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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Skyhunter is a dystopian science fiction/fantasy novel by Marie Lu (Warcross, Prodigy), narrated by Talin Kanami, a mute young woman whose vocal cords were scarred by poison gas and communicates by sign language. Talin battles bloodthirsty "Ghosts" -- humans mutated and modified to be murderous supersoldiers -- that threaten her family's last refuge. There are many violent scenes featuring battles between humans and Ghosts, with plenty of bloodshed as they fight with guns, swords, and knives. Rare strong language includes "damn," "hell," and "s--t" in one or two instances. There's no sexual activity or substance use.
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What's the story?
As SKYHUNTER opens, Talin Kanami finds herself inexplicably protective of Redlen, an enemy soldier about to be executed. She saves his life, but is forced to be his keeper, with her life as collateral. Talin and Red bond in unexpected ways, and it soon becomes clear that he possesses secrets that may win the war against the malevolent "Ghosts," mutated and modified supersoldiers. To save their country, Talin, Red, and their allies embark on a secret and forbidden mission to destroy the Ghosts once and for all.
Is it any good?
Warfare seems to be a universal activity, and this action-packed adventure set in a half-forgotten future raises issues of imperialism and xenophobia. Author Marie Lu can usually be counted on to serve up plenty of forward narrative motion, and she doesn't disappoint here, as her characters battle zombie-like Ghosts and deal with treacherous royalty. Talin and Red are a fascinating pair of main characters, with well-kept secrets and surprising abilities. This is the kind of storytelling Lu's fans clamor for. The surprise cliffhanger ending will annoy some readers, but Lu probably has a killer opening ready for the next volume.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Skyhunter addresses themes of friendship and loyalty. How do people form strong emotional bonds? How do friendships develop?
Why are dystopian novels so popular? What's fun about imagining a dark future?
Why do people fear the Other? How can people learn to be accepting of individuals not in their tribe?
- Author: Marie Lu
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Adventures, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publication date: September 29, 2020
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: October 6, 2020
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