Cover Image: Gearbreakers

Gearbreakers

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Member Reviews

5/5 stars 

This book has everything you would every want. Found family. Enemies to Lovers. Sapphic. And to top it all off, we have a diverse cast. 

This book is set in Godalia, where mechanical weapons (Windups) aid in their tyrannical rule. We have Sona, who is a Windup pilot, one of the best. And we have Eris, who is a Gearbreaker, set on taking down the Windups. When Eris' mission goes astray and she finds herself trapped in the hands of the Windup, she meets Sona. But, Sona isn't what Eris thinks she is. Sona has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy them from within. 

I love this book with every fiber of my being. It was amazing in every aspect. The world building was beautiful. The characters, incredible. Just everything. 

The plot. 
The book was fast paced, I could not put the book down. We had dual POVs and were able to see every event in both perspectives. I loved how everything was introduced and the sequence of the events. The ending was immaculate too. It had you wanting the next book, but still content with the ending. I felt so immersed into the world and wanting more of everything and everyone. 

The characters. 
I think this book is extremely character driven. Eris' crew was just so fun to get to know.  I loved reading their interactions and getting to know them. The way that they are each other's family makes my heart swoon. Sona and Eris were also incredible main characters. Their banter and sexual tension was to die for.

Overall, I loved this book so much and would recommend this book to everyone. 

Thank you to Feiwel Friends/Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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5 STARS

What did I just read. Gearbreakers is everything I could have wanted in a book. After that ending, I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait for book 2.

"So what do you say, Sona? Wanna be an inconvenience with me?"

Gearbreakers takes place in Godolia—a high-tech location of tyrannical rule that uses mechas to aid in their power. Told from the point of view of two young girls, both on opposite sides of the war, Gearbreakers allows the story to unfold in such a spectacular and amazing way. When Sona, a Windup pilot, encounters Eris, they discover that they are both secretly fighting for the same side.

"And you . . . you are ridiculous, and chaotic, and arrogant, and a headache, and—and—" Her hands lift from her sides, unfurl helplessly. And then she's laughing. "You are going to kill me one day, Eris Shindanai, I have never been surer of anything."

Gearbreakers is somehow the most violent and terrifying book while also being the fluffiest and wholesome book ever. I love it so much. The found family in Gearbreakers was one of my favorite parts—especially all of the banter and the dynamic between the Gearbreakers. I love seeing a half-asian character in a sf/f book written by an actual half-asian author. It makes me feel so represented to see a queer and wasian character in this book. Reading this book feels both like a warm hug and a stab in the gut. I cannot wait any longer for the next book.
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What an incredible read! Eris & Sona will live in my mind rent free. The machines were incredible, the Gearbreakers were impressive, the friendship and family was so beautiful. This was such a good read full of found family, adventure, love and twists! I can’t wait for the sequel!!
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The dystopian setting of the book was very interesting! I really enjoyed the dynamic that Eris had with her crew. I am not not sure if this is a standalone or not but I am really hoping the author is able to continue the story.
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This book was absolutely fantastic. I've already added it to our library collection and recommended it to students.
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Big points for being a mecha story. And it doesn't shy away from kids being forced to do horrible things, which is, well, not integral to mecha stories, but at least a common theme in many of them. And bonus points for queer content.

I do have to say that I frequently felt like I didn't quite get what was going on. I felt like the characters were speaking on a wavelength I wasn't privy to. Like if you want into a room and everyone has all these injokes that you don't get, so you can't quite communicate with them. And you'd think that one of the characters being introduced into this family/community of Gearbreakers would help you, the reader, to better understand them. But she seems to understand them already and then starts talking like them.

Which is to say, I understood this book better in the beginning. And it seemed like I understood it less and less as time went on.

It also seemed more violent than Hunger Games, somehow!

I probably won't be reading the next book in the series, but I'm glad this book exists. I'm sure there are right readers for it out there.
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Yesss. Everything about this book was absolutely impeccable. I'm obsessed. From the absolutely exquisite writing to the plot and characters and love story. I can't wait for the next book and everything else Zoe Hana Mikuta writes.
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Disclaimer: I got this book in exchange for an honest review.

