Today I am reviewing War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi – the first in the War Girls duology! I received an ARC of this book back at ALA 2019 and just never got a chance to read it. But now that the second book is out, I knew I had to jump on it and see what the hype is about and oh. my. gosh. I loved this book!
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
Published: October 15th, 2019
The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.
In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.
Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.
And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.
To start off, I will admit I read the first five or so chapters of this book from a sampler on NetGalley. So, going into this book, I already knew the beginning and I had ended at an intense moment.
This book discusses our potential future. Climate change has wrecked the Earth and caused horrible side effects, like radiation filled towns, mutant animals, and war ravaged countries. Nigeria is split between two factions – Nigerians and Biafrans. Our main characters, Onyii and Ify are fighting for Biafrans, until Ify is taken as a prisoner of war and returned to Nigeria.
We grow up with Onyii and Ify. See them develop over time into war hardened fighters. Onyii especially, is a fearful warrior. She literally has no fear fighting and will do what she must to win the war. Ify, on the other hand, is less of a hands on fighter and more of a thinker. I loved seeing the contrast between these two sisters and seeing their perspectives throughout the story. And as the story goes on, see how they both handle living and fighting in the war.
Getting into the review, overall, I loved this book. I loved the fighting scenes. The lyrical prose even as it depicts people dying. I loved Onyii and Ify and watching them grow and change. But, after the beginning, the middle slows down a lot. The book is almost like a sandwich – it has three parts: part one, part two, and part three. The beginning and the end are so good, I couldn’t stop reading. But the middle slowed me down and wasn’t as fast paced and captivating as the other two sections.
While the story was good, this middle portion contained a lot of moments that I wished hadn’t been as drawn out. Part two was an entire tone shift that I didn’t expect, especially after how fast and crazy part one was. Then in part three, we pick up the speed again and are thrusted into the aftermath of part two.
While one part is slow, the book is still incredibly good. There honestly wasn’t much that I didn’t like about it! But, due to the slow moving pace of part two, I have to give this a .5 // 5 stars.
I can’t wait to start reading Rebel Sisters!
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Tochi’s other series, Beasts Made of Night!