kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Hullmetal Girls

Availability: Ready to download

Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications a Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother. Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she's from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past. In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha's and Key's paths collide, and the two must learn to work together--a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity. With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.


Compare
kode adsense disini

Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications a Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother. Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she's from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past. In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha's and Key's paths collide, and the two must learn to work together--a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity. With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.

30 review for Hullmetal Girls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good shit go౦ԁ sHit👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌shit right👌👌there👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good shit ➽and yes, this review, which has been up since June of last year, has a full review now! fun! In the quiet of the early morning, before the Reliant’s lights begin to glow, I plan two funerals. 4 1/2 stars. I have been anticipating this 👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good shit go౦ԁ sHit👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌shit right👌👌there👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good shit ➽and yes, this review, which has been up since June of last year, has a full review now! fun! In the quiet of the early morning, before the Reliant’s lights begin to glow, I plan two funerals. 4 1/2 stars. I have been anticipating this a lot ever since loving The Abyss Surrounds Us so much, and though it wasn’t Everything I had hoped for, it was overall such an interesting novel about agency. It’s also - and this is a recurring motif in Emily Skrustkie’s work - really kickass. Hullmetal Girls follows Aisha, who sells her body to become a mechanical soldier for the chance to save her brother, and Key, a girl who wakes up in a mechanical body with no memory of how she got here - or whether she consented. As the two vie for a top spot with their squad of four, they become entangled in a vast rebellion on the ship, and are forced to question everything they know. This is a book that, first and foremost, plays off fear. And I think it’s really quite brilliant to realize such a base fear: the loss of bodily autonomy. So here’s a story: I am terrified of loss of bodily autonomy! I am also terrified of body horror. And of needles. This book presumably looked at my fears and was like “oh, go fuck yourself then” and it was a lot of fun. What’s funny is this is not a book that depends off plot - it kept me turning pages, especially at the beginning, but after around 50% of the way through, I didn’t feel totally confused as to where the plot was going - I just found myself enjoying the ride anyway. I would argue this is more of a worldbuilding-focused story. And can we just talk about how cool the world is? Very Pacific-Rim with the mechanically-enhanced copilots and the friendship focus. Very current-adult-scifi with the worldships. Very 2012 dystopia with the oppressive government and rebellion. Yet somehow, this feels like something very new; via a discussion of agency and a lack of tropey romance, it blends a mix of tropes into something that feels very original. And while the characters weren’t quite as in-your-soul as The Abyss Surrounds Us, I found them really compelling nonetheless. There are two narrators: Aisha Un-Haad, a hijabi aroace girl trying to save her sister, and Key Tanaka, a Japanese girl with her memory wiped. Key’s point of view tends to be less interesting, as she doesn’t really know what she’s trying for. Something I really like about this book is that Aisha and Tanaka are both angry, and the book does such a good job of humanizing and validating that anger. They are dealing with the loss of their autonomy, of their bodies, and with a classist system attempting to continue that takeaway. The narrative around their realization of this is brilliant, and I found myself rooting so much for them both. Although I’ll admit to liking Aisha more. Actually, can we just talk about Aisha? She is such a badass, but she’s mostly compelling because she is highly motivated - we know from chapter one of the book that she is trying for a good job so she can support her family, to the point where even if you barely give a damn about the plot, you remain desperate for her to achieve her goals. I also adored Aisha’s family. Her sister Malikah is one of my favorite characters, and her devotion to her and Amar is one of the best parts of the whole book. Hullmetal Girls is also a book primarily driven by friendship - there is no romance - and by the squad dynamic of the four scelas. And wow, I just love Aisha and Pravaa and Tanaka and Woojin’s squad so much?? Pravaa and Woojin each make for compelling leads - Pravaa is Indian, pansexual, and a trans girl, and Woojin is Korean. They’re all such likable characters that it’s hard not to get caught up in their journey. Also, I can't figure out where to put this, but Emily Skrutskie’s writing is awesome because it’s both very funny and colloquial and also has very dramatic, cinematic moments. She gets the balance just right for me. Overall, it’s a an excellent book, not just about a sci-fi world and an assortment of body horror, but about agency. The narrative is so interested in the agency of these characters, and in the loss they must experience, and in their struggle, at every moment, to wrest it back. →brief negative thoughts← So I was both… into and also vaguely disappointed by the queer rep? So at one point, it’s established that Pravaa is trans and/or intersex, which is not a source of prejudice in this world, except - and here’s the reasoning behind the and/or - it’s basically just done via saying the character had xy chromosomes and then never brought up again [my friend Acqua talked about this here]. The acearo rep is basically just as one-sided - in one scene, Aisha says she’s aroace, and Pravaa says she’s straight, and Woojin says he’s pan, and it was cool. I liked it. But I also really wish the fact that the cast is Very Queer were like. an actual part of the narrative. I think the author was trying to make all the queer rep really incidental and then went too far in the Quest For Casual Queerness and just didn't talk about it past that? I got the point, and I respect her intent especially as an ownvoices author [Skrutskie is ace and sapphic], but I wanted more :/ Also, the middle is kind of boring compared to the very exciting first 25%. I guess it just didn’t quite make it to a five? But overall? Yes. This is a scifi book about agency driven by a friendship between two women of color, and I think that’s beautiful. TW: needles, death in space, body horror and loss of bodily autonomy. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I’m going to tell you right from the start that you’re not missing anything by passing on this one. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of science fiction. Even if you absolutely love lesbian relationships. Even if YA is your jam, man. Because if you’re a die-hard fan of sci-fi, you’ve read so much better. This author isn’t even trying to be original. Enhanced human soldiers that become cyborgs? I mean, that sounds awesome but the word ‘‘robot’’ is basically synonymous of ‘‘sci-fi’’. What did sound inter I’m going to tell you right from the start that you’re not missing anything by passing on this one. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of science fiction. Even if you absolutely love lesbian relationships. Even if YA is your jam, man. Because if you’re a die-hard fan of sci-fi, you’ve read so much better. This author isn’t even trying to be original. Enhanced human soldiers that become cyborgs? I mean, that sounds awesome but the word ‘‘robot’’ is basically synonymous of ‘‘sci-fi’’. What did sound interesting was the fact that both main characters – Key and Aisha – are part of this small cyborg group that trains together and are supposed to be thick as thieves and can read each other’s thoughts. But here’s the thing. The secondary characters are extremely two-dimensional, and we know very little about our two main ones. I get the appeal of having a character who needs answers about their past, even if it’s a cliché in YA, because it can potentially make things interesting. I just can’t bring myself to care. Also, I was waiting for the steamy(?), sexy(?), romantic(?) lesbian relationship to appear, but after a hundred pages I was done waiting. Does it even appear? You know what, I don’t even want to know because, while I don’t think Key and Aisha are bad heroines (partly why I’m not giving it one star), they don’t even seem that interested in each other. To go back to the unoriginality, in this world – like any other YA sci-fi world – there are groups in favour of the government and rebels who try to shake things up. And that’s fine. But the problem is this is basically what this book is about and that’s just disappointing. Déjà vu x 100. The writing is pleasant, so I am certainly considering giving this author’s debut book – The Abyss Surrounds Us – a try. She’s not a bad writer, but this concept has basically been done before and the characters did not capture my heart. DNF at page 100. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Hullmetal Girls is the weird, complex, sci-fi book about consent and reluctant friendship between girls I didn't know I was looking for. This book follows two POVs, Aisha Un-Haad (a hijabi aroace girl) and Key Tanaka (a Japanese girl) when they each become Scela, genetically altered, mechanical soldiers. Aisha makes the choice for herself, a drastic decision that goes deeply against her religion, in order to get the government money her younger siblings need to survive life in the back of the fl Hullmetal Girls is the weird, complex, sci-fi book about consent and reluctant friendship between girls I didn't know I was looking for. This book follows two POVs, Aisha Un-Haad (a hijabi aroace girl) and Key Tanaka (a Japanese girl) when they each become Scela, genetically altered, mechanical soldiers. Aisha makes the choice for herself, a drastic decision that goes deeply against her religion, in order to get the government money her younger siblings need to survive life in the back of the fleet. Key doesn't know why she made the decision she did. She has memories of a life of privilege, a world where she wanted for nothing. But her memory is full of holes, and she can't piece together why a girl of her standing would ever decide to become a mechanical monster. So much about this book is a discussion of consent, of bodily autonomy, of classism and the moral gray of an uprising. It's a deeply fascinating story, and one that can get horrifying fairly quickly if you have issues with body horror and loss of bodily autonomy - which I do! It's an alarming subject matter! There were times when this was a hard read. Related to autonomy and lack of consent, I do want to say that there are a couple of characters who experience some sort of outing, or are forced to come out, under unideal circumstances. Scela are often forced to share a brain space and all their thoughts. Due to this system, which the characters are forced into without warning or consent, we learn that one of the side characters is a trans girl. This also leads to a later scene in which Aisha is exposed to memories of characters having sex and, when she is deeply uncomfortable with this, comes out as aroace. At this time, another character comes out as pansexual as well. I, as a queer reviewer, felt that this scene very clearly established the through-line of lack of consent and autonomy that the main characters were faced with. It was difficult, and wrong, and these characters should not have had to come out the way they did, which I feel is the point the scenes were making. Some ownvoices a-spec reviewers have also felt this, but many feel that these scenes were hurtful, so please be aware of that particular content going in. Ok, so back to the rest of the book. This features and enemies-to-best-friends female friendship that I would like to shout about to the heavens. Especially because I feel like Aisha and Key were not written to be especially likable characters. Aisha is furious, bold, and unyeilding in her protection and love of her siblings. She will make bad decisions and follow them through fueled by her one-sighted view of how the world should work. I think this makes her a fascinating character, but also one that challenges readers. Similarly, Key is very much a privileged main character surrounded by characters with no privilege and that is played up in the way she treats Aisha, Pravaa, and Woojin. She is also incredibly angry, and a lot of that rage is focused inwards on the holes in her memories and the ways they make her feel incomplete. Because her anger is focused on what she feels she is lacking, as well as the people in her life who have led a much more complicated life, she is also a challenge for readers. But I feel like this book dealt with anger in such a particular, validating way that I also couldn't help but love both Key and Aisha. Besides the characters, Hullmetal Girls excels in its worldbuilding. I think it is pretty easy to see the author's love of sci-fi wound through the story, especially her love of of films like Pacific Rim. I think the world does a great job of walking a line between that dour feel of an all-powerful regime and the fun of a world set across a group of spaceships. There are moments when it feels like the book allows itself to be more fun, to embrace the fact that its main characters are super soldiers in space. I really feel like that levity lent itself so well to the much tougher subject manner and some of the complex decisions both Aisha and Key were working through. Oh! And speaking of worldbuilding, I know I just wrote a whole paragraph about some of the aspects of the mind-sharing technology in this world and what that leads to, but mind-sharing is a personal all time favorite trope of mine and I honestly screamed aloud when I realized how it was going to be incorporated. Characters who are constantly faced with that level of closeness, and how sharing one-another's every thought can shape relationships, is a fascinating concept to me that I think was used incredibly well throughout this entire book. Honestly, and I don't feel this is hard to gather, I adored this book. It had all the elements of a fast-paced sci-fi story I was looking for, it had excellent characters, worldbuilding, stakes, and an exploration of what one is willing to do for freedom that impressed me so deeply. I loved every second of this book, and I can't wait to see how Emily Skrutskie continues to write worlds and stories that are all-consumingly fantastic. ************** Update June 27, 2018: RTC, this was fabulous ************** Apparently one of the MCs is aroace?? I am dying??

