Thursday, April 4, 2019

Book Review: We Rule the Night by Clarie Eliza Bartlett

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: We Rule The Night
Author: Claire Eliza Bartlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 400
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Source: Publisher / FFBC Tours
Content Screening: Violence, Adult Language

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love stories with realistic characters, facing impossible odds.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, LinnĂ© defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and LinnĂ© can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.
Oh, holy hell, this book. Never in my life did I think that I'd read a book so bleak, and so maddening, and love it so damn much. I don't know know what kind of magic Clarie Eliza Bartlett wove to create this story, but it worked. Oh, it worked. Strap yourself in for some rambling, my friends, because that's all I know how to do at this point.

Look, I'm all for likable characters. It's nice when the MC is sweet, or snarky, or any manner of traits that are easy to connect with. Linne is not that character. Linne is difficult. She's not just rough around the edges, she's a solid block of stone. And yet, I fell in love with her all the same. Linne felt realistic to me, because she was a multi-faceted human being. Someone who looks so hard on the outside, but is really just trying to protect everything inside of her that she's afraid to let out. As the story progressed, I saw her cracks. I saw her flaws. I loved her more for it. 

Then there was Revna. The exact opposite of Linne in the beginning, but with her own imperfections. A woman who had constantly been told she wasn't enough, but managed to push through anyway. A woman buried under self doubt and shame, but being pressed into a diamond without noticing it. The love I felt for Revna was instantaneous, unlike with Linne, but Bartlett didn't let Revna stay in her shell for long. These two girls were like fire and ice when they met. Completely different, and yet linked together in ways that they couldn't see.

This isn't a happy story. Sure, there are portions of it that are lighthearted. There are moments of light in the darkness. However, this is a story about war. It's about women who are willing to risk everything for the good of their country, even when the men around them take away every shred of their credit. I won't lie, I cried while I read this book. Linne and Revna, plus all of the other women in their division, go through hell and back during the course of this story. What I loved more than anything though was that it didn't take away their individual personalities. Sure, they grew and adapted. Just like in real life though, they were still always very much themselves. My hard, stony Linne and my sweet, unsure Revna. Battered, but not completely broken.

We Rule The Night is a lightning fast read. There isn't a moment to breathe really, from the second you read that first sentence. I know it's kind of cliche to say things like "ALL THE FEELINGS." but that basically sums up this book better than anything else I could say to you. This story is full of intense emotions. It's bleak, it's frustrating at times, but it's beautiful too. The women in this story are stronger than I could ever be, and I loved them for that. I can't thank Claire Eliza Bartlett enough for writing a book that doesn't try to make her female characters bad ass assassins, or smart-mouthed space pirates, but just takes women who are already amazing and makes them even more impressive as they grow. I felt like I knew these women intimately by the end, and that's why this book stole my heart. Read this. I'm sure that you'll love it too.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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