This review will be up on Pop-Culturalist.com on June 29th. I'm not going to discuss any spoilers in this one, because it will be on the review. This book is ideal for fans of Pacific Rim, Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu's Legend series. Two, young girls are on different sides during a war but they realize they are fighting for the same cause and they start to fall in love. I loved reading about Eris more than Sona and I enjoyed this overall!
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Perfect for YA fans of sci-fi/fantasy, Gearbreakers is a fresh and fun book that will please a wide variety of YA readers. Zoe Hana Mikuta has created a twisty plot with solid works-building that will engage readers and have them turning page after page.
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Eris is a Gearbreaker who takes down Windups. Sona is a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. They’re supposed to be on opposite sides of the war, but they’re fighting for a common purpose. They also start to fall for one another.

It’s seriously my favorite book that I’ve read within the past year at least. I’ve already started recommending it to people, and I’m now following the author on social media to be sure I know when #2 is in the works. So good! 

There are also some lovely friendships, and readers can look forward to the tech-savvy Jenny, Eris’ sister. Hand this one to fans of Hunger Games, Marie Lu, Divergent, and the like. Fun, science fiction novel with a wlw romance. I’m so excited for others to read this one, and I look forward to the sequel once that is available. Be prepared to be left with a cliffhanger.
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Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta was one of my most anticipated books of 2021. Give me a story about mecha god-like machines that shake the earth, angry queer girls, and enemies-to-lovers, and I will probably be first in line to read it. Though Gearbreakers was not quite what I expected, I ultimately enjoyed this action-packed story, primarily for its unexpectedly compelling and evocative themes. 

The story follows two girls – Sona and Eris. Sona is a cybernetically-enhanced soldier, trained to pilot giant mecha weapons called Windups. Though trained by the tyrannical nation of Godolia, Sona harbours a secret: she has infiltrated the Godolia Windup academy to destroy it from within. Eris, the other narrator in the story, is a Gearbreaker. Living on the outskirts of Godolia, Eris is part of a resistance and specialises on taking down the giant Windups that terrorise the free Badlands. 

Let’s talk writing, because I think this is going to be discussed at length when this book releases in the mid-year. This book has an incredibly shaky start. Though burning with emotion and intensity, the prose is cluttered, the adjectives excessive, the mythos a little confusing, and ultimately challenging to read. I found myself having to re-read certain passages because it was difficult to understand the actions taking place in the narrative, especially during Sona’s chapters. I’m stubborn though, so I kept reading, hoping that the writing would get better.

Thankfully, the writing did get better significantly. At around the 20% mark, the story starts to shed the superfluous descriptions and starts telling a good story. Whether the writing style in the first 20% was intended to be atmospheric or indicative of Sona’s anger and angst, I don’t know. But, what I can say is that the messiness of the first chapters are not indicative of the writing style in the rest of the book. In fact, the writing is later fantastic and riveting, sharp and violent not like a whetted dagger but a serrated blade. Admittedly, Gearbreakers has a shaky start, one that may turn some readers, but is the story that follows worth sticking around for? I think: yes; give this book a chance and you might actually have a great time.

What pulled and pushed me through the story was the two wonderful protagonists, Sona and Eris. Both are these fanged, angry girls who are made of fight and danger and a stubborn will to survive. Though I loved Eris as a character, loved the way she steadily falls for Sona and fights for those she loves, Sona was just such a phenomenal character who I enjoyed following and I loved how her character development explores identity in a way that we only really see in science-fiction. Made and remade into the image of the people that she swore to destroy, her character reminded me of Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell (and I say this as high praise), wherein her identity is constant flux across the story. Sona’s character arc was thoughtful and gripping, and I enjoyed the in-depth portrayal of the emotional conflicts of being a living weapon. 

Gearbreakers was also surprisingly thematic – and the themes explored in this were compelling. As you may expect, Gearbreakers is an action-packed story filled with brutal fights and surviving a ruthless world. Underneath that, underneath the action and the edginess, Gearbreakers is also a profound and bittersweet story about teens and children caught in the crossfire of a senseless war. Set in a world where peace does not exist, where the monsters are mechas made to be like gods, mere children have to swallow their fear and harden themselves to a world and future where they are primed, trained, and prepared to kill and die. 

