Published by Alloy Entertainment on July 29th, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Love & Romance, Military
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The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality.
Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet—the thing she loves most, aside from Calix—feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she’s recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she’ll be stationed near Calix. But there’s a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.
Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she’s fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier—and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She’s determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.
After reading Imitation (see review here) a couple of days ago, I was loathe to pick up another title by Alloy Entertainment. But I pushed through, knowing that I needed to get my Netgalley feedback ratio up, and I am glad I did! For one, because I’ve finally hit 50% (thank you, Netgalley Gods), and another, because I actually liked Rebel Wing.
This is essentially a well-told Mulan retelling that links back to our own military’s (ex) policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.
Ramble Review Time
For a book that I enjoyed, I’m having a surprisingly difficult time reviewing it. I wish I could give it a higher rating, I really do. But I can’t because it took me longer than expected to actually get through it. I just kept putting it down. I don’t know why!
The book uses alternating chapters to follow two different perspectives which represent the micro and macro view of the political world. Genre wise, I wasn’t sure where the book fit. It could have been a Science-Fiction, pre-Dystopian kind of an era. In this world, there are Five Dominions, with the Dominion of Safara waging war on the Dominion of Atalanta. In our first perspective, we follow Aris who is a love-struck pilot from a small village called Lux in the Dominion of Atalanta. Our second perspective follows Pyralis Nekos (Ward of Atalanta) and Galena Vadim (Ward of Ruslana).
I enjoyed Aris’s perspective more and more as the novel progressed. She starts off as a forelorn love-sick girl (with a wonderful talent for flying) who misses Calix dearly when he departs to work in the military. She chooses to become a military pilot in the hopes that she can be close to her beloved by disguising herself (via technology) as a male, since women aren’t allowed to be a part of the military. Throughout the basic training process, she is pushed to her limit but she refuses to give in. As she sees the horror of war, she discovers her role in life separate from Calix. I felt extremely proud of Aris as I was reading her story.
The second perspective dragged for me a little. Even though it was relevant to the story, I found myself getting bored and skimming my way through them.
Nothing in this novel surprised me, which I didn’t take as a bad thing. I had a decent idea of what was going on, and even figured out who the villain of the story would be. I did wish the author went into a little more detail with the flying scenes. I fly single-engine planes as a hobby, so I would have appreciated seeing what an amazing flyer Aris was instead of being told so.
All in all, once I finish my backlog of other Netgalley books, I will definitely be giving the second book in the trilogy a try. This experience has taught me that small/indie publishers are definitely worth a shot! They do have some amazing titles out there.
Have a relaxing Sunday, everyone! *starts obsessing about which book to read next*