I’m not sure how I’m going to encapsulate all of my love for Maura Milan into a review, but…
I’m going to attempt it??
Everything about this book was amazing, and I’m unbelievably excited for the sequel (which is called Eclipse the Skies doesn’t that literally sound epic)
Also, this review is coming at you around three/four (???!) months late but what am I gonna do. write my reviews on time?
(I’m so sorry Albert Whitman I love you and you seem to publish amazing, diverse books)
Also, some of the links provided are affiliate links meaning that if you purchased from them I would get a small sum of money.
Okay, I first want to address something: apparently this is pitched as Throne of Glass in space, and honestly? Yes, Ia (the main character) and Celaena are kind of similar in the idea that they’re a lot smarter than they let on and they’re both rebellions, but: besides that, it… kind of ends there.
I just want you all to know that this is more diverse than Throne of Glass (Ia is East Asian and another main character is a fictional marginalized group!) and that the setting and plot are very different.
Trigger and content warnings for death, genocide, colonization, and torture.
Anyways! I also want to note that this is kind of like a “typical YA sci-fi” but listen. The main character’s East Asian and poc deserve to have those “typical” YA books!! I wanted that when I picked this up and it was amazzzing.
I love all of the characters so much and Ia is just so, so close to my heart. She’s a badass East Asian protagonist and she learns to open up to others and just MY HEART. PLEASE. She’s a rebel and she’s been a thorn in the Olympus Commonwealth’s side for many years. I’m so proud of you my little ruthless fighter. ❤
The General’s eyes widened in recognition. “I. A. Cōcha.”
Ia stared him down. “It’s pronounced Eye-yah. You don’t spell my name; you say it.”
Leave it to Ia to literally stare down a general on the opposing side as she surrenders and correct him when pronouncing her name.
Brinn and Knives* are also cool I guess
This science fiction is also kind of unique (as far as I’ve seen!) in that it included the actual mass media, something a lot of science fiction books fail to incorporate into their world. I thought that that was really cool touch to the worldbuilding!
Also! I want to mention that Brinn is actually biracial! She’s half-Tawny, but Tawnies are one of the most discriminated races, so she dyes her naturally blue hair brown. She basically completely denies her Tawny side and feels as if she’s not even Tawny at all. Her character development was amazing as she learned that she should be proud of being Tawny and stops rejecting her mother’s side of the family.
(seriously writing this made me almost tear up. like 40% of the way to producing tears)
There’s also a slow-burn romance in this book!!! Knives acts as Ia’s teacher, in a way, but he’s only a couple of years older than her (he’s just that cool) and they connect and I love it. They also have a mini-fight in the beginning of the book which was so entertaining to read.
But the relationship that I really want to talk about is the Ia and Brinn’s friendship!! Aaaaah they both overcome their differences as roommates with each other and it just makes me feel so wholesome and warm and elated inside. Ia helps Brinn to reconnect with her culture and Brinn helps Ia to trust other people and to actually ask people for help!
Besides all of this, there’s political intrigue which is amazing. THIS BOOK LEFT OFF ON AN ENDING THAT MADE ME SCREAM AND IT LEFT *SO* MUCH ROOM FOR THE SEQUEL TO EXPAND ON AND I’M STILL SCREAMING AFTER THREE MONTHS.
*May I just say: Knives is such a weird name and I lowkey couldn’t take him seriously at all throughout the book
Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.
A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.
Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?
have you read this book? what are some of your favorite science fiction novels? what do you think about “knives” as a name? how do you feel about slow-burn romance?