I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn, Molly Knox Ostertag
Published by First Second on May 16th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels
Source: the Publisher
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository
Bestselling fantasy author Sharon Shinn delivers a gripping science fiction adventure with a sweeping romance at its heart.
It is ten years after Colleen Cavanaugh's home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet's mineral resources.
Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family.
But Colleen must decide if it's worth risking all of their survival to join a growing underground revolution against the Derichets.
I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for this exciting new graphic novel! If you guys haven’t heard of it, you should definitely check it out. I was first drawn in by the cover and title for the book and then when I started it, I couldn’t put it down! I love stories centered around strong females and survivors and this one covered both of those. And while I wished for a little more backstory on how the world ended up run by the Derichets and a little more information on them, I’m very excited to see how this story continues to develop in later books!
First though, I want to talk about the artwork. I absolutely loved it! I’m not an artist nor an art critic of any kind so I can’t speak about the art in any kind of truly meaningful way but I just want to say that I really loved it and how it expanded the world so much past the words and dialogue we’re provided with. It gives us a real glance into Colleen’s world and life. This was one of the graphic novels where I actually took the time to look at each individual panel for all the details the artist included instead of just glancing at them and focusing on the words. It really was beautiful, even in a world that isn’t.
Next, I have to talk about Colleen because I really did like her as a main character. She’s a survivor and even as she has continued to lose people close to her as the world becomes more dangerous, she continues to live and work and still has hope of finding her niece someday. Of course, they are reunited early on in the book and from there, Colleen works very hard to give her niece structure and stability in a crazy world. And when she decides to join the rebels, she doesn’t once second guess herself or worry that she’s putting herself in danger. She worries about those close to her and knows she’s working for the greater good, even if it’s hard for her now. I like that she recognizes how hard she will have to work and how important everyone is to the revolution. She knows how unjust the world she’s living in is and she wants to help make it right. She isn’t a martyr or crazy or reckless but she also has a vulnerability to her that makes her all the more realistic. I admire her hard work and her ability to hope when so much has gone wrong and everything seems impossible.
At first, when I was reading the synopsis, I was really worried that the setup was too complicated and I would have a hard time keep all of the different groups straight, especially the two rebel groups. But as soon as I started, it was all laid out clearly and keeping everyone and everything straight was easy. The history of how the world came to be run by evil, dangerous aliens was a bit glossed over, though. I would have liked to have seen more of how it all came to be. We know that they came for natural resources and then just sort of took everything over. But other than that, there isn’t much development. Which I get, since we’re really focused on starting a revolution and figuring out how to overthrow the alien species. But I hope that we might get a little bit more of how the people fell to the Derichets. I’d also like to get to know the Derichets a little bit better. I know they’re the bad guys, but I’m sure they have an interesting story! We only get to see two speak in this book and they are completely different. One is pure evil and preys on the humans, especially the women. He seemed to be more typical of the species while the other was gentler. So I’d really like to learn more about them as well.
The only other thing that I didn’t really love was the love interest. First of all, the romance was way too fast. I know the world is much different than the one we live in but the romance developed way too fast for me. Especially considering how much Colleen has kept to herself over the recent years and depended only on herself. Then she meets this guy and it seems within days they’re declaring their love for each other. It isn’t quite that smooth and I liked the two together but I really would have enjoyed the chance to see them falling for each other for longer than what we actually got. And also, this guy is completely set on the class system from before the Derichets came and took over the world. Before that happened, the two were in completely different classes and he can’t seem to let that go. It’s been less than ten years maybe (I can’t actually remember but it hasn’t been too long) but almost all of Colleen’s family is dead, her house is almost destroyed, and she lives like everyone else in the run-down, dangerous community now. Yet he continually talks about how it wouldn’t work between them because he’s low-class and she’s high-class. I found this to be completely irrelevant past the first mention of it but he just could not let it go. It got annoying and I’m glad Colleen dealt with it but I just found it distracting and not likely that someone would still be so attached to that sort of thing after so many years of everyone just trying to survive.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I really could not put it down and was glad that once I started, I had enough time to finish the whole thing in one sitting. I was really intrigued by the world these characters lived in, how they got by each day living with such oppressive and ruthless rulers, and how, in the end, they were able to work together and start to see some hope in their situation. I also really liked the MC and how well the artwork really added to the story and pulled me in even further. If you like graphic novels and are looking for a science fiction/fantasy book with aliens and danger and a little bit of romance, check this one out!