A commendable debut.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Two girls on opposite sides of a war discover they’re fighting for a common purpose–and falling for each other–in Zoe Hana Mikuta’s high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu’s Legend series.
We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead…
The shadow of Godolia’s tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords.
Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within.
As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia’s reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer–as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more…
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
I picked up the Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta because I was sold on the intriguing premise of a cyberpunk adventure, queer romance, and that gorgeous cover. Overall, I liked the book however, it could have been better.
Mikuta’s writing is beautiful, and the world-building is incredibly solid. She executes the science fiction lingo perfectly. Her visually descriptive writing conjured awe-inspiring images of gargantuan machines (called mechas) serving the oppressive regime of Godolia and crushing the rebels.
It’s action-packed. Barely a page goes by without a (jocular) fight breaking out among the rebel crews or a showdown between a mecha and a group of rebels.
Moreover, Gearbreakers is perfect for young adult readers. There is so much angst in almost all the characters. Why wouldn’t there be? Everyone in the Badlands has lost someone to Godolia’s cruelty. The rebels wear their anger on their sleeves.
This suits its target audience, unfortunately, I found it overbearing. I would have liked the book better if Mikuta had dialed down the angsty tone a bit. Further, the book is intricately detailed. Her descriptions of the gadgets and the mechas were a joy to read. However, sometimes too many details bogged down the story.
Between the two protagonists, I liked Sona more than Eris because the author describes her emotions better than Eris’s. The book is touted as a queer romance. The romance between Sona and Eris is not traditionally romantic, but there is a tender connection between them.
To sum up, Zoe Hana Mikuta is an author to look out for. Her Gearbreakers will win many a hearts.
Many thanks to Colored Pages Book Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my free copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
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Twenty-year-old Zoe Hana Mikuta is a Korean-American writer currently attending the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in English with a creative writing focus and minoring in History of Religion. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where she developed a deep love of Muay Thai kickboxing and nurtured a slow and steady infatuation for fictional worlds. She enjoys writing deteriorating worlds inhabited by characters with bad tempers, skewed morals, and big hearts. Her YA wlw sci-fi debut, GEARBREAKERS, is upcoming from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan Publishers June 29th, 2021, with an untitled sequel to follow summer 2022. When she needs to unwind, Zoe sews runes onto the belt loops of her jeans and embroiders ‘Bite Me’ on the back pockets. She hopes if she feeds the crows around her campus enough croutons, they’ll begin to gift her quarters, so she can say her laundry is bird-funded.