  4. 5 out of 5

    destiny ☠ howling libraries

    ETA — SECOND THOUGHTS: I had a lot of issues with the treatment of queer characters in this book, which I wanted to mention in my review, but didn't know how to word things. The representations in this book are pansexual, ace/aro, and trans, and I don't fall into any of these categories as a cis bisexual woman, so I wasn't sure if I was imagining the issues I had, but after talking to friends and reading own-voice reviews, I am convinced that I was right in my initial thoughts. The trans charac ETA — SECOND THOUGHTS: I had a lot of issues with the treatment of queer characters in this book, which I wanted to mention in my review, but didn't know how to word things. The representations in this book are pansexual, ace/aro, and trans, and I don't fall into any of these categories as a cis bisexual woman, so I wasn't sure if I was imagining the issues I had, but after talking to friends and reading own-voice reviews, I am convinced that I was right in my initial thoughts. The trans character is outed without her consent: the Scela have this group-think capability with their exos where they can actually "read" one another's emotions and thoughts, and one of the narrators utilizes this to out Praava without any consent being given whatsoever. The ace/aro character is forced to undergo a traumatic experience: during their time connected to each other's thoughts, she actually has to witness visual and tactile memories of two of her fellow Scela having sex, which as reviewers like Heather and Leah pointed out, is an incredibly insensitive way to out this ace/aro character, as well as flippantly portraying what is an incredibly traumatic experience for many ace/aro people (this is even a tactic used in "corrective rape" for many ace/aro people, and if that doesn't drive the point home of how harmful this scene was, I don't know what will). On top of the poor content, the author has taken to invading reviewers' private spaces by harassing them on social media, and more. It's been a bad look all around, and has sadly quite probably removed Emily Skrutskie's other works from my TBR. You can read more about that here, with screenshots and receipts attached. Between the problematic content and the fact that this book was already a 2.5 at best for me, I'm lowering my rating to 2 stars and will more than likely not be picking up future releases from this author. ——— A lot of my friends have really enjoyed Emily Skrutskie’s The Abyss Surrounds Us duology, so when I was offered a copy of Hullmetal Girls for reviewing, I jumped at the chance because I assumed this would be pretty noteworthy, too! Sadly, it fell short of my hopeful expectations in a few ways, but it wasn’t a total loss. This is what a Scela is meant to be. A living weapon, a replacement for the ancient guns that blew holes in the hulls of ships we lost so long ago that their names are no longer taught. The Scela themselves are a really interesting feature to me, and it’s the biggest reason why I think this was a book with an amazing plot and a slightly lacking execution. The Scela are people who have been given a robotic exoskeleton to wear on their backs, which drills into their nervous systems and feeds commands and information to their brains. They’re also surgically altered to be taller, bigger, and tougher, and altogether, it’s a fantastic twist of body horror in what would otherwise be a strictly science fiction story. My favorite part of the book was learning about how the exos work, the surgeries required to become a Scela, and the features that came along with it, such as their group-think capabilities and the options for them to exert their willpowers and commands over them teammates or inferior colleagues. I thought this whole idea was super unique and would translate beautifully to the silver screen. But I’m not Scela. I’m a human being trapped in the metal they made me wear. Unfortunately, where Hullmetal Girls fell short for me was the characters themselves. There are two perspectives—Aisha Un-Haad and Key Tanaka—but I feel like the story develops much more in Aisha’s POV chapters than Key’s. Some of Key’s chapters are only a couple of pages, compared to Aisha’s 10-15 page chapters, and it made the entire storytelling technique feel unevenly weighted. I actually told my buddy reading partner about halfway through the book that I wished Key’s POV didn’t exist, because if the whole thing had been told through Aisha’s perspective, I could have stayed in the story better. I also felt like some of the characters—Aisha especially, in the second half—were making choices and displaying behaviors that felt very bizarre compared to their original personality constructs. As someone who analyzes characters relentlessly (I can’t help it, it’s who I am as a reader), this sort of issue breaks my immersion fast, and it became a common struggle in the last 150-200 pages. I may not be a useful Scela yet. But I’ll be damned if I’m not a useful sister. The plot itself is intriguing enough once you get a little ways in (it does start off slow), but again, it lost me in the ending. Things happen that feel unnecessary and provocative for the sake of simple shock; they’re incredibly detrimental, yet they don’t carry as much emotional weight as they should. All in all, did I love this? No, I didn’t. That said, I think this book could be good for a lot of readers, and I’ll probably give Emily’s writing another chance eventually. Buddy read with one of my faves, Heather! ♥ Thank you so much to Delacorte for providing me with this finished copy in exchange for an honest review! You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This is my third book. The closer I look at it, the more I realize it's made of things that scare me. Physical things, like surgery and irrevocable body modification and sci-fi body horror. Abstract things, like being known too well, giving away too much of yourself, and being used. But it's also made of things I love: spaceships, jacked up cyborgs, angry girls, and machines with a little sass in them. I hope it scares you, but you love it too. If you want a head start/little taste, the first cha This is my third book. The closer I look at it, the more I realize it's made of things that scare me. Physical things, like surgery and irrevocable body modification and sci-fi body horror. Abstract things, like being known too well, giving away too much of yourself, and being used. But it's also made of things I love: spaceships, jacked up cyborgs, angry girls, and machines with a little sass in them. I hope it scares you, but you love it too. If you want a head start/little taste, the first chapter is up here!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Acqua

