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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--in Zoe Hana Mikuta's high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown's Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu's Legend series. We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead... The shadow of Godolia's tyrannical rule is spr Two girls on opposite sides of a war discover they're fighting for a common purpose--and falling for each other--in Zoe Hana Mikuta's high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown's Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu's Legend series. We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead... The shadow of Godolia's tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords. Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within. As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia's reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer--as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more...


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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--in Zoe Hana Mikuta's high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown's Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu's Legend series. We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead... The shadow of Godolia's tyrannical rule is spr Two girls on opposite sides of a war discover they're fighting for a common purpose--and falling for each other--in Zoe Hana Mikuta's high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown's Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu's Legend series. We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead... The shadow of Godolia's tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords. Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within. As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia's reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer--as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more...

30 review for Gearbreakers

  1. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    if I had to read one more version of “you do not have my permission to die” in this book I was legitimately going to gouge my eyes out rtc, possibly 1.5 // buddy read with ju (tag later)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Gong

    This is my official, professional blurb: An absolute joyride of a story set in a vivid, arresting world. Gearbreakers is sci-fi at its very finest, combining the grandeur of mecha fighting machines with the intimacy of (splendidly feral) found family. Zoe Hana Mikuta is a talent to be in awe of. And this is my unprofessional Chloe blurb: OH MY GODDDDD THIS BOOK IS SO GOOOOOD. Listen. Gearbreakers blows all the other girlies out of the water with absolutely kickass characters who have such tangible This is my official, professional blurb: An absolute joyride of a story set in a vivid, arresting world. Gearbreakers is sci-fi at its very finest, combining the grandeur of mecha fighting machines with the intimacy of (splendidly feral) found family. Zoe Hana Mikuta is a talent to be in awe of. And this is my unprofessional Chloe blurb: OH MY GODDDDD THIS BOOK IS SO GOOOOOD. Listen. Gearbreakers blows all the other girlies out of the water with absolutely kickass characters who have such tangible wants that come right from their bloody, beating hearts. It's got feral-then-soft romance, it's got unhinged mentor figures, it's got beautiful writing that keeps the pages turning effortlessly. Teen readers everywhere absolutely must rejoice and pick this up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    I’ve been putting off writing this review because I honestly have no clue how I’m meant to do this stunning book justice. I fell hard for Sona and Eris and their story and just absolutely adored this book from beginning to end. Unfortunately however, the ending has left my brain all mushy with no thoughts except feral sapphics, found family and when can I read the sequel? What first struck me about Gearbreakers was the writing. The prose was gorgeous and vivid and expertly wielded to capture the I’ve been putting off writing this review because I honestly have no clue how I’m meant to do this stunning book justice. I fell hard for Sona and Eris and their story and just absolutely adored this book from beginning to end. Unfortunately however, the ending has left my brain all mushy with no thoughts except feral sapphics, found family and when can I read the sequel? What first struck me about Gearbreakers was the writing. The prose was gorgeous and vivid and expertly wielded to capture the atmosphere of the book. From the towering power of Godolia and its mechas, to the deserted wasteland of the Badlands, every setting was so clearly, beautifully described. The contrast between our two main locations and their people was so stark and I loved seeing the crossover through Sona’s character. I absolutely adored reading from both our main perspectives, Eris and Sona. They each had distinct voices, personalities and motivators and this clearly influenced each of their decisions. They were each feral and determined and ready