This was a disappointing read 🙁
Name: Crier’s War
Author: Nina Varela
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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I had such high hopes for Crier’s War. A sapphic, enemies to lovers fantasy… what’s not to like? But it turned out as one of my most disappointing reads of the year (yes it’s still January. That’s not the point). The problem was it was just a bit generic. From the ‘getting revenge on a murdered family’; to the Resistance and Ayla as the Last Hope of the Rebellion etc. Okay, now it just sounds like Star Wars – I mean, there was enough robots!
Ah, the DEDICATION. From those two sentences, it was a five star review from me. But for the rest of the bookI was left expecting so much more. Whilst I LOVE when a book just throws in ‘his boyfriend’ or ‘her wife’ (IT’S NOT THAT HARD!), ‘Criers War’ didn’t go further than a few same-sex couples that aren’t really main characters. There was no non-binary rep. For a book that’s dedicated to queer readers, I was left feeling a bit wanting.
Then, the world itself is intriguing. Crier’s robot race, the ‘Automa’ took control of the human world relatively recently. Normally, fantasy societies have been around for thousands of years and all the prejudices are like hereditary, so it was interesting to see older human generations who remembered life without the automa. I liked how Nina Varela addressed problems with having one species create another more powerful one – like how some automa wanted to live alongside the humans and take from their traditions, whilst others wanted to eradicate humans altogether. But I have loads of questions about the automa!! The basics of how they work is pretty simple, but how do they die? What’s the point of falling in love if you’re a robot? Can you have kids? And most importantly, how much is Crier a robots and how much is she a person?
Ahh, Lady Crier. She was the character I was most interested in, but not a lot of time was spent really building her up as a person. Or a robot (I need my questions answered!). There was so much potential for angsty scenes with the whole mistress/servant, superior race thing with Alya that didn’t deliver. I thought that more time was spent building up Alya’s relationship with her best friend than with Crier. Although it will probably be built on in the second book, Iron Heart, because their relationship (and the book really) was cut short pretty abruptly.
Further more, the actual description of the world was a bit lacking – wasn’t that rich or outside the box. Which was disappointing because my favourite thing about fantasy books is the weird and wonderful ways that authors describe the worlds!
Also, some of the lines sounded a bit corny; dramatic one liners that aren’t that powerful when overused.
If I’m doing more grumbling, there was too many plots for a 400 page book. The plot and all its twists could be clever if it wasn’t ruined at the beginning. At the start, there was this big timeline that explained how the automa came to power, which was handy to begin with, BUT IT BASICALLY GAVE THE PLOT AWAY. Skip over the first few pages! Also, I wasn’t a fan of these textbook extracts between chapters – there was too much flicking between different formats and fonts. Yes, I’m that petty haha.
To finish, I want to like Crier’s War so baddd but it’s a solid 3 star book. Whilst enjoyed it as something to pass time, it was a disappointing read. I guess I had such high expectations from the dedication, and seeing so many raving reviews, but I won’t be reading the next book. However, I’m really interested in what other people think of it; if you’ve read it or you think you’d not/like it based on the blurb, let me know in the comments! 🙂