    This was more formulaic than I expected. I thought a story set on a generation fleet that promised queer rep and revolutions wouldn't feel like the average 2012-era YA dystopian, but it did. I've already read this plot at least ten times before; the only things that changed in Hullmetal Girls are the setting, the technology and the focus on friendship instead of romance, which I really liked. The queer representation wasn't great. I say this not because it was bad, but because it was barely there This was more formulaic than I expected. I thought a story set on a generation fleet that promised queer rep and revolutions wouldn't feel like the average 2012-era YA dystopian, but it did. I've already read this plot at least ten times before; the only things that changed in Hullmetal Girls are the setting, the technology and the focus on friendship instead of romance, which I really liked. The queer representation wasn't great. I say this not because it was bad, but because it was barely there at all and felt like an afterthought. I have read books with no romance and an all-queer cast that manage to make the characters' identities more than a label while never making the book about them. Here? All the representation had no depth, and it's not that it wasn't relevant to the plot - I don't think that's necessary - it's that it was never more than a label, and I don't think "casual queer rep" should look like "everyone 100% passes as allocishet, they just mention they're queer at some point". Let's talk about Aisha, who is aroace. I'm aromantic, and I was looking forward to the representation, but this felt like tokenism: Aisha mentions being aroace once, and never thinks about it again, never mentions how it affects her, never says how she discovered it, or how she feels about romance (some are repulsed by it! some simply don't care! some like the idea of it! Not all aros are the same.) I prefer unlabeled representation to representation that is just the label. At least then you have to make an effort to show it? Also, I think Praava was meant to be a trans girl, but I don't remember ever seeing the word "trans" in my copy (why?) and all we know about her is that she has XY chromosomes. But not all women with XY chromosomes are trans - for all I know, she could be intersex with androgen insensitivity syndrome. Vague rep with no depth is no rep at all. What I liked the most about this book was the technology. It was very unique and also kind of terrifying - YA technology usually doesn't lend itself to body horror so easily? - and I loved reading about Scela training and exos. Also, I really liked the scenes about recovery from the surgery. Yes, what happened was almost sci-fi horror, but I never see convalescence and how every step feels like an accomplishment afterward in SFF. Some of the themes were also interesting: I have already read this story, and I don't feel like it offers a new angle on the oppressive government vs revolutionaries kind of plot, but the way the book approached the aspects tied to the Scela technology - the themes of agency and friendships - didn't feel cliché to me. I like when stories center friendships instead of romance, and even if this book had some flaws, I did end up enjoying it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately, it fell flat in a lot of ways. Read the full review on my blog. Brief note for those who only look at GoodReads reviews: if you are trans and/or aroace, please read the full review as the coming out scenes for the trans character and the aroace character were really harmful.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dani - Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... When her brother contracts a plague Aisha volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to serve the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother. Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no idea why she chose to giv Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... When her brother contracts a plague Aisha volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to serve the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother. Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no idea why she chose to give up her life of luxury. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past. The short review... A little known fact about me is that I LOVE enhanced soldier stories. So when I saw this one about two females I was pretty excited and had to squeeze it into my July lineup! Aisha was fascinating with her reliance on religion and contrasted so well to Key who was angry and driven (for good reason). I can't say I liked either women as the conflict got quite bitchy at times... but I appreciate the kind of women they represented. I also really loved how they came to be friends in the end, that is the kind of journey between rival women that I can get behind. I QUITE LOVED the scela technology... it was sick and scary and such a strong presence through out the book. I TOTALLY enjoyed every minute of action due to this creative experience with the rig! I loved how it was part of their thoughts and what made them a team. I loved how it connected them to their Marshall trainer and to the other scela. It MADE the book! The story was nothing knew... another power struggle between those ruling and those being oppressed. Honestly it was simply a vehicle to explore the scela rig! And it worked, it created all sorts of creative sci-fi space experiences. I won't say much more than this for spoilers just know that the "enhanced soldier" technology is what this book is all about! I quite enjoyed the world building too. I do find it hard to believe how long the metal was lasting in space... wear and tear just says that it will be gone sooner rather than later... we are talking hundreds of years after all... but other than that unrealistic detail I think the socio-economic and political situation are all on point. There would have been a hierarchy established and it would have been hard for those in power to give it up. It was the little details that made the world for me. FYI I was on goodreads seeing what other readers rated this book and saw a friend mention there was supposed to be queer rep...uuuuh what?! if you are looking for this rep don't count on it... I didn't even realize it was a thing... I barely remember the 4 teammates mentioning their sexuality... I was a little icked out because at the time they were talking about having sex with all the metal hooked into them and I quickly moved on from the conversation, not even sure why romance was a thought at this point... So yeah, don't look here for queer rep, sorry folks... But certainly look for major soldier action instead! Cover & Title grade -> B- This is a little messed up but I was totally drawn to the cover... mainly it was the HUGE letters of the very intriguing title, Hullmetal Girls that drew my eye but still it was effective, right?! I mean I did end up reading the book! But its also TOTALLY deceiving... As that is NOT at all what the girls looked like in their rigs... The description is quite detailed and there was lots of talk of skin and metal in close contact and with the rig big pieces that click into place... which is not what we're looking at. And the proportions are off between the two figures... The closer one's head is so tiny compared to the body but the back one is proportionate and looks overall of a more streamlined design. In the story all 4 teammates are in the exact same rig. Better to have a more distant figure that is drawn in front of an even bigger title as that is enough of a draw! As a Writer... As a writer, I recognize this is a rather old idea... big enhanced rigs that a human is made part of to participate in a war like environment. As a reader, I've read a couple of these stories with this at the center and really loved them and am always on the lookout for more like them. So is it a good or bad thing that we've seen story like this before?! Well I think its a good thing. Of course, this story changed up the details so it really worked VERY WELL. They weren't in a war but were a sort of space police. There was not planet but a series of ships (this worked really well at several junctions of the story to make the scela technology really shine!) The main characters were women! No stereotype is evil... its how we reuse ideas as writers and make them out own that determines if an old idea is made new. Hullmetal Girls is the YA female centered version of enhanced soldier boys and it was a damn fine adventure! I quite enjoyed the fact it was light on romance and was a standalone story... We need more books where female friendships don't just exist but they are formed right there in the story for the reader to see and feel! ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    The author called this: "My little standalone sci-fi Battlestar/Pacific Rim/Sense8/Snowpiercer frolic affectionately known as Cyborg Space Jam" SO OBVS NEEEEEEEEED X INFINITY

