• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Steelstriker (Skyhunter #2) by Marie Lu

With intriguing questions about loyalties and motivations, gutsy skirmishes, deep friendships, familial duty, and a smoldering romance seen at a distance, Steelstriker wraps up the Skyhunter duology with action and also with heart.

But he had never intended for me to turn against him. That’s the thing about inventing new things. You can only control the genesis of it, not the evolution. And I have evolved.

In Skyhunter, the first book in Marie Lu's young adult Skyhunter duology, Lu offered complex motivations, clashes between idealism and realism, editorialization about class and race, and futuristic advancements.

In Steelstriker, the second and final book in the series, the last free nation in the world has been invaded. Our brave main protagonist (and rebel) Talin is forced to submit to the Federation's morally questionable and physically excruciating experiments. She must become a Skyhunter.

Her psychic, emotional link to Red is thin, and she's not sure if she'll ever find him again. But if the two can possibly reunite and band together, they just might be able to gather the rest of the Strikers, and these makeshift allies could fight against the Federation, ensuring freedom for everyone they love and honoring everyone they've lost.

That’s the thing about evil. You don’t need to be it to do it. It doesn’t have to consume all of you. It can be small. All you have to do is let it exist.

Steelstriker is almost 400 pages of action, deceit, political maneuvering, and gutsy skirmishes, and Lu made me question the motivations and loyalties of practically everyone in Talin's web. I wasn't sure who would prove to be the true enemy and who might reveal themselves to have been traitorous all along.

In an appealing dynamic, Talin is the strong beating heart of the story, with Red as her supporting lieutenant. Lu offers up their smoldering romance from a distance, focusing mainly on their emotional connection and the strength of undying loyalty between these two broken characters--characters who just might be brave enough to care and be vulnerable together in a free future of their dreams.

After the unprecedented twists and developments Talin experiences in Steelstriker, she must reimagine all aspects of the world around her, and I really liked the autonomy and inspiration Lu allowed her.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Lu, a former artist in the video game industry, has written multiple young adult series (Legend, Warcross, The Young Elites, and Skyhunter) as well as the stand-alone adult novel The Kingdom of Back.

Please click here for my review of Lu's book Legend and here for my review of Warcross.

Click here for my full review of Skyhunter, the first in this duology.