to do anything to protect those they cared about, particularly each other and Eris’s team of gearbreakers. Speaking of, I adored Eris’s team and the found family of misfits vibe they had going on. Reading scenes with them all, especially with a newcomer in the mix, was just a joy. I adored reading the slowburn build of Sona and Eris’s relationship from enemies to something more. I felt that the development was at the perfect pace to build tension and fit with the characters’ distrust of the other and the intense, impossible situation they each found themselves in. They each complimented each other so well and I loved reading their banter and flirting. Their tender moments stood in harsh contrast to the violent, dangerous situations they were in which just made them feel all the more special and raised the stakes perfectly. I found the development of the plot to be at the perfect pace to allow the characters to develop and learn to trust one another, while remaining fast paced and creating a lasting tension. The fight scenes and mecha takedowns were so fun to read and I loved the questions they brought up of what it means to be a god, and what it means to kill one. The whole concept of mechas and pilots was unlike anything I’d ever read and served to create a vivid, engaging world and story. Gearbreakers is a love story at its heart and maybe that’s why I loved it so much. With feral sapphics, found family and giant mecha deities, Zoe Hana Mikuta has created a stunning book guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. If you need me, you’ll find me anxiously awaiting the sequel and hoping that my girls will make it through it intact. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 4.5 stars Godolia wished for gods so badly that they set about creating them, secured with the invention of Windups, giant mechanized weapons piloted by cybernetically-enhanced individuals. Now Godolia’s tyranny is endless and those that resist are at the mercy of their cruelty. Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a rebel tasked with crippling Windups from the inside and bringing Godolia to its breaking point. On a day that ends with a mission gone badly, Eris is captured and brought to one of God ↠ 4.5 stars Godolia wished for gods so badly that they set about creating them, secured with the invention of Windups, giant mechanized weapons piloted by cybernetically-enhanced individuals. Now Godolia’s tyranny is endless and those that resist are at the mercy of their cruelty. Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a rebel tasked with crippling Windups from the inside and bringing Godolia to its breaking point. On a day that ends with a mission gone badly, Eris is captured and brought to one of Godolia’s prisons. There she finds an ally where she least expects it, Sona Steelcrest, a newly enhanced windup pilot with loyalties of her own. Sona has successfully infiltrated the Windup program in an effort to quell Godolia, and though the two could not be more different, they share a common goal: to destroy Godolia’s tyrannical reign from within. As a fan of pretty much anything sci-fi-related, Gearbreakers ticked all the boxes for me. A brilliant debut perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Red Rising, and the Legend series that could not have possibly lived up to those comparisons any more so than it did. Set in a world with divided loyalties and an oppressive regime, this intense novel brings heart-stopping action sequences and a wholesome found family all together under one roof. With an exceptional cast of characters to follow, each with their own motivations, reading this was like slowly easing open a door and unlocking all of its secrets. Zoe Hana Mikuta certainly takes her time to set the stage for what's currently at play in this futuristic society but makes everything down the line all the more rewarding. I loved gradually learning more about each of the characters and the part they had to play in the rebellion and to one another. While each of these characters felt distinct and could stand on their own, by far the best part of the book was seeing all that they could accomplish together. The camaraderie and more lighthearted moments between the crew spaced out the serious parts of the story and helped solidify the found family aspect I was looking for. There was definitely a lot to keep up with at times, give or take some heavy lifting at the beginning, but where Gearbreakers excels is in the thick of the action. Every battle or skirmish was so vividly described and clearly thought-out I felt as if I was there. It's not often I can visualize a whole scene or action sequence and Gearbreakers did that for me. An added bonus is absolutely the romance between Eris and Sona, two people on seemingly opposite sides of a war, drawn together by their desire to end it. The tension and small moments they had together completely outsold everything else for me and I will be needing more immediately. After the way this ended, I am not sure I can wait until 2022 for the sequel. Zoe, please pay for my therapy, my lawyer will be in contact. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger warnings: death, blood, violence, torture