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tara Sim

    If you like badass girls, space adventures, gray morals, and huge mecha soldiers, this is the book for you. Emily once again demonstrates her ability to craft an action-packed story that nonetheless wallops you right in the feels.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Cluess

    COME ON AND SMASH. This is the Battlestar Galactica cyborg space military mashup you never knew you always wanted. Fascinating biotech, flawed but strong characters, realistic relationships, a unique militaristic society, plot twists and turns galore, it all amounts to one of the best YA sci fi books out there. I'm not a big sci fi person. I'm not a cyborg fan in general. And I LOVED this book. I can think of no better recommendation than that. Go buy this baby now.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)

    Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek Buddy Read with Destiny!! Update: I have mentioned the potentially triggering content involving LGTBQ+characters in this book, characters being outed involuntarily in a manner I didn't agree with. However, I have also seen the author invade a reviewer's private space also in a manner I don't agree with so unfortunately I don't think I'll continue reading her work. It isn't right for a reviewer to feel that their opinions can be attacked. For Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek Buddy Read with Destiny!! Update: I have mentioned the potentially triggering content involving LGTBQ+characters in this book, characters being outed involuntarily in a manner I didn't agree with. However, I have also seen the author invade a reviewer's private space also in a manner I don't agree with so unfortunately I don't think I'll continue reading her work. It isn't right for a reviewer to feel that their opinions can be attacked. For more information on this please refer to this post where the controversy is discussed including screenshots. **** Thank you to Delacorte Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!**** Trigger Warnings: Child Death, Body Horror, Non-consensual outing of LGTBQ+ Characters & Semi-Graphic Descriptions of Medical Procedures No one is more disappointed with this rating than me, “Hullmetal Girls” has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2018 since back in 2017. However, it just didn’t live up to my expectations, it wasn’t a terrible book and I can see other readers enjoying it but it wasn’t for me either. Plot First of all I thought the story was very lackluster and downright tedious at times. I feel like I read an entire 300+ pages full of nothing, there didn’t really seem to be any sort of direction for the plot. If I were going to try and describe the plot it would be: group of mechanized super soldiers, also there’s some stuff about the governing body and a rebellion. That’s it. No specific group really comes out to shine, it’s just a jumble of the three and the government and rebellion are grappling for power. Overall I was pretty bored while reading and that really disappointed me. One thing about the story that I did like were the Scela, the mechanized super soldiers I mentioned. They were interesting and pretty unique, people undergo intense body modifications and surgery in order to be merged with the mechanical bits. They are also able to be fed orders and information via these alterations. This is also where the body horror comes in and for those of you who don’t know body horror is a subgenre of horror in which someone goes through some sort of violations of the human body. This isn’t intensely graphic by any means but the surgery portrayed at the beginning of the story could make some readers a bit queasy. It’s an interesting combo with sci-fi I thought and the Scela were the most interesting part of the book for me. However, in the book there is a link the four characters share where they’re all essentially in each other’s head-spaces. No hiding anything. While I thought it was an interesting concept I don’t think it was executed in a great way. I know that the idea of sharing your innermost thoughts is horrifying and I know that is what Skrutskie was going for but at the same time I felt this was a little too invasive. For instance: one of the characters is outed as being transgender involuntarily because of this link. There’s another instance where two characters had sex and the memories and images are forced into everyone’s heads as a result of the link, thus outing a character as aroace. I personally thought this was a pretty insensitive way of handling the revealing of the characters’ sexualties and gender identities. There were also two alternating POVs: Aisha and Key. I found Aisha’s POV to be more interesting and relevant than Key’s, every time we would switch to Key’s I found myself getting a lot more bored. I honestly think we could have done without her POV completely as it didn’t really add all that much to the story, it could have all been easily told from Aisha’s POV only. Another thing I didn’t enjoy was how the exos/Scela equipment changed the character’s personalities. I can understand making them a little more “tough” but there were scenes where characters went completely out of character and that was really jarring. It made me feel like I wasn’t even reading about the same characters anymore and that I didn’t really know them. A couple last points as well: the pacing felt slow, there wasn’t a ton of action, and there were essentially no plot twists (at least none that felt like a shock to me). Also there wasn’t all that much world building, especially for being a sci-fi. Characters The characters were a little “meh” for me, although they were much more interesting than the plot. My fave character is definitely Aisha especially since she’s one of the only characters that gets any development or personality. As for Key, well I didn’t like her during my entire read-through she was just unlikable plain and simple. She thought of herself as better than her squad mates just because of her status in the caste system. We didn’t really get to know much about any of the other characters though so I wasn’t really bothered to care a whole bunch about them. There is quite a bit of diverse representation with the characters: Aisha is a Ledic which is inspired by Islam, Key and Woojin are Asian (though it’s never stated on page), and Praava has darker skin though her nationality is never stated on page either. Praava is also transgender, Aisha is aroace, and Woojin is pansexual. Romance There was a bit of romance in “Hullmetal Girls” but like with everything else it was messy and odd. As I mentioned earlier there was a sexual relationship between two characters, although I’m not sure to what extent the relationship progressed. And there is an odd relationship that Key develops with someone that just felt….well odd and also out of nowhere, like a romance for the sake of romance. Overall though there wasn’t any romance overshadowing the plot. In Conclusion What I Loved: The Scela and their mechanics Diverse cast of characters What I Didn’t Love: The plot was boring Involuntary outing of LGTBQ+ characters Key’s POV was unnecessary Character’s personalities were inconsistent Pacing felt slow Not much world building The romances were “meh” Recommend? I know I’ve said it a few times already but I was so sad that I found this so disappointing. I really, really wanted to like it more but there wasn’t much for me to like. I can’t even say I’d really recommend this for the diversity since I found the outing of the characters to be really insensitive. However, if this still sounds interesting to you go ahead and give it a shot, it may be to your liking but it just wasn’t for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura (bbliophile)

