RELEASE DATE: September 14th 2017
AUTHOR: Axie Oh
GENRE: Young-Adult, Sci-fi, Adventure.
PUBLISHER: TU Books
After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.
When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.
With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.
“Love is a country. It’s vast and endless and full of an unbreakable hope.”
I’m a great fan of books with Asian setting especially the Korean one and this book sounded like something I’ve been looking for a long time. This month I was in a sci-fi spree so I finally decided to give it a shot. Well, I really liked this book, but I wouldn’t say it was my favorite. The characters were good but they didn’t impressed me enough to fangirl over. The romance was a little underwhelming. It nearly seemed like an insta-love. The plot was interesting but for the most part it was predictable for me. The action and the world building was pretty good though. They’re the best aspects of this book. It really felt like watching an action packed korean drama.
The main protagonist Lee Jaewon was an ex-gang member who’s now trying hard to forget his past and live a better life in Neo State. No one knows about his real background and the identity of his rebel father who killed himself in a suicide mission. He mostly stays out of trouble to avoid government digging up his past. He’s pretty sore about his best friend betraying him, and angry with his father leaving him alone. His character felt very realistic and I felt bad for him. I was rooting for him from the start. The secondary characters were pretty interesting but they’re not fleshed out well enough. I couldn’t connect with any of them. I wish the author gave a bit more focus on them. I really liked Alex, the director’s son. I actually hated this guy in the beginning, but he slowly grew on me. That scene at the end left me sad. I also liked Tera and Ama. They’re both secret military projects. Lee and Alex were both assigned as their guardians. Jaewon’s best friend Young was a nice addition to the plot. He was pretty fun but his dad was an ass. I can’t blame him for protecting his friend by betraying him. I loved the bromance between him and Jaewon.
The plot was interesting but the twists in the book were pretty easy to guess. I wasn’t invested in the romance part because it was too insta-lovey for me. I actually didn’t know when the characters fell for each other. I wish there was more interactions between them. I loved the concept in the book. Although the plot dragged in some places, I never felt the need to skim the pages. The action scenes were well executed and I wanted more. For a debut author, the writing was good. I’m already familiar with the Korean references and the words in this book so I didn’t have any trouble understanding them. The whole book was written in Jaewon’s POV. This definitely would’ve been a hit for me if it was written in multiple POVs. I really wanted Alex, Tera, Ama and Young’s POV in this book. The world building was fantastic. I really liked the futuristic setting of a country which was divided as Old Seoul and Neo Seoul. Old Seoul was inhabited by lower class people, orphans, criminals and foot soldiers. The Neo Seoul is tech driven and brutal. It’s a place for the rich and veteran families. The virtual simulations were amazing but it took some time for me to understand about the God machines and the whole tech.
Overall, it was a good read filled with action, drama, friendship, adventure, and romance! It didn’t wow me, but it did proved to be an enjoyable ride. I can’t wait to read the next book Rogue Heart which is Alex and Ama’s story.
I highly recommend this book If you’re looking for a diverse and action packed YA sci-fi series.