I would like to thank the author for providing me a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
As a veteran female Marine and the mother of a daughter who is getting ready to go in to the USMC, I was surprised and enthralled that the main character of this book is a a veteran female Marine. Not just an Marine either, one who had seen what war does not just to a person, but to families, friendships and loved ones. The author did her research well on the emotional side effects combat does to a person. Does she over reach in some areas, yes, but purely as a way to keep the readers attention.
I found the beginning of the story eye opening, but also a bit dull. The contact Mia first has Vuri gives the reader more of an idea of how Mia ticks but the dialogue between the two doesn't flow well and it takes a little away from the story as it's being read. There doesn't seem like as much of a connection there that the author wants you to feel. Honestly, if I hadn't been reading this for the blog tour, I probably would have put the book down at that point and came back to it later. Thankfully, it does get better and not that much farther from that point.
The alternate world the author presents us reminds me a lot of how women are treated in many third world countries. Bred to be breeders and servants to their husbands, but in this world it's the men that are in these shoes. Sold as slaves, only being taught to read if they are going to be considered as husbands for the upper echelon of women, these men are broken. Mia has been brought in to help liberate the men from such a life, and she really has to overcome a lot to get there. She may be physically ready for battle, but nothing prepared her for something like this.
The story is told through the eyes of Mia and of a male slave, Eben. Together they, along with the other males, train and build up and army to prepare for the ultimate battle. Where will their training take them? What will they lose in return? What will they gain?
This is a particularly good dystopian book, set in an alternate world, that will hold the interest of readers of ages 16+. A strong female roll model that all genders will connect to. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and hope to get some resolution of matters left open at the end of this book. This is not a book of fantasy, but one that parallels a lot of the what is going on in our world right now, but just in a switch of gender.