    It's probably more like 3.5 stars but oh well. Full review to come.

  14. 5 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    Unfortunately, Hullmetal Girls just didn’t live up to my hopes. I loved the mecha aspect of everything. The author put such thought into her cyborgs – the way the mecha merged with the human, and some of the ways in which it really didn’t. But our Girls were kind of…bland. They were so…so…angsty/introspective most of the time. (And, BTW, I hated our Hullmetal Boy.) The worldbuilding was a little slow for my taste. It took forever for me to really even understand the main point of the plot. And, unf Unfortunately, Hullmetal Girls just didn’t live up to my hopes. I loved the mecha aspect of everything. The author put such thought into her cyborgs – the way the mecha merged with the human, and some of the ways in which it really didn’t. But our Girls were kind of…bland. They were so…so…angsty/introspective most of the time. (And, BTW, I hated our Hullmetal Boy.) The worldbuilding was a little slow for my taste. It took forever for me to really even understand the main point of the plot. And, unfortunately, we kind of get into trite YA territory rage against the evil government oh thank god our girl(s) is the ONE (or in this case the TWO). I just wanted a little more. So, the mecha kicks butt. But it needed a little more of everything else. *ARC Provided via Net Galley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews)

    maybe a 2.5 if I am being lenient. Maybe. I am disappointed, though. This book has more than a few good ideas but the messy execution of them makes it hard to stick around, much less immerse myself in Key and Aisha's POVs. The worldbuilding is sink or swim, but without enough information provided and the POVs felt indistinguishable. There is a definite uptick after about 65% in -- the story makes up somewhat for lost time by the end but it's not enough to entirely compensate.

  16. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this arc as a gift from a friend). Hullmetal Girls was rich, thought provoking, and full of two fantastic protagonists. I loved that some describe this book as full of 'angry cyborg girls' because that to me sounds like my anthem. I want angry cyborg girls and Skrustskie delivers. So let's begin with the characters. First off, Key felt like this breath of cathartic fresh air and she remains this enigmatic puzzle until the end of the book. I was really expecting Aisha to be (Disclaimer: I received this arc as a gift from a friend). Hullmetal Girls was rich, thought provoking, and full of two fantastic protagonists. I loved that some describe this book as full of 'angry cyborg girls' because that to me sounds like my anthem. I want angry cyborg girls and Skrustskie delivers. So let's begin with the characters. First off, Key felt like this breath of cathartic fresh air and she remains this enigmatic puzzle until the end of the book. I was really expecting Aisha to be my favorite. And she is the obvious choice for me (not to mention she's aro ace!!!!!! I screamed when I saw this). Both of our protagonists are rich, detailed, and they felt so genuine. The world building here is phenomenal. But what proved to me that Hullmetal Girls was the book for me was the cyborg aspect. They have these Scela which are like these alien embodiment. It has a will and it sort of mends to the body. It's supposed to be this symbiotic process, because if it's not, then the human can die. But this had all sorts of delicious (I know that's a weird word to use) consequences and challenges for the book. Are they still human? And what parts of their agency do they retain? I can't get over the book. There's too much that I love. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sheharzad ⚘

    so this book: ● has characters that resemble me (south asian/middle eastern names, muslims, poc) ● has my sister's name in it ● AND is about cyborg space revolution??what!!! the excerpt sounds SO COOL and i'm mainly interested in how identity + trauma play out for the characters bc we they are poc!!! and also the horror. i love nausea-inducing horror. there are a few things that quipped my interest in a "hmm, this sounds... different" way and i'm curious as to how those few lines/themes/ideas morph so this book: ● has characters that resemble me (south asian/middle eastern names, muslims, poc) ● has my sister's name in it ● AND is about cyborg space revolution??what!!! the excerpt sounds SO COOL and i'm mainly interested in how identity + trauma play out for the characters bc we they are poc!!! and also the horror. i love nausea-inducing horror. there are a few things that quipped my interest in a "hmm, this sounds... different" way and i'm curious as to how those few lines/themes/ideas morph throughout the story. also,,,,,, SPACE + POC + CYBORGS + HORROR!! HOW 👏 MUCH 👏 COOLER 👏 CAN 👏 THIS 👏 GET?? 👏

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chessa

    I was super ready to love this: angry cyborg girls, space, queer characters?! Sign me up! Alas. I have basically read this book before. It’s pretty much Hunger Games, without the literal games, in space. See also: An Unkindness of Ghosts. The thing about space books is I love them so much, but my standards are also v v v v high as a result. I liked the initial premise of this book a whole lot - but felt really let down in the delivery unfortunately. First up, if you were here for queer characters, I was super ready to love this: angry cyborg girls, space, queer characters?! Sign me up! Alas. I have basically read this book before. It’s pretty much Hunger Games, without the literal games, in space. See also: An Unkindness of Ghosts. The thing about space books is I love them so much, but my standards are also v v v v high as a result. I liked the initial premise of this book a whole lot - but felt really let down in the delivery unfortunately. First up, if you were here for queer characters, well, I hope you like your queer content kept to exactly 1 page, because that’s what’s up. Someone literally says, “I’m aroace” and someone else says, “I’m pansexual” and fin. Ok, there is also a trans character, but this is also v v v background. I mean, I don’t need my queer characters to be queer on every page, but this was...very check-boxy. Queer content? Check. Second, it almost felt like the author couldn’t decide whose POV we should really have, so she just included both. And the bummer about that is that the characters are so similar (or are at least now in their lives are having such similar experiences) that they were seriously indistinguishable sometimes. I had to literally check the chapter name to remember whose POV we were in this time. It shouldn’t be that hard with 2 characters, and yet. Third, I guess I’m just suuuuuuuper bored of the Evil Empire storyline. I want something new! Is it so hard to have an antagonist that isn’t the shady, conspiracy-loving government? Y’all, THAT IS LITERALLY OUR REALITY RN, AND I’M READING TO ESCAPE IT!!! And the thing is, the two antagonists were so...boring. Like, I guess the banality of evil, etc etc etc but zzzzzzz. Also extremely President Snow and Alma Coin, like down to the wire. Even some of the plot points of their evil, just. So much. Did I mention that the spaceships they are on function like districts from HG? Cuz that’s also a thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The cyborg parts of the book were kind of horrifying at first but then interesting - I just wish they had been more interesting. There were so many events of convenience that just felt lazy. Again, wanted to love it, I really did. Sorry it wasn’t for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaleena ★ Reader Voracious

