(The Diatous Wars #1)
Publication date: February 28th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.
In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit.
As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.
I was really excited to start this book, as I’m currently having a huge love of all things future/dystopian. I also have an obsession with the First and Second World Wars, and particularly on the women who were left behind and the lives and horrors they lived through whilst their men were fighting. So this book intrigued me as soon as I read the synopsis, and I delved into it with high expectations.
My high expectations were not only met, but blow out of all proportion. Everything about this book was absolutely incredible, from the story-telling, the pace of the novel, the characters and the world that was created. Everything just blew me away and as soon as I finished reading Shattered Veil I felt bereft that the incredible story had come to an end, but so privileged to have been on the journey with the characters.
There’s so much I absolutely adored about this story, but I don’t want to spoil any of the story for potential readers so I’ll be purposely vague.
Aris was a fantastic heroine. Forget weak and feeble Bella Swan (Sorry, can’t stand her), Aris is a true heroine in her own right, as she fights her own weaknesses, stigma and her life as a woman to be with the man she loves who was selected for military, where he worked as a medic. I really liked how the story panned out as I never once felt annoyed or bored with Aris for the devotion she showed her childhood sweetheart Calex. I admired her for her bravery and strength and the pain that she put herself through so that she could be with her love.
I loved the progression she made and how she very gradually became her own person who wanted to make her own contribution to the war effort, rather than her being there being purely in the purpose of finding her sweetheart. This also contrasted brilliantly with the way that her feelings towards Calix gradually began to change as she began to see Major Vidar in a way that was more than simply soldier to leader. The change that she made was not only in her looks so she could pass as a man beneath the Veil she wore (it broke my heart when she had to cut her hair), but also in her view of her own use in fighting the war. It was wonderful to see her becoming her own person, away from her hometown Lux, and I was excited to see how this changed her relationship with Calix, as well as Major Vidar when they were reunited.
I really connected to the characters, and my favourite parts of this novel were the character driven moments where we saw how the changes in Aris’ life made her too different for Calix to accept. I loved that I hadn’t found my favourite character until after half way through the novel, as I really had to experience the characters throughout their journey’s to understand them. Major Vidar in particular was one of those characters and I absolutely adored him in the last part of the book.
The back story of the politics behind the war that was selecting more and more young men as military personnel was brilliantly written, and I loved seeing how Atalanta’s leaders had to fight against corruption to keep peace throughout their dominion. Galena Vadim’s kidnapping storyline was particularly chilling in the most thrilling way, and you’ll have to read it to see what I mean.
This story was an absolute gem and I can’t even express how much I adored it. 5 Stars, and I hope to read more of Aris again (Pretty please?)