Reviews

Rebelwing, by Andrea Tang

snazel's review against another edition

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5.0

BOY did I do a 180 on this book as I read it. Really was not in a good mood at the start, was grumpy about everything, and I only kept reading because I normally trust the people who blurbed the book.

And then mom punched the president in the face and it got FANTASTIC. This book has trauma boys. Sentient dragon mechs. Betrayal. Fake Dating. Trauma girls. It All Comes Down To This final plays. Pacific-Rim-Style drift-compatible mech piloting. Extremely evil people to be punched (note, that isn't the president, that was just some fun times).

Note that I just had to knuckle down through the culture shock until I got used to the fact that this story was about super socially powerful kids. At some point a character in all sincerity is told to read the society pages to learn about a character's backstory.

carola84's review against another edition

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2.0

I just finished reading this book and multiple times had to force myself to keep reading and not DNF it in hopes it would get better.
Unfortunately it didn’t get better.

The writer style didn’t get my attention, I found it irritating to read. The main character was annoying and childish. I had high hopes about the dragon but even that wasn’t it for me.

Overall I finished reading this book but I could have lived with a DNF after all.

wildflowerz76's review against another edition

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4.0

As a student at New Columbia Prep, Prudence Wu has found a way to supplement her scholarship by smuggling black market media. But when she's betrayed by one of her buyers, she only makes it out by the last minute rescue from a sentient cybernetic dragon. Suddenly, Pru finds herself in the middle of a revolution she had no interest in joining.

Rebelwing is a smart, sci-fi, YA novel that I'm totally here for. This novels boasts multi-dimensional POC main character and we'll fleshed out queer side characters, all wrapped in a kick-ass story with cybernetic dragons! What's not to like?

esseastri's review against another edition

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5.0

This book makes me feel the same way I feel about Pacific Rim. It's bright and neon and full of absolutely delightful, unapologeitc ridiculousness. It's witty and warm, full of biting humor and character growth to die for. But it's also a social commentary and a ruthless destruction of capitalism and censorship. It's about a girl piloting a dragon-shaped mech that's sentient and imprinted on her mind. But it's also a war story. It's about absolute disaster teens who I love with my entire being and their straight up shenanigans. But it's also about revolution, and maybe a little bit about Les Mis, which makes it--you know--My Thing. My Exact Brand.

I admit I'm biased to like this story on principle, but trust me when I say that even if you don't think it's your jam, you will probably love it anyway. I'm not kidding when I say it's witty--the humor in this book had me in stitches, and my girlfriend asking me why I couldn't stop laughing out loud. But there are some poignant character moments that had me turning into a sobbing mess because
Spoilerhe'd make music, I DIE
. There's a gorgeous attitude about this book, which drops you into a near-future world that feels uncomfortably possible while at the same time being a little bit ridiculous, but in the best way. It trusts you to figure it out for yourself, much like the main character, Pru, who has to learn on the fly (literally). You learn along with her, and it's a wild ride, and I loved every page of it.

TL;DR: Revoltuionary disaster teens save the world from censorship and capitalism with a magical dragon mech. Please preorder now. You will not regret it.

localogophile's review against another edition

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

gnitro's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

vickycbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

Oh gosh, y'all. This was fantastic. Mecha-dragons, hard-hitting generational politics, and prep school kids all wrapped together in this action-packed futuristic dystopian novel.

May I repeat. Mecha-dragons!

Rebelwing is absolutely serious and fierce in its not only the life-threatening experiences that await Pru and her friends, but also the carefully constructed critique of capitalism, censorship, and morality in a radically different world. It's all this, with silly undertones at times reminiscent of the shenanigans of Trouble Is a Friend of Mine. Although mostly serious, ha.

Pru has her flaws and doesn't really know where she belongs in this world, but she's working through it in some of the most metal ways possible: bonding with an engineered metal dragon to help preserve her world.

I'd highly recommend for any lovers of action & high-stakes adventure, mixed with a little humor. I would also recommend paying attention in the first 15 or so pages, because it might be hard to grasp some of the political entities if you're reading loosely, and these are important!

kcollett75's review against another edition

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4.0

Gripping story of revolution-adjacent teens at a private school in an unsettlingly possible future where only a few areas of North America remain Unincorporated (controlled by corporations).

nerfherder86's review against another edition

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5.0

A great readalike for fans of dystopias like [b:Legend|9275658|Legend (Legend, #1)|Marie Lu|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1501368160l/9275658._SY75_.jpg|14157512] and anime and manga featuring "mechs" (giant mechanical robots and things). The first chapter is a bit confusing, it jumps you right in the middle of the action with backstory only vaguely referenced and also has a time jump, but I tell teen readers to stick with it til you figure out what's going on. Here's a little primer: it is set in a future where the United States, Mexico and Canada have been absorbed into the "United Continental Confederacy, Inc," a corporation-government that rules everywhere except for a few holdout cities such as "New Columbia" (formerly Washington, D.C.) that rebelled against the UCC 20 years ago and formed their own "Barricaded Coalition" (each city is safe behind its walls) to fight the Partition Wars. Our hero, Pru, smuggles black market books and comics past the Barricade to UCC citizens who still want to read uncensored, independent creations and not corporate-mandated books. When Pru is nearly caught by the cops, her escape only happens because she is rescued by a giant mech dragon! Turns out she has been "imprinted" upon by Rebelwing, a sentient mech, developed in secret by the Coalition government to defend against attacks by UCC "wyverns," which are like smaller dragons but mechanical? And not sentient. (This part was a little bit hazy to me, but I thought, 'Don't worry about the details and go with the flow!' And then I loved it. This is also why I put this down as both a fantasy and a sci fi--there's some supernatural aspects to this for the mind-bonding stuff.) Rebelwing was designed to be piloted by Alex, a handsome classmate of Pru's, and also a top notch mech pilot whose uncle was a rebel soldier with Pru's mom back during the Partition Wars. But instead, Pru is now going to be the pilot and she has no idea how, so she'll have to be trained. Along with Alex, she'll get help from her best friend Anabel, and Alex's cyborg/engineer friend Cat. They'll encounter wyverns and politics and betrayals and the fallout from their parents' long ago actions, in an action-packed, banter-filled adventure that had more heart than I was expecting. The family ties aspect was really nice. I also liked the First Amendment free speech angle, although it was just a side plot. And I definitely now want my very own sentient giant flying mech dragon!

ejmealer's review against another edition

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3.0

While the author effectively uses a teen voice, to connect with the targeted demographic, the plot leaves much to be desired in terms of continuity and intrigue. There are moments of action that draw a reader into the story, but they are lost in quick resolution that returns to a meandering passage of time. For what happens in the timeline, the plot feels as though it unfolds over a shorter period than the phrases suggest. There's an awkward hint of romance between two characters that is topped by the unknown of if they are related or not.
Some of the wins would be the relationship between two females, the acceptance of LGBTQ+ as they are, and the accuracy of teenage angst amidst the restrictions of school.