by Tracy E. Banghart
(The Diatous Wars #1)
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction - Dystopia
Publication Date: February 28, 2014
Source: Via Mark my Words Book Publicity
Goodreads Synopsis: **WINNER** 2014 IndieReader Discovery Awards: 2nd Place, Fiction
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 may 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.
Review: Before reading this book, I had not read anything by Tracy Banghart. Based on the other reviews I have read, this clearly means that I am behind and missing out on some other great books. I intend to fix that in the very near future. I was very excited about the chance to read and review this book, though. It was one that I saw on Netgalley and was strongly thinking about requesting, but then I received the email from Mark my Words Book Publicity, and I jumped on the opportunity.
I was thrilled to be reading young adult dystopian again, as it is one of my favorite genres, right behind contemporary. I was also thrilled when I realized that it was going to be a series, as that is one of my favorite things as well. Going into this book, I was a little worried that I had my hopes too high for it because of these things, but I was thrilled to find that it did not disappoint at all. It had everything I look for in a good dystopian novel; a new world, new technology, and people that are at war with one another.
Another thing I really liked about this book was how it reminded me of Mulan, at least a little bit. We are introduced to our main character, Aris, who is one of the best fliers around, though she is a young girl. She is sure that she has everything planned out, that she and her boyfriend Calix will go through the Selection and be together, but things do not work out how they planned. While Calix becomes what he had hoped for, he ends up having to go into the military, a place that Aris is not allowed to follow him as they do not accept women.
Of course, that does not stop our female character, and she decides to disguise herself as a man in order to follow Calix into the military. At first, I was incredibly annoyed with Aris' reasons for doing this. Sure, I can understand that she is young and sure she is in love, but it is a lot to do just to make sure she can see a guy. Throughout the story, after learning some pretty shocking things, I am glad that the whole thing becomes far more than that. We get to see Aris grow from a young girl into a young woman, even as she is pretending to be a boy.
I really loved that this book was not all about the romance. Sure, I love to have some romance and a good love story in most of the books I read, but I do not think that they should always be the main focus. I appreciate that Banghart can put some romance into the book without making it the main focus, or A main focus at all. It was set on the back burner, and I appreciated that. I was also thankful that we were not thrown another love triangle in this book. While I don't hate them, it's nice to have a change.
Overall, I was very impressed with the writing style of Banghart. I feel like she did a wonderful job with her world building and the development of characters. She created a main character that I cheered for; one that I wanted to succeed, and I believe that is very important. I look forward to continuing this series in the future, and I hope to delve into some more of Banghart's writing before then as well. I highly recommend this book.
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0