  5. 5 out of 5

    literarylesbian

    (2.5, rounded down) I had extremely high expectations going into this book, but I was both let down and underwhelmed after reading. I had a lot of problems with this book across the board, which I'll address later in my review. My biggest problem by far was the plot, or lack there of. The premise of this book is really interesting, but the execution was poor. The plot was clearly not thought out, and the story seemed stagnant to say the least as a result. Additionally, the worldbuilding gave the (2.5, rounded down) I had extremely high expectations going into this book, but I was both let down and underwhelmed after reading. I had a lot of problems with this book across the board, which I'll address later in my review. My biggest problem by far was the plot, or lack there of. The premise of this book is really interesting, but the execution was poor. The plot was clearly not thought out, and the story seemed stagnant to say the least as a result. Additionally, the worldbuilding gave the readers very little to go on, especially with such an extensive dystopia featured. I also took issue with the overall romance in the book. The main character was in a previously established relationship with a man, but clearly cheated emotionally with the other main character. When talking to some bisexual friends, they felt like this fell into negative stereotypes of bisexual people, women especially so. And for a book so widely promoted as a women loving women romance, it left much to be desired in that category. There was so little basis in the relationship that I almost didn't want them together. I'm not even sure this book qualifies as sapphic relationship period. Another problem I had with this book was the lack of clear cut queer rep. The author said that the main character was lesbian but nowhere is that indicated. The same can be said with the bisexual main character. It seemed like this book was going for the ever popular found family trope but left the side characters so underdeveloped that it fell flat. The side characters' only traits were being crazy jokesters but it was so painfully overdone that I wanted to throw my phone across the room. This book redid the same two jokes every other page, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. The dialogue felt like it was constantly reusing the same practiced comebacks that made me want to slam my head into the wall. Overall, the plot was non-existent, the worldbuilding made no sense, and the characters were so painfully annoying that even they couldn't save it. I realize now how mean this review sounds, but I was genuinely so excited to read this book and had my expectations shattered. The premise of the book is really good, so I hope the author is able to improve in the second book. I am actually curious to see how they work with the ending, because it was very underwhelming while still being insanely dramatic.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shawna :)

    Thank you to YallWest and NetGalley for allowing my to review an advanced reader’s copy of this book. I received an eArc of this book in a YallWest giveaway and accessed it through NetGalley. Gearbreakers was one of the arcs that I was most excited to read this year. It’s a young adult futuristic world with a sapphic romance. It sounded right up my alley, but I was so disappointed by it. My expectations were way too high for this book. I appreciate how much work the author put into writing this Thank you to YallWest and NetGalley for allowing my to review an advanced reader’s copy of this book. I received an eArc of this book in a YallWest giveaway and accessed it through NetGalley. Gearbreakers was one of the arcs that I was most excited to read this year. It’s a young adult futuristic world with a sapphic romance. It sounded right up my alley, but I was so disappointed by it. My expectations were way too high for this book. I appreciate how much work the author put into writing this book. It was cleverly written and the amount of skill it takes to create a world like the one in this book is incredible. I think that this book will find its intended audience and people will love this book, but it just wasn’t for me. The major fault for me with this book was the characters. I’m really into character driven stories, but I couldn’t find any characters that I liked throughout this story. The main characters were the biggest issue for me, especially Eris. Sona was very robotic and I had troubles connecting to her. I felt that her emotions and her reasons behind her actions, especially her hasty decisions, could’ve been delved into deeper, but they unfortunately weren’t. Eris… oh boy, I hated her guts. She was extremely annoying and she was so full of herself, a trait I detest in most main characters that I read about. Side characters can sometimes make a story enjoyable for me, but there were too many of them to keep track of and a lot of them had the same personalities. Another major issue was the amount of info dumping thrown onto the reader at the start of the book. It was overwhelming and slowed down the pace of the story. It made me lose interest in the story and it was a struggle to force myself to keep reading. In the last 30% or so of the book, it felt like there was a lot of fade to black for scenes that I actually wanted to see. There were battles left unfinished and romantic moments that would’ve been nice to see, but the fade to black or brief time leaps as some might call it ruined those moments for me. To end with a positive though, the romance caught me off guard. I knew which two characters would fall in love but their romance was a slow burn with lots of chemistry that made my heart flutter because it was cute. Was this the worst book I ever read? Absolutely not but so many parts of this book disappointed me and the book was a drag to get through.

  7. 5 out of 5

    katie ❀

    haha.... bestie you can't just end a book like that and expect me to be fine?? will be patiently waiting in agony for the second book. but really, i have never felt more seen in a book than this one!! korean queer rep!! haha.... bestie you can't just end a book like that and expect me to be fine?? will be patiently waiting in agony for the second book. but really, i have never felt more seen in a book than this one!! korean queer rep!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Hana Mikuta

