Rating: 3.5 / 5
I received CRIER’S WAR by Nina Varela in my YA Owlcrate Box ages ago, but when I saw that the sequel was coming out this month I knew I finally needed to pick it up to find out what is going on behind that gorgeous cover!
CRIER’S WAR is set after the War of the Kinds, a war which left humans subservient to the automae they once designed and built. Ayla is a human servant working at the House of the Sovereign, haunted by her memories of her family’s brutal death at the hands of the automae rulers. She hopes for revenge by getting close to the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier and plots to kill her as Crier’s father once sanctioned the death of her family, but she finds herself drawn to Crier instead.
Crier is her father’s only child and she dreams of one day taking over herself to rule the land, but her father isn’t preparing her for such a role. She begins to recognize that her father and his trusted advisors are not exactly who she believed them to be. Even her own manufactured body is capable of betraying her and she isn’t sure what secrets lurk in her own past. Still, she is determined to find out more and to better the lives for Ayla and those around her.
This was an entertaining and easy read for me and overall I really enjoyed it. Still, I wasn’t entirely drawn in. I liked Ayla and Crier individually as characters and appreciated getting the opposing POVs, but I think I wanted a bit more development to their relationship. While the politics and the world in which they live is more of a focus of the story than the romance, it felt like there wasn’t a lot of tension to the relationship to overcome given that this was essentially an enemies to lovers story.
I think the author did a fantastic job re-imagining a world where man’s created playthings take over. I was especially intrigued by the ways in which the automae had “children” by design. The tension between humans and machine was well done and there is more there to explore in the follow up novel, so I do look forward to checking that one out!