    Read out the first chapter of Hullmetal Girls here! "The Chancellor sees us the way humans do, the way I used to see Scela. We're tools. Weapons. Things to be wielded with force." Hullmetal Girls is an ambitious science fiction novel that brings together many elements into an interesting (and frightening) future. The book gripped me with its first words, providing just enough of a primer of the world, the customs, and I had high hopes for this Battlestar Galactica mashup with cyborgs and a mi Read out the first chapter of Hullmetal Girls here! "The Chancellor sees us the way humans do, the way I used to see Scela. We're tools. Weapons. Things to be wielded with force." Hullmetal Girls is an ambitious science fiction novel that brings together many elements into an interesting (and frightening) future. The book gripped me with its first words, providing just enough of a primer of the world, the customs, and I had high hopes for this Battlestar Galactica mashup with cyborgs and a militaristic dystopian future. Unfortunately, this book fell short for me and didn't live up to my hopes. It's been three hundred and one years since humanity left the solar system and took to space in search of a new planet to call home. They live in a fleet of ships that are all under Commander Vel's command and searching for a home together. Due to rising tensions from the Fractionists that want to see the fleet split up into smaller groups to search, Vel has requested a large recruitment drive for people to volunteer to become Scela, cyborgs in the General Body that are the military force of the fleet. Hullmetal Girls is told in the alternating perspectives of new Sclea recruits Aisha Un-Haad and Key Tanaka, but there are also two secondary characters that are part of their "unit": Woojin Lin and Praava.--We are introduced to Aisha as she is going in for her procedure to be made into a Scela (what they call cyborgs) and serve in the General Body. We are present for the painful operation of her taking the metal. She is from the backend of the fleet, the poorer areas, and has chosen this to help her siblings. --We are introduced to Key as she wakes up from the procedure in recovery and discovers that she has no memory of her life prior to the operation. By her mannerisms and drive, she deduces that she is from the front of the fleet, privileged in ways that mean she wouldn't need to choose this life. Is she a true believer?The characters all took to the metal for different reasons; however, we learn that Key doesn't remember those reasons or anything from her life before. "Nothing left for me except my exo and this new purpose I found in the fragments of myself." Much of the story is consumed by the conversion to Scela and their training, and I was left wondering what the plot of the book actually was. While there were hints to the political situation and the potential conspiracies, for me they were mired down by the Scela conversion and training. I don't read a lot of science fiction with cyborgs so this may be something typical of the genre that isn't to my personal preferences. I found myself bored and skimming after about 40% of the book, and it wasn't until conspiracies arose and motives were questioned that I got back into the story a bit. I like a dual-POV story, especially with characters like Aisha and Key that obviously are from different situations and backgrounds; however, at times their inner monologues were very repetitive, adding to the feelings I had that the book was drawn out longer than necessary. I also found the character motivations a little blurred at times, shifting without reason as it suited the narrative. There are a number of occasions where Aisha or Key's position on a subject made a complete 180 with hardly any convincing or acknowledgement that they had changed their mind. There are many elements explored in this tale: religion (Ledic) versus... I assume atheism, as the Ledic disdain was clear but there was not contrast opinion or explanation of why it fell out of favor; utilitarianism (greater good) and gray morality; class systems and prejudices based on where in the fleet you were born. This book has a diverse cast of characters, and there are characters which identify as aroace and pansexual; however, it is important to note the sexuality discussion was all of two sentences. This is an ambitious tale of power, loyalty, and family set in space. I personally found the cyborg aspects (the conversion and training) to be the least compelling and wish that part of the story had been a bit shorter. There were breadcrumbs dropped in the early pages that come in to play much later, but I found the exploration and intrigue of the latter 40% of the book to be the most interesting and wish that they had been fleshed out more. Hullmetal Girls has a lot of elements being explored - religion, class systems, utilitarianism - but for me those components were overshadowed by the Scela narrative and left me wanting more. At its core, this is a story about the extent the government and its opposers will go for "the greater good," and how people get swept up into something they didn't sign up for. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Random House Children's / Delacorte Press, for providing me an e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest review. Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  20. 5 out of 5