    I wanted GEARBREAKERS to be an dark, action-packed YA sci-fi, but with the feel of a coming-of-age story. It's the 'found family' trope above everything else, always. Read: -deity-mechas w/: thermal cannons, swords, wings, etc. -renegade girls w/: tattoos, cyberpunk weaponry, overalls, leather jackets, those panicked/tender sapphic thoughts -a crew of loose cannons w/: nights dancing around in the common room, sneaky charcoal drawings of Eris, burnt popcorn and jasmine tea and chess, 200-ft mecha t I wanted GEARBREAKERS to be an dark, action-packed YA sci-fi, but with the feel of a coming-of-age story. It's the 'found family' trope above everything else, always. Read: -deity-mechas w/: thermal cannons, swords, wings, etc. -renegade girls w/: tattoos, cyberpunk weaponry, overalls, leather jackets, those panicked/tender sapphic thoughts -a crew of loose cannons w/: nights dancing around in the common room, sneaky charcoal drawings of Eris, burnt popcorn and jasmine tea and chess, 200-ft mecha takedowns as a fAmIlY -(hypothetically, of course): ' what if I was tattooing you, you on the couch w/ your head tucked over mine and me kneeling on the rug, fireplace burning slow and y(our) new family dancing around us after our first mecha takedown together . . . and we were both girls ' *5/5 stars b/c I think it's super cool

  9. 4 out of 5

    Althea | themoonwholistens ☾

    "To the reckless, lovestruck kids. (The former may be lethal, but the latter makes it worth it.)" that dedication page tho 🥺💕 // arc buddy read with katie <3 we love to see it *Thank you to the publisher -Feiwel Friends/Macmillan- for sending me an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* ----- publicly claiming that this will be the next book i read because i keep thinking about it and i'm itching to start it and i will not let the ARC intimidate me 😤 "To the reckless, lovestruck kids. (The former may be lethal, but the latter makes it worth it.)" that dedication page tho 🥺💕 // arc buddy read with katie <3 we love to see it *Thank you to the publisher -Feiwel Friends/Macmillan- for sending me an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* ----- publicly claiming that this will be the next book i read because i keep thinking about it and i'm itching to start it and i will not let the ARC intimidate me 😤

  10. 4 out of 5

    ribbs

    WHAT JUST HAPPENED Gearbreakers is one if not my most anticipated book of 2021. I don’t read much Sci-Fi, but the plot instantly hooked me. Gearbreakers is told in duel POV between 2 girls from opposite sides of a war. Sona a “a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot” and Eris “a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside”.This book is filled with all of my favorite tropes, found family, touch her and I will kill you, hurt/comfort, forced to work togethe WHAT JUST HAPPENED Gearbreakers is one if not my most anticipated book of 2021. I don’t read much Sci-Fi, but the plot instantly hooked me. Gearbreakers is told in duel POV between 2 girls from opposite sides of a war. Sona a “a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot” and Eris “a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside”.This book is filled with all of my favorite tropes, found family, touch her and I will kill you, hurt/comfort, forced to work together even though we don’t really trust each other, there was even a part where they gave each other TATTOOS AHHHH, I loved it. The world building was a lot, and I can definitely see this not being for everyone but personally I really enjoyed it. The two main characters Sona and Eris were so easy to love and want the best for. I was rooting for them the entire book. Their backstories and beliefs make them so likable and they were both so strong. I’m glad this was told from both of their POVs because getting their inner monologue was nice. I can strongly say they are some of my new favorite main characters. The found family was one of my favorite parts,I loved it but some of the characters were a bit undeveloped. I think that if the author had gone into more detail about them, their interests, backstories, and relationships it would have made me fall in love with them a bit more. But I think that as a group the crew was super cool and their bickering was funny. I would 110% want to be part of Eris’s crew. I cried a couple times reading this, THE ENDING GOODBYE . I need to stop reading uncompleted book series because I need to know what happened next right now. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT A YEAR This is 100% in my top 10 book and I was blown away I can not wait for the second book. If you loved Crier’s War, Skyhunter or Legend you should check this book out!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Admittedly, Gearbreakers has a REALLY shaky start but if you have the patience for it, keep reading - because at the 20-ish% mark, the writing gets better and the story takes OFF. And it is glorious, unexpectedly emotive, and such a fun read. - Follows two queer Asian girls, Eris and Sona, on opposite sides of a war - who then discover that they are fighting for a common purpose. Together, they work to destroy the mecha weapons and the tyrannical reign of Godolia, and perhaps fall in love with on Admittedly, Gearbreakers has a REALLY shaky start but if you have the patience for it, keep reading - because at the 20-ish% mark, the writing gets better and the story takes OFF. And it is glorious, unexpectedly emotive, and such a fun read. - Follows two queer Asian girls, Eris and Sona, on opposite sides of a war - who then discover that they are fighting for a common purpose. Together, they work to destroy the mecha weapons and the tyrannical reign of Godolia, and perhaps fall in love with one another too. - The beginning is difficult to get through. The writing at the beginning was superfluous and a bit excessive, and I found it difficult to grasp what was going on - and I can see this becoming a huge turn-off for readers. - And then, randomly 20% in, the story just... gets so much better. In fact, it becomes really bloody good. The writing improves (and stops trying hard), the story becomes sharp and engaging, and the characters intriguing and likeable. - Though there's action, I think this is ultimately a very emotive and character-driven book. The story is about teens and kids who become soldiers to fight a senseless and violent war. It's heartbreaking, and the way that Zoe explores this - through so much emotion and anger and rage and grief - was so powerful and good. - I actually loved how identity is explored here, especially through Sona's narrative - how she is made in the image of her enemy, loses herself along the way, and grapples with the loss of her identity and agency after being made a soldier. - I loved Sona and Eris together, my two darling queer darlings. The romance between them is unlike anything I've read before - it isn't romantic, per se, or soft, but there is a fierce tenderness and an undeniable connection between them. I loved that. - Again, I was not a fan of the beginning. But the other 80% of the book was glorious, fast-paced, and exciting. Trigger/content warning: death of loved ones, physical and graphic violence, torture, multiple blood mentions, graphic deaths.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nina Varela

