**I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The comments and thoughts are my own as a LBYRPartner**
I want to start this review by saying this: LOOK AT THAT COVER. Holy smokes it is stunning!! I’m a cover snob and the cover alone drew me to this story. The blurb about forbidden magic just sealed the deal for me… I knew I had to read this one. Sadly, I was not wowed by what I read. It fell flat and I failed to connect with the story.
The premise sounded right up my alley – two girls that could not be more different if they tried end up fighting together in a war they did not start. They are forced to work together to win the war and came out stronger for it. That sounds great but what I read was more along the lines with two girls who try so hard not to get along and feel it necessary to remind each other of how different their upbringings have been. One was the daughter of a very well known and respected military official while the other came from the poor part of the town who had lost limbs in a tragic accident. They both try to use some type of magic that was either not described well or even at all. They are thrust into a war that was barely explained against evil forces that are never properly described. In short: this book talked a lot about nothing. The author went into great (and I do mean *great*) detail about a lot but not the right things. Let me expand on that…
The first 100 pages of this story were spent talking about the condition of the world in which these two girls live, but no backstory was given as to why it got to the chaos it was in at the present time. We were told about some type of forbidden magic but never why the magic was forbidden to use or even what it could do. There was also a lot of talk of “living metal” but no description of what it was, where it came from, what it could truly do, and/or why it was so important.
Forgive me but I’m not the type of reader that takes things on faith. I need you to show me – don’t tell me. This book was nothing but telling and no showing. So many pages and chapters were devoted to details of the all-girl squad being trained to fly but not talking about why they they needed to fly or what type of enemy they were fighting. The lack of major details caused me to often pause my reading while my mind drifted off trying to make sense of everything. There was just so much information but not nearly enough at the same time. It was maddening.
And that ending! Holy smokes, I did not like or agree with the ending. I’m not going to ruin anything but yeesh.
I will still recommend but urge you to use caution. I know that not every book is for every reader so maybe you’ll love it. Maybe this will be a powerhouse for you and I truly hope it is. Sadly it was not for me.