(Alternate title: The one where I do ALL THE THINGS!)Nina Varela
Published by HarperTeen on October 1, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopian
I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
You say you want a revolution
I really don’t even know where to start with Crier’s War. I grabbed it off of Edelweiss because the cover looked good, and I am auto-approved for HarperCollins titles. Then I started seeing the hype. Then I actually read it. And OH MY GOSH I am so glad I grabbed it when I did.
Crier’s War has everything. Dual POV. An actual honest-to-goodness enemies to lovers romance. Girls who love girls. Political intrigue. A diverse cast. Lush prose. Amazing pacing. In-depth worldbuilding.
Crier is an idealistic Automa and heir to essentially the entire kingdom. She believes that humans are worth more than their ability to do labour, and she wants to make life better for them. She wants to stop the master-and-servant way of living that has dominated since the War of Kinds, and she wants to coexist with humans. But at the same time, she is strongly driven by a need to prove herself to her father, and her betrothed.
Even with these views in her mind from the start, Crier grows even more empathetic once she meets Ayla – a human servant on her father’s estate. Ayla has had a rough go of things in her life. She lost everything at the hands of Crier’s father when she was young, and her life has been driven by revenge ever since. Revenge she thinks she can get by killing Crier.
(This is what I mean by honest-to-goodness enemies-to-lovers. How many times do you see people who legitimately want to kill each other end up kissing each other? Usually it is just mild annoyance with each other.)
That said, Nina Varela is very sensitive to the power imbalance between Ayla and Crier, and the romance is super slow-burn and doesn’t progress until they are on a little more equal footing.
I think my biggest complaint about Crier’s War is that it sets the stage beautifully, but has no real defining moment of its own. Most of the battle action is behind-the-scenes, and while I still felt the book moved at a good pace, I was left wanting more of the classic dystopian elements.
Overall, Crier’s War was a SOLID 4.5 star read for me, and I cannot wait for book two!
About Nina Varela
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 http://www.ninavarela.com.
The Music of Crier’s War
This is the first time I have ever done a playlist! I don’t know if I am supposed to explain each song, or just leave the list here and let it speak for itself?
I do want to note that some of these songs do contain profanity.
1. Kind of the theme of the whole book.
2. The rebels’ theme.
3. Battle music!
4. THE KISS
5. Ayla, thinking about Crier
6. Crier, thinking about Ayla
7. Crier and Ayla, realizing how things are going to change
8. The ending
I am SUPER sad, but I could not find a song that made me think of the cave scene. Nothing fit the way I wanted it to.
So, how did I do with my first ever dream-cast and playlist? Do you agree, or disagree with my choices? Tell me why – I would love to hear your thoughts.
Is Crier’s War on your TBR? Have you already read it? What did you think?
For more Crier’s War goodness, check out the rest of the blog tour!
Stay bookish, lovelies! ❤