Throw on top of the fact that Gearbreakers follow two queer teens – Sona is lesbian and Eris is bisexual/pansexual – and we have a fiery story about two girls who find something to live for, rather than to die for, in a time of war. I loved how the story builds up this profoundly desolate world where surviving is by the skin of your teeth and graze of a bullet, and then we just get this… tenderness, where two girls find a home in each other, find someone to come home to. The romance in this is slow-burn; it’s unlike any romance I have read before, in that it is so deeply passionate and incendiary without physical intimacy. Rather, the intensity of their romance is how fiercely they will protect and fight for the other – and I loved that so much.

In addition to Sona and Eris, we also have Eris’s Gearbreaker crew. The found family in this was wonderful – a group of kids who goof off, act silly, play with each other, and when they aren’t doing that, are killing or trying not to get killed. I found myself shaking my head while reading, muttering to myself, “they’re just kids.” I felt heartbroken, sad – and loved that the story evoked these feelings. Though some of the crew aren’t particularly memorable, the overall found family dynamic enriched the atmosphere: that, in a world where bonds are made scarce by the desperation to survive, nothing matters more than the people that you love. 

Though Gearbreakers has an unsteady start, the story finds its momentum and fires off with its fight, viciousness, and violence to make it an entertaining and compelling read. This looks like it will be the start of a series (whether it will be a duology or trilogy, I don’t know), and I genuinely look forward to reading whatever comes next. The emotional moments are this story’s greatest strengths, and I would certainly love to see Zoe write more angry girls who are feral, dangerous, and, very rarely, soft.
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I went into this book with my hopes and expectations incredibly high. And somehow...it managed to exceed them. 

Here is a list of out of context reasons I loved it because I still can't form coherent thoughts:

- CHARACTERS. Messy, witty, beautiful characters. 
- Found family!!
- Sapphics that tattoo and flirt at the same time. 
- CYBERPUNK SAPPHICS DID I MENTION
- Slow-burn enemies to allies to…
- Badass !! action !! scenes!!!
- the fuck you but i love?? you dynamic
- WOMEN

EArc provided by Netgalley and Macmillan publishing in exchange for honest review.
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There was a lot of cheesy dialogue that was similar between the two main characters. Things like "You don't have my permission to die today." A lot of it felt forced and hard to take seriously. 

The beginning didn't flow well for me, making it hard to stay interested. I feel more explanation could be given about this world and what's going on. The dual perspectives in the beginning don't add much for me other than more to be left wondering about.

I came really close to not finishing this at all. It was a struggle just to get to 30%. I ended up mostly skimming the rest of the book to see if it would catch me.
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Thank you very much Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I am SO happy to have received this ARC and happy to report that I LOVED this book, one of my most anticipated book releases of 2021. It has everything I could ever want: a sci-fi setting that has the vibes of Pacific Rim, a found family aspect a-la Firefly, and two girls falling in love. 
This book is YA but it does NOT shy away from anything, especially not the horrors of war. There are very bloody and violent scenes. These characters are ruthless - I've seen them described as feral, which I agree with. But you love them all the same. 

The amazing writing pulled me in from the very first chapter, and the two perspectives of Sona and Eris were each written very differently, so the two characters felt like they had very different personalities from the start. I feel like sometimes dual POVs tend to sound the same, but this book masterfully differentiates from them. All the characters in this book feel lifelike.

My only complaint is that it could get a little bit info-dumpy at times; there was a passage at the beginning that info-dumped about a war, which I feel could have been conveyed to the reader just by weaving it into the story and character's conversations. Despite this, Gearbreakers was an incredibly impressive debut novel, and I can't wait to read more by Zoe Hana Mikuta.
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Two girls on opposite sides of a war discover they're fighting for a common purpose--and falling for each other

I went into this book with my hopes and expectations incredibly high. And somehow, still it managed to exceed them. Here is a list of out of context reasons I loved it:

CHARACTERS. Messy, witty, beautiful characters. 
Found family!!
Sapphics that tattoo and flirt at the same time. 
CYBERPUNK SAPPHICS DID I MENTION
Slow-burn enemies to allies to…
Brilliantly described mecha-windups 
Badass action scenes!!!
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