OMG When I got the email saying that I was chosen to be a part of this tour, I flipped out! I was hoping and praying that I could be a part of this one, and I am so glad my prayers came true! Thank you so, so, so much to Fantastic Flying Book Club, HarperTeen, and Nina Varela for this opportunity! Be sure to click on the banner to see the full tour schedule and show support for Valera’s debut novel. We are so proud of her.
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.
Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.
Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.
Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. CRIER’S WAR is her first novel.
You can find Nina at any given coffee shop in the greater Los Angeles area, or at www.ninavarela.com.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Edelweiss, Fantastic Flying Book Club, and HarperTeen for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Slavery, Death, Violence
Gay & Lesbian, POC
First off, shout out to Varela for having a brief and concise timeline explaining the history of the Automae and all the war and fighting between them and the humans before the start of the book. I feel like rather than having a brief prologue that doesn’t explain much but gives a little sneak peek into a story wouldn’t have done it justice, but this option was great. I liked reading it. So thank you for that, Varela.
Second of all, wow.
Honestly for an author’s debut, I’m pretty lenient on ratings or feelings or whatever because I mean, it’s their first book being shown to the world (at least it’s their debut so you would think it’s their first book being published to an audience) and there is still a learning curve to make despite everything. However, I really feel like Varela did such an amazing job with this one, that I’m soooooo so impressed with this! Like, I wish my skills were this great for a first novel, you know?
I’m so glad that I got to read this book. The premise was one that I’ve seen in movies and stuff – well like The Terminator and I, Robot – but I loved the take that Varela took with it. Seeing the machines win and basically take over the world with humans lower on the food chain is a terrifying thought. I feel like in this book, Varela really showed that the “machines” aren’t as black and white as initially thought, and sometimes the machines can really start to think for themselves in ways that we wouldn’t even dream of.
I also felt like this book really made you think about humanity as a concept that is almost fluid in a sense. I don’t know if I’m using the right word for it, but usually the thing that people argue about with AI or machines/robots, the Automae, is that things that are man-made can’t have souls, can’t be human or have human feelings or behave like a human can. But honestly, is that really true or is there a way for that to happen? And when that does happen, is human logic even true logic that should be the standard of our ethics and honor?
This book just really got me to think about things that I don’t usually take the time to ponder on, and I feel like this one a book that I may have to visit over and over and over again. I know I didn’t really talk much about the story or the characters or get into it like I normally do, but I feel like it’s because I can’t really form my inner thoughts into a coherent review. It happens sometimes when a book really holds a special spot in my heart, and this is one of those books. Just wow, honestly.
Also, I guess I could say this one last thing. Seeing beautiful sapphic romances like this one – even if it was an enemies to lovers trope (which I’m personally still trying to get used to and am not an expert at it, and this wasn’t badly done at all, so kudos for that!) – just really makes my heart swell. It makes me believe in love and romance and finally seeing girls treat each other with love the way we should be, despite what society likes to do or say.
Oops that was a long run-on sentence again. My bad.
Back to back dream casts! It’s like I’m back in my groove or something. I appreciate everyone being so sweet to me and allowing me to have some creative license with the characters that I see in my mind. I do my best to make sure that they at least match some of the physical attributes but I’m sure you can see that I do change it up a bit.
“It was the way her eyes lit up with interest, the way her fingers were always so careful, almost reverent, as she flipped the pages of a book.”
“It was never really a choice, was it? Wanting her. Killing her.”
I loved this book so much that I ordered it from Barnes & Noble and I can’t wait to get it. I freaking can’t wait to own this book and see it on my shelf and read it again. Maybe in a couple of years or so, but who knows? Maybe I’ll read it again sooner than that! Not like I have other books to read anything.
I had so much fun with this one. I highly recommend this one to all of you, my gentle friends. I hope you enjoy it, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. Until then, my loves.