Crier’s War Book Review | A Sapphic Sci-Fi

Crier’s War: ★★★☆☆

Nina Varela

Book One in the Crier’s War Duology

YA Science Fiction

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Crier’s War Synopsis

“Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made.
A love that could birth a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.

Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.

Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.

Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.” [Goodreads Synopsis]

Crier’s War Non-Spoiler Review

Crier’s War is a Sapphic, young adult sci-fi following two young women, Crier and Ayla. Lady Crier is an Automae, perfectly designed by her father, and currently engaged to a ruthess politician that wishes to see humans crushed. Alya is human who vows to work with the resistance, but keep her friends at a distance. Automae killed her family, and she has only one wish: kill Lady Crier.

Crier’s War offers readers the beginning of a slow burn enemies to lovers trope. Crier is curious, overtrusting and passionate. Alya is sharp, cold, and eager to make the resistance leader, Rowan, proud.

While there are various side characters, I never felt invested in them. This book focuses heavily on Crier and Ayla. We see the world through their eyes, feel all of their emotions, which sometimes makes it feel as though we were only seeing the world through a narrow scope. Crier is surrounded by politics, and the scenes making comments on class and culture felt very current, real and flushed out. But towards the end, it started to become a little more focused on romance and identity. Alya, too, is honed in on the idea of rebellion until romance begins to burn. ‘

Both woman are at war with themselves, but this was portrayed very differently. Valera differentiates from character voices well and it became so easy to root for them. Alya pushes down her emotions, whereas Crier uses them to motivate her, second guessing her upbringing.

Looking back, I feel as though not much happened. I managed to read this in two sittings. Crier’s War is a slow burner, and yet the writing style makes it a quick read. This is a sci-fi that feels like a fantasy, there is no space, or jargon or intricate concepts. There are robots and humans, but the main themes are humanity, freedom, identity, justice.

I’ve never been one to enjoy flashbacks. I am not opposed to small ones now and then, but Crier’s War had numerous flashbacks, sometimes mid paragraph, causing me to feel jolted from the story. While some have relevant to the plot, I feel as though others could have been told, rather than shown.

Despite this, the book did not end as I expected it too. Nothing took me by surprised, but I am interested to find out what happens next, and so I plan on reading the sequel soon.

Overall, Crier’s War is a good, introductory book to those looking for a small dose of sci-fi, and an LGBT romance.

Have you read Crier’s War? Let me know what you thought in the comments down below!

Thank you for reading,

Until next time, Nicole / HalfWildBooks

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