Malani’s PTSD, that weren’t featured as much but were still there. And then, at the end, when something else happened to one of the characters, the author could’ve so easily gone the magical assistance route but instead found a reason to explain why they couldn’t do that so that the new disability stayed realistic too.
Unfortunately I did have a few issues with the book though. Mostly smaller things, possibly not a concern to others, but irritating to me nonetheless. One of those things was the words used. Instead of year, month, week, day, hour, minute, and second, they had cycle, monsa, septdia, dia, hora, min, and sec. Since they were on a different planet, I could see having different words if they had different length “days” and “years,” but that didn’t seem to be the case. Characters seemed the same ages, there were still 60 mins in an hora, etc. Also, why were two of the words in Spanish? If they were just going to use Spanish, why not also use Spanish for all the words? Whatever, ok, I’m being nitpicky, I know, but then they were also replacing the word “day” with “dia” even in words where it didn’t make sense, like saying “maydia” instead of “mayday.” “Mayday” is a word all of it’s own that doesn’t have anything to do with the word “day.” What made even less sense was that *SPOILER* the humans who recorded the video logs on the starship used the word “dia” instead of “day” even though they were, presumably, from earth. But they never stated they were from earth, so I could be wrong about that. *END SPOILER* Curse words were also replaced by different words, which was fine, but then they were sometimes used in phrases that just didn’t make sense with the new words. I had an ARC though, so there’s always a chance some edits will be done in the final copy since these are just words, not plot points.
There was also a lot of knocking people out, a pet peeve of mine because it’s not easy to actually knock someone out, and no one seemed concerned about or affected by any ill effects.
Then there were the characters. Breaker was a good guy, but I didn’t feel much toward him for most of the book. But damn, what I will say about him is that he was freaking committed to his goal and his loved ones, and I ended up caring about him more as the story went on.
Malani, on the other hand, was a jerk. Breaker freed her (risking his own life and the lives of his entire compound to do so) and then saved her when she had a concussion and then offered to help her and even gave her his bed to sleep on and everything, but she just kept thinking nasty thoughts about what a jerk he was and didn’t want to help him unless there was something in it for her. Then she felt all betrayed by him, which was believable for character, but it was still frustrating because, once again, he only did that because he risked the safety of his entire compound to save her and then she didn’t want to help him willingly.
Luka was my favorite because he was the most interesting to me. He was a total sociopath, but still interesting. I would’ve liked more of his POV.
But, although I struggled to get invested in the beginning, I got more invested as the book went on and really liked how unpredictable and chaotic everything got near the end and how everything didn’t work out perfectly the way things often do in books. Plus, it ended with an unlikely allies situation, and I love that trope. And the ending makes me think the next book might be more my kinda thing.
So overall, even though I had a few word issues and didn’t like Malani, I think a lot of my issues were an “it’s not the book, it’s me” thing. This was a unique book with great disability rep, and I really liked how things got unpredictable and chaotic and intense near the end!
YA dystopian readers who want something that's unique and set on another planet. Anyone who wants a sci-fi/fantasy book with great disability rep.
Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bathe his home in justice.
All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.