Mild spoilers ahead.
Book title: It’s about fighter jets. The title makes sense.
Cover: Pretty neat. Definitely science-fiction. I like the peeling paper and the bullet holes, especially, and the jet looks pretty sweet.
Image source: goodreads
“Chase Harcourt, call sign ‘Nyx,’ isn’t one to play it safe. In the year 2048, America is locked in a cold war — and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United States Academy. Chase is one of the only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental ‘Streaker’ jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.
“But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. And Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.”
Onto the story:
I’m not really sure how to explain this book. I loved it… but it was also a bit of a disappointment. Allow me to explain.
The prologue was beautiful, in my opinion. It was pretty intense. The only problem is, the person you think is dead or dying probably isn’t the person who actually ends up dying. And it meant that I wasn’t as sad as I probably should have been when the death scene rolled around later in the novel. But I’ll say no more on the subject.
Other than that, there’s also Chase. Who barely evolves in the novel. She’s pretty much reckless and is willing to risk her life and her friends’ lives just to prove a point. At the end of the novel, she’s still reckless and willing to risk her life and her friends’ lives, except at least this time she is doing it for her country, and to save her friends too. And at least she feels guilty about risking their lives.
Another thing is that I liked this idea. Cold war, 2 point O? Similar to the perhaps-overused cliche of WW3, but not quite the same. It’s the US vs. China, where the United States is (for once) the one with the lower hand. But they’ve got this new plane that might just change the war. The question is whether or not they can actually get these people to approve of making hundreds of these things before Chase and the rest of these teen pilots crash them by doing stupid stunts. I mean, the book was pretty action-packed. It didn’t really feel like it dragged anywhere, because there was always this looming threat. But some of these people (looking at you, specifically, Nyx) drive these planes as if they’re invincible.
There’s a romance in the book. Actually, there are several, which isn’t surprising since it’s a young adult novel. However, I will say this: I didn’t mind the romance. It wasn’t your typical romance, in my opinion. I mean, their chemistry kicked off pretty fast, and Chase found this guy immediately attractive (everyone finds him attractive, basically). There is that cliche. But instead of going after him immediately, she tries to push back her feelings. First because of her track record with boys, then because she thinks a friend of hers likes him. (At which point, she really backs off, which I find admirable.)
I will say this: the beginning was really interesting. The middle was still pretty good. The ending, though, fell flat. First, because of the character death. Second, because of the climax. That climax was disappointing, and unlikely for quite a few reasons, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers. Let’s just say, it was a bad strategic move on China’s part.
Anyway, I think if you’re an actual young adult reading this, you’ll probably enjoy it more than I did. It wasn’t a terrible story. It just… wasn’t the greatest. I’d give this book a three star rating.