$50 GIVEAWAY and REVIEW: Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart
Published on February 28th 2014 Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.
In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit.
As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.
Shattered Veil was a total surprise and even though the book started out a little slow, it only got better and better as the story went on. By the end, I was totally invested in Aris and her relationship.
OK, so this book is a new adult science fiction. That’s the perfect way to describe it too. This is absolutely a coming of age story told through the eyes of a girl who lives in a world that is technologically superior and not at all like our own.
One thing that sets this book apart from some others that might be similar is the fact that it’s not a dystopian and it’s not post-apocalyptic. Things are not perfect in Aris’ world, but they are not truly repressive politically.
Aris is a girl with a special talent – she’s a flyer. She can fly like nobody’s business. She comes from a farm and her job, the one she has and the one she’s going to be “selected’ for as an adult (that sorta reminded me of Divergent, but without all the drama and angst.) is crop dusting. The love of her life is supposed to be selected for healing. On Selection Day, her love, Calix, is supposed to ask her to be Promised to him and they have a nice HEA all planned out. But there’s a war going on, so Calix gets selected to heal in the military instead.
Aris is offered a place in the military as a flyer, but there are no girls in the military, so she has to be hidden way under a technology veil that disguises her as a man.
She was not going to accept this position, but after Calix leaves home, she’s desperate to go find him and she figures flying for the military is a good enough way to do that.
So begins a total transformation of this girl. I loved how she progressed as a character, learned to trust herself, believe in herself, depend on the other soldiers around her, and adapt to her life as a “man”.
It certainly is a very original story. There is a lot of self-realization going on and Aris begins to realize that this person she’s pretending to be, might in fact, be the real her. Yes, she’s a woman, and she wants things that other women want, but she’s a soldier too, so she wants things that soldiers want. Most notably, to win. To fight with courage, and to be part of something bigger than herself. My favorite part was her developing relationship wither the other men in her unit, notably, one of her commanding officers. It’s difficult to pull off a romance in a SF book, and this one was handled quite well.
The only reason I don’t give this book five full stars is because I found the world-building to be confusing. It was a lot of details. There was a lot of politics. And I actually really love the politics, but only when I can get a really good first person account of how things actually relate to the main character. This one was a little distant in the third person for me, so I never really came to understand the full scope of the world.
Other than that, a remarkable book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m very glad it’s part of a series.
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