By Timothy Gwyn
316 pages – ages 12+
Published by Five Rivers Publishing on August 1, 2017
Synopsis from Publisher- “Orphans. Runaways. Thieves. The Avians don’t ask questions about a girl’s past. Or her age. They need glider pilots, and the smaller the better.
Raisa is fourteen. Born to a line of powerful silk merchants, her rebellion against an arranged marriage is doomed. The Avians are her only alternative.
Mel is the young servant blamed for Raisa’s disappearance. She meets an Avian recruiter and seizes the chance to spite her employer.
When Mel and Raisa are sworn in with two other girls to form Blackbird squad, their simmering conflict undermines the whole team.
The flying is difficult, the discipline is fierce, and the older pilots don’t even bother to learn their names. The Blackbirds are starting to look like the weakest squad in years.
Then a deadly accident reveals the truth: only the best survive.”
What I Thought- This was an extremely well-written dystopian book. The book takes place on a planet (Celadon) that was inhabited after humans left Earth. It is quite fascinating. The character of Raisa is very well-developed, with aspects that both make you love her and hate her – she’s a brat, but she’s the main character, so it creates an awesome conflict. It also makes it really amazing when she starts to go through changes as a character. I also really enjoyed Chief Corvid, the leader of the entire Avian fleet – the book shows her struggles as commander, with making tough decisions and being moral support for the Avians, quite well, in a touching manner. The book is clean, with no content for kids, but I do think the book is better for an older audience, because the style of the book just lends itself to a more mature reading. For example, there is not much humor – the story’s tone reflects the dystopian feel of the book. Gwyn is able to write in a way that doesn’t make a book dark or light, but just perfect for upper middle-grade readers wanting a more serious book. I really like that. I cannot wait to read the second book when it comes out!
I give this book five out of five bookworms!
Categories: Age 12+