YA Review: Kingdom of Without (Andrea Tang)

About This Book:

A wily young thief must use her wits to survive futuristic, alternate history Beijing in this Les Misérables–inspired young adult cyberpunk that is perfect for fans of Six of Crows and Fullmetal Alchemist.

When Zhong Ning’er takes the job, she expects a smash-and-grab burglary she’s doing to make rent and help out a friend. What she doesn’t expect: a sad-eyed army boy who dreams of insurrection, a former rebel leader trapped inside a secret lab, a group of aspiring revolutionaries who are first collaborators, then compatriots, and then, perhaps, friends.

But this is Beijing, nearly a hundred and fifty years after General Yuan Shikai successfully declared himself emperor in 1915. His descendants rule the country from their seat in the imperial city, their gendarmerie—the Beiyang Army—run the streets, aided by cyborgs and the Brocade Guard. Walls have risen, dividing the city into districts called Rings—nominally only by geography, but in truth by class. Earthquakes devastate the northern farmlands, crops drown in the southern typhoons, and all over the country people are hooked on a drug they call Complacency.

As a Sixth Ring girl who watched previous uprisings crushed brutally by the court, Ning’er isn’t much of an optimist, and she’s certainly no revolutionary. But that might not be up to her—as the stakes get higher, the time for passivity is quickly running out, and she must decide if she wants to sit idly in her cynicism, or embrace the breathless, terrible possibility of hope.

*Review Contributed by Katelyn McCall, Staff Reviewer*

Six of Crows Meets Cyberpunk? Yes please!

Six of Crows but cyberpunk? GIVE IT TO ME NOW!

Kingdom of Without by Andrea Tang is a YA science fiction novel about a young thief. When Zhong Ning’er takes the job, she expects a smash-and-grab burglary she’s doing to make rent and help out a friend. What she doesn’t expect: a sad-eyed army boy who dreams of insurrection, a former rebel leader trapped inside a secret lab, a group of aspiring revolutionaries who are first collaborators, then compatriots, and then, perhaps, friends. But this is Beijing, nearly a hundred and fifty years after General Yuan Shikai successfully declared himself emperor in 1915. His descendants rule the country from their seat in the imperial city, their gendarmerie—the Beiyang Army—run the streets, aided by cyborgs and the Brocade Guard. Walls have risen, dividing the city into districts called Rings—nominally only by geography, but in truth by class. Earthquakes devastate the northern farmlands, crops drown in the southern typhoons, and all over the country people are hooked on a drug they call Complacency. As a Sixth Ring girl who watched previous uprisings crushed brutally by the court, Ning’er isn’t much of an optimist, and she’s certainly no revolutionary. But that might not be up to her—as the stakes get higher, the time for passivity is quickly running out, and she must decide if she wants to sit idly in her cynicism, or embrace the breathless, terrible possibility of hope.

I loved this book! The vibes were perfect, and I loved how it was standalone, so I didn’t have to commit to a full series once again. Though it did remind me quite a lot of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. But regardless it was a fun read that kept me engaged and wanting just a little more.

I really appreciated how the romance was quite subtle, as there has been a recent uptick in fantasy novels that are just romance sprinkled with the fantastical. I did also find myself quite confused by the plot at times. But that’s a norm at this point, it would be quite boring for an author to spell out every little thing.

Now I really just want to go rewatch Full Metal Alchemist. And re-read The Lunar Chronicles.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

 

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