Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Feiwel Friends and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

The shadow of Godolia’s tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords. Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within. As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia’s reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer—as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more…

I mean, a sci-fi with a title like Gearbreakers was enough to rope me in and shoot this book straight up my list of anticipated list. Plus, the author seems totally badass, so I was incredibly intrigued to see what kinds of book she would produce. Giant robots, rebels, taking down a tyrannical rule from the inside. Oh yeah, that sounded like a book I wanted to read. Trigger warnings: torture, grief, blood

I am shocked almost speechless by this book.

The best way to describe this book is terrifying. The world it creates is terrifying. The giant, god-like robots are terrifying. Mikuta’s talent is terrifying. The pain and suffering and hope in this book is terrifying. It’s brilliantly terrifying.

Alright, let’s start with the world. It’s incredibly bleak, but it also seems to be injected with a buzz that vibrates just beneath the skin. Also, that word terrifying? Yeah, I’m bringing it back again. This world looked for a God. And it got them in the form of massive, mass killing robots. The kind that can level towns with a single step. Those robots? Yeah, they don’t belong to the good guys. They are used to keep people in line, to make sure they worship the people in power, to make sure a toe isn’t out of line. And they are beautifully, horrifyingly written.

The characters in this book are the definition of feral. They live for the fight. They live for the chance to hurt the government that has hurt them. They don’t have permission to die, and damn, they are not going to. They run towards danger. Honestly, they all seem like they’re hopped up on seventeen expressos at all times, which is extremely valid given their circumstances. But boy, do they certainly act like they are hopped up on caffeine. Of course, I loved them. Though, I am more scared of Jenny than anything else.

Also, the pain that runs through this book is something else. It’s so hard to describe, because it is so uniquely its own thing. It’s fighting for yourself, it’s fighting for the already dead, it’s fighting for the living, it’s fighting to cause pain to the people who hurt you. This book snaps hope in half, throws the pieces at your feet, and tells you to do something with them. And oh, the amazing things that can come out of two half pieces of hope.

This book is also a heck of a lot heavier than I was anticipating. It doesn’t shy away from anything. This is a cruel, broken world, with children trying to make it better. Of course it’s going to be dark. And the way the darkness is handled is what makes it so amazing.

I mean, this book is also very gay, so that ups the awesomeness by a lot.

The writing, oh dang, the writing. I think it’s this is what truly drives everything about this book home. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s gorgeous. I feels like a knife through the heart. And one I even welcomed.

This is weird thing to mention, but I do feel like it’s worth mentioning. I feel like it could have been so easy for this book to fall into feeling cheesy. Instead of having horrifying robots, they could’ve just been giant robots stomping around (think Spy Kids 3ish). But, it truly hits the mark with everything that it is trying to do.

All in all, this book was very, very good. It might’ve been a bit heavy in places, for me personally, but this book overall is something special. Something terrifying, but something special. Just very, very good.

Gearbreakers comes out June 29th, 2021! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

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