    Arys

    Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie is a young adult Sci-Fi novel. Set 301 years after a fleet of ships leaves the Solar System in search of a new planet where humanity can survive, things have settled into tiers based on how close a ship is to the front of the fleet. A terrorist group, Fractionists, aims to take power in order to break up the fleet rather than keep it consolidated. The General Assembly's troops and enforcers, Scela, are made up of cyborg warriors. Those who have volunteer to ris Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie is a young adult Sci-Fi novel. Set 301 years after a fleet of ships leaves the Solar System in search of a new planet where humanity can survive, things have settled into tiers based on how close a ship is to the front of the fleet. A terrorist group, Fractionists, aims to take power in order to break up the fleet rather than keep it consolidated. The General Assembly's troops and enforcers, Scela, are made up of cyborg warriors. Those who have volunteer to risk their lives to see if they can join with an exo. Told from two different POV's of people who have decided to take that chance. Aisha Un-Hand has made the choice to become Scela in order to help her family. Her pay goes to medical care for her brother and to keep her sister from having to work a dangerous job. Key Tanaka cannot remember why she decided to take the exo. Her memories are disjointed or non-existent. Each is from opposite ends of the fleet and brings an opposing and complex perspective. As they and two other Scela recruits they are joined with go through training and assignments we find that things are even more complex than they seem between the General Assembly and the Fractionists and as Aisha and Key learn more and speculate it creates an added complexity to a story with an innovative setting and interesting dynamics. Overall I enjoyed Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie both for some of the Sci-Fi themes, familiar and unfamiliar blended together, as well as for the layers of the story we are given as the characters learn more about their new and past selves and the underbelly of the Fleet. This was a very detailed book which gives us both social dynamics and technical futurism. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    3 stars (but only because I'm honestly undecided and have no idea what my feelings really are about this book) So...what just happened? I honestly am just a big jumble of EMOTIONS™ after this book because wow there were so many things going on and this was a wild ride. I'm probably going to have to sleep on this decision, but the best way I can describe my feelings is this is an adult science-fiction plot shoved into the young adult format and I have a lot of thoughts about this. There were so many 3 stars (but only because I'm honestly undecided and have no idea what my feelings really are about this book) So...what just happened? I honestly am just a big jumble of EMOTIONS™ after this book because wow there were so many things going on and this was a wild ride. I'm probably going to have to sleep on this decision, but the best way I can describe my feelings is this is an adult science-fiction plot shoved into the young adult format and I have a lot of thoughts about this. There were so many political machinations going on that this felt adult sci-fi. If you've ever read adult sci-fi, you know there's usually a lot of "bigger picture" stuff going on rather than just focusing on the characters. It's oftentimes more detached, third person, alternating, and just has a wider, more intricate plot and less focus on the characters. That's almost exactly how it was for Hullmetal Girls--the big, overarching plot was well-plotted and intricate--I had no idea who to trust and my loyalties kept wavering between the Fractionists (the rebel group) and the General Body (the government). But, it was written in a very YA style. There were two points of view in first person and there was an obvious non-romantic bond between the characters that really grew. There was a lot of focus on saving family (more of a YA trope than an adult one) and their backstories made it feel like Skrutskie picked these characters to make this book more YA. I guess what fell flat for me was just how the adult and YA aspects of this novel melded together into what's supposed to be a YA book. I love YA, but I feel like this book's concept would have had way more success in the adult SF sphere vs. the YA (but it still could have flourished as YA). For it to appeal better to the general YA community, I feel like this needed to have gone more in depth with the characters and really dig into their personal feelings and desires. There needed to be at least a hundred more pages of personal thought and introspection to get that character growth that would really help the reader connect more with the narrators rather than the plot. I feel like we ended up getting a little of each YA and adult--some introspection, but not enough for us to really relate to the characters, and a lot of political machinations. This book is almost ahead of its time in the way it's trying to bridge the gap between YA and adult, and although I commend this, I feel terrible that it's not getting the love it deserves because I don't think we were prepared for something so badass and gritty. A big par of this is just how YA isn't really used to this type of body horror. There's one thing to have prosthetic cyborg body parts in Cinder, or even LIFEL1K3. It's another thing to deal with cybernetic enhancements that actively make people stronger, faster, bolder while also tampering with their humanity and agency. You read adult SF, and things like sentient artificial intelligence (and even romance with sentient AIs) are normal. If you read this in an adult SF headscape, it'd feel pretty normal too. But for YA, the idea of cybernetic enhancement and losing part of your agency is very unfamiliar based on the history of YA sci-fi, and one of the reasons why I couldn't enjoy this as much as I wanted to was because I felt like we didn't get that background and introduction to how to deal with losing your agency in this way and what happens when characters bodies are tampered with to such a great extent. A lot of the terms felt unfamiliar to me, and it could be because these terms are a norm in adult SF, or just because Skrutskie didn't introduce it in a way that I could understand. For me, it was kind of like I was being thrust headfirst into a very new and different type of science fiction that I'm not entirely used to. It didn't feel like a space opera--wasn't melodramatic enough and was far too cunning. So I guess we could call this not enough exposition, leaving the reader confused. Despite all this criticism I have going on, there were a lot of great things about this book. It's uber diverse: one of the MCs is aroace (also wears a headscarf & has the last name Un-Haad), the other I believe is Asian (last name Tanaka). Someone on their crew is trans (and Skrutskie slipped in this information so slyly wow) and also a WOC. The last person on their crew was (I think) an Asian boy. So yeah, there's a bunch of diversity in this and it's really naturally scattered, which was nice to see in science fiction. Plus, the ending was so wild. I ended up getting really sucked in for the last 20% of this novel as I finally discovered what group I'm supposed to be rooting for (think outside the box) and seeing the political machinations really fall into place. Although I struggled with the cybernetic worldbuilding, I think the space Fleet-wide worldbuilding was done wonderfully and I understood the way the fleet worked and why the divisions existed and how they formed and why they continued to be perpetuated (rather than being thrust into District 12 being District 12 just because). There's a lot of pluses to this--angry badass cyborg girls, bunches of diversity, a very cool plot, family and friendship and finding your people. Overall, I think it was worth it for me to read this, but I do wish it was a little more polished in a way that it would be easier for a YA reader to connect with. Definitely recommend you check this out if the summary appeals to you! Thank you so much to Netgalley and Random House for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review! Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Whitley Birks

    I was most of the way through this book and stuck on why I was having so much trouble finishing it. It made no sense why I wasn’t devouring the book as fast as possible – it’s got spaceships and cyborgs and conspiracies and training montages! It’s got girl friendships and cool tech and interesting side characters and evil governments being taken down from within! And…it’s the last one. Taken down from within. Because, as much as there’s a lot of stuff going on with factions and resistance groups I was most of the way through this book and stuck on why I was having so much trouble finishing it. It made no sense why I wasn’t devouring the book as fast as possible – it’s got spaceships and cyborgs and conspiracies and training montages! It’s got girl friendships and cool tech and interesting side characters and evil governments being taken down from within! And…it’s the last one. Taken down from within. Because, as much as there’s a lot of stuff going on with factions and resistance groups and such, neither of our main characters actually have any motivation to take down the evil government. They’re just sort of stumbling through the plot, poked and prodded by circumstances and outside actors. Any urgency I felt in this plot was generally contained within individual plot points, and once those points ended, both of our main characters were like “m’kay, that was weird, back to training to be a good government lackey now.” Granted, this dynamic changed near the end, but it took long enough that my sense of connection had really waned. There was a sense of ‘okay, get on with already,’ rather than any emotional satisfaction from seeing their struggles come to fruition. It’s really shame, because in the personal sense, their struggles were really great. Aisha and her family concerns and Key with her identity crises were both beautifully wrought, and made for compelling stuff…while we were in their chapters. But then we’d leave their chapters and go back to conspiracy plot and lose the emotional thread because they had no motivation for that other plot. The sci-fi aspects were really great, and the body horror stuff was just the right amounts, with lots of chilling descriptions of the turning-cyborg process. The characters all learning how to handle their new, enhanced bodies and coming to terms with both the good and the bad parts of it were interesting to read. There was a mind-share aspect which I think could have been used to more potential, as is in the book it seemed more like an excuse to info-dump on non-POV characters, and then got ‘turned off’ when the plot needed it to be gone. But other than that, yes, cyborg goodness. So, yeah. Good characters and setting, but not a lot of follow through on the tension which made for a rather fragmented read. I’d still suggest it for people who are interested in the subject matter, because it does deliver on the summary.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caro Herrera

    Although I was initially very excited for this book, I'm sad to say it just didn't live up to my expectations. There were aspects I definitely enjoyed, but overall the book just seemed pretty bland and repetitive of a bunch of previous books. (The fact that the different ships are each called "Districts" and the farther away from the main ship that the District is, the poorer that District is... I mean, we've seen this exact thing before, haven't we?) I thought the cyborg parts of the book were e Although I was initially very excited for this book, I'm sad to say it just didn't live up to my expectations. There were aspects I definitely enjoyed, but overall the book just seemed pretty bland and repetitive of a bunch of previous books. (The fact that the different ships are each called "Districts" and the farther away from the main ship that the District is, the poorer that District is... I mean, we've seen this exact thing before, haven't we?) I thought the cyborg parts of the book were excellent, and honestly I would have loved for the author to delve deeper into that. Perhaps give us more world building around that? A bit heavier emphasis on the "science" part of science fiction would have made my curious scientist brain happy, I think. Can we know more about where the metal for Scela came from? Is it even metal, is it it's own alien life force...? None of this was ever really clear. The main characters were okay. I loved the diverse representation, especially in terms of one of the character's religion, because I felt this truly added something to the book. However, in terms of LGBTQIA representation, I kind of felt like someone had simply checked something off a list, since this was only mentioned on one page and then really didn't even play a role in the story. And no, not everything has to play a major role in a story- but it almost felt as if the characters just spontaneously burst out their sexual orientations in order to be able to force this into the story, and not to add anything to the plot. Also, the two main characters themselves seemed pretty generic, and very similar to each other. To the point where I had a difficult time differentiating between them while reading. Additionally, I would have loved for there to be some additional focus/ time spent on Key's character when she undergoes a huge revelation which I won't mention here because spoilers. Overall, I felt this book was somewhat rushed. Much more world building and character building could have been added, because the premise was excellent and I think the book had great potential. Perhaps spreading everything out into 2 books would have been a better way to build up the tension, and provide more world building and background.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Forsythe

