by: Erin Bow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: ARC provided by publisher
The Swan Riders on Goodreads here.
Synopsis (and cover photo) from Goodreads:
Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country's crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path.
She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.
If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.
Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.
Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.
Fantastic sequel to a young adult series that will interest both boys and girls!
Canadian pride - It's refreshing to read a young adult series that centres around Canada and Canadian provinces and I really appreciated the nod to Gordon Lightfoot as well!
The book is told from Greta's point of view throughout, with the exception of a few intervals where we're given a few pages into Talis' past and and his point of view. Speaking of, I really loved Talis, he was by far my favourite character, even when I was confused about differentiating between him and Rachel and Michael. He made me laugh throughout I really appreciated his wit and sarcasm.
Without being too spoilery, I really enjoyed juxtaposition between Greta and Talis and their struggles, as one struggles with becoming human, while the other struggles with losing their humanity.
The pace of the book is quite quick, I think this is due in large part to Bow's superb writing style. The are moments where I was laughing, surprised and fighting not to cry.
Although there wasn't as much romance as I prefer in my books, there is a continuation of one, however it is very muted as the story building and struggle of the characters surviving in an apocalyptic era was much at the forefront of the book.
I would recommend reading Book 1- the Scorpion Rules, before reading the Swan Riders, as you will have a difficult time keeping up with plot and futuristic terminology and dialogue.
If you enjoy reading about strong heroines and futuristic scifi, then you should definitely give Bow's series a try.
On to the next book!
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