After being utterly captivated by Skyhunter, I’ve been awaiting Steelstriker. Steelstriker is gritty and full of sacrifice. It asks ethical questions of the greater good and rebellion. Delivering some serious Hunger Games vibes, this finale made my heart pound. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all, to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny.
But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare.
With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter.
Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara – or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be Talin and Red’s only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Steelstriker is not only about the big evils, the murders and colonization, but also about the small ones. The little injustices, the horror at seeing your loved ones twisted in front of you. Not just the destruction of your idea of home. And from then on, I was hooked. One thing I loved in Steelstriker is that way Lu has almost mirrored Talin and Red’s journey. The ways their journey’s, struggles, and sacrifices almost mirror each other, bringing them back to where they were.
Both having grappled with wondering if the life of a loved one is worth the rebellion. Questioning whether one life is worth them all if we have the power to make a stand. It takes courage to have the strength to fight even when the odds and situations are against us. Another element I enjoyed was the relics from the Early Ones (which for some reason I don’t remember in the first). It relocated Steelstriker to a futuristic almost post-apocalyptic feel.
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Overall, Steelstriker is a fabulous sequel that delivers action and intrigue, character development, and masterful writing. It’s about the strength to make a stand, to know that we have to act despite the circumstances. To realize that love cannot be controlled, that it isn’t a source of weakness. Find Steelstriker on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.