    This was so much better than I expected. I’m just so jaded on YA lit, but this gave me hope for the genre. These girls face some real challenges and succeed through perseverance and determination, every times. Plus, the book is full of diversity and calmly breaks patriarchal norms all over the place. There are people who look different from one another and economic/class distinctions. There’s an aroace character, a pansexual character, someone who isn’t sure, a heterosexual character (they have This was so much better than I expected. I’m just so jaded on YA lit, but this gave me hope for the genre. These girls face some real challenges and succeed through perseverance and determination, every times. Plus, the book is full of diversity and calmly breaks patriarchal norms all over the place. There are people who look different from one another and economic/class distinctions. There’s an aroace character, a pansexual character, someone who isn’t sure, a heterosexual character (they have a conversation, sexuality isn’t a big thing in the book). A gay couple adopts child because a woman loves her child but isn’t maternal or want to be a mother and that’s ok. One of the main characters is religious and wears a head scarf. All the people in positions of power are female (even God) and no one tries to explain it away or excuse it. Romance or being slighted by a man isn’t a motivating force for anyone. Of the only significant male characters, one is inept and clumsy and one is a support worker. There is just so much to love about it. I did think the story was dependent on the characters being given a leave way that didn’t make sense and I wasn’t entirely sure what actually happened with Key at the end. It didn’t seem to fit the science of the eco rigs, as explained. But these are small complaints on the whole, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to more of Skrutskie’s writing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexis (TheSlothReader)

    DNF @70% I never really loved this novel to begin with, but this far into the novel it's unbearable how uninterested I am in it. This story is told from the POV of 2 main characters, Key and Aisha. I started out liking Aisha but really disliking Key. She has a supremely elitist and classist attitude, that never got any better at 70% through the novel. But also Aisha became super unlikeable to me too. I also just found the plot very predictable and the use of robotic bodies very unsatisfying. The DNF @70% I never really loved this novel to begin with, but this far into the novel it's unbearable how uninterested I am in it. This story is told from the POV of 2 main characters, Key and Aisha. I started out liking Aisha but really disliking Key. She has a supremely elitist and classist attitude, that never got any better at 70% through the novel. But also Aisha became super unlikeable to me too. I also just found the plot very predictable and the use of robotic bodies very unsatisfying. The exo suits are essentially sentient, but I found the science explaining them to be very weak. The one thing this book had going for it was the diversity. Aisha is aroace and she belongs to a religion that has similarities with Islam. Key is Japanese (based on her last name being Tanaka). A side character named Woojin is pansexual and another named Praava is a trans woman. I really wanted to love this novel because of the praise for Skrutskie's other works, but this one just didn't work for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Emily Skrutskie's Hullmetal Girls is what I've been wanting to see from YA science fiction for what feels like forever! A lot of the "science fiction" YA books I've read in the last several years have been more science fantasy, or they've been shelved in the adult science fiction/fantasy section, which can keep titles out of view of their targeted audiences. And I'm happy to say that I absolutely LOVED Hullmetal Girls. Emily calls it her "standalone sci-fi Battlestar/Pacific Rim/Sens8/Snowpiercer Emily Skrutskie's Hullmetal Girls is what I've been wanting to see from YA science fiction for what feels like forever! A lot of the "science fiction" YA books I've read in the last several years have been more science fantasy, or they've been shelved in the adult science fiction/fantasy section, which can keep titles out of view of their targeted audiences. And I'm happy to say that I absolutely LOVED Hullmetal Girls. Emily calls it her "standalone sci-fi Battlestar/Pacific Rim/Sens8/Snowpiercer frolic affectionately known as Cyborg Space Jam" and in addition to loving the premise of it before, seeing her own blurb of it made me want to read it even more. It definitely lives up to that tagline, and I also can't tell you how much I love that it's a standalone. I sometimes feel a little burnt out on series, so knowing that this is it for these characters made me get that much more invested in the story. Hullmetal Girls will make you think about bodies, about the role of bodies and physical forms in society versus what's going on in your mind or someone else's (or, daresay, a collective), and about challenges and consequences do to the spirit before, during, and after action or inaction. I loved that the cyborg aspect had a little bit of alien/artificial intelligence thrown in and that the body modifications ended up being more of a symbiosis kind of meld rather than the body merely being a host for the implants and modifications. If you liked Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion (which, SPOILER ALERT, that's one of my favorite science fiction books ever), Hullmetal Girls is something you need to add to your TBRs immediately because the styles and themes are very much riding on the same wavelengths. RIGHT NOW! Go preorder it! I'm buying myself a physical copy too! Many thanks to Netgalley and Delacorte for the free review copy!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    Man, I dunno, I feel like Emily Skrutskie just vibrates on the same wavelength as me and everything she writes resonates. Here's to what I hope will be a long career full of angry girls owning their anger, rash decisions and desperate attempts to salvage the resulting messes, and choosing option C on a two-option menu. (and hopefully no more titles that send the finale monologue of Fullmetal Alchemist playing in the back of my brain whenever I see them.) Full review to come.

  28. 4 out of 5

    ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    OMG You can read the first chapter here!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    From the blurb: “...perfect for fans of Pierce Brown and the Illuminae series” Well that’s enough to intrigue me!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Hullmetal Girls turned out to much differently than I expect. The thought put into the Scela design, how the tech interacts with a person’s mind and how it influences them, this was huge. You could see the amount of thought that the author put into that integration. If you need an angst fix, along with sci-fi, this will do it for you. Both Aisha and Key faced tragedy in their lives, before and after becoming Scela. As they learned their new roles, it became clearer that there was more to why the Hullmetal Girls turned out to much differently than I expect. The thought put into the Scela design, how the tech interacts with a person’s mind and how it influences them, this was huge. You could see the amount of thought that the author put into that integration. If you need an angst fix, along with sci-fi, this will do it for you. Both Aisha and Key faced tragedy in their lives, before and after becoming Scela. As they learned their new roles, it became clearer that there was more to why they were still flying through space trying to find an inhabitable planet to house them. The one thing that was disappointing was how much was spent on developing Aisha and Key but that amount of care wasn’t given to the end of the plot. Overall it was decent but I wish it had a little bit more.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.