    My blurb: Dark, fierce, thrilling, and tender, GEARBREAKERS will make your blood sing. Set in a ruthless, vividly imagined world against the scope of gods and sword-fighting mechas and a crushing war, Zoe Hana Mikuta deftly balances the brutal with the hopeful. An electric heart beats on every page of this breathlessly paced cyberpunk adventure. (IT'S SO.... H HGHHGGHAHHHGHGH!!!!!!!!!!!!) My blurb: Dark, fierce, thrilling, and tender, GEARBREAKERS will make your blood sing. Set in a ruthless, vividly imagined world against the scope of gods and sword-fighting mechas and a crushing war, Zoe Hana Mikuta deftly balances the brutal with the hopeful. An electric heart beats on every page of this breathlessly paced cyberpunk adventure. (IT'S SO.... H HGHHGGHAHHHGHGH!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  13. 4 out of 5

    jocelyn

    DID SOMEONE SAY CYBERPUNK SAPPHICS??? AND MECHAS???? i need it now

  14. 4 out of 5

    aashna

    im very mixed about how to feel... rating might change idk edit: decreased rating from 3 to 2 because i honestly didn't enjoy this book that much and it was one of my most anticipated releases.. rtc maybe im very mixed about how to feel... rating might change idk edit: decreased rating from 3 to 2 because i honestly didn't enjoy this book that much and it was one of my most anticipated releases.. rtc maybe

  15. 4 out of 5

    mace

    After I finished Gearbreakers at 1:30 am, I looked up from my phone, and for a few minutes pondered how I felt about it, what I liked and what I didn’t. The list of dislikes was endless. The list of likes was near-empty. Honestly, I don’t know if this is a case of “this book wasn’t for me” or the book just actually not being very good. I have a lot of thoughts, which I have tried to put into words in this (for my standard) long review. If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts, feel free to co After I finished Gearbreakers at 1:30 am, I looked up from my phone, and for a few minutes pondered how I felt about it, what I liked and what I didn’t. The list of dislikes was endless. The list of likes was near-empty. Honestly, I don’t know if this is a case of “this book wasn’t for me” or the book just actually not being very good. I have a lot of thoughts, which I have tried to put into words in this (for my standard) long review. If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts, feel free to continue reading, but be aware that this is an overwhelmingly negative review with a lot of messy thoughts. The book opens with Sona, one of the two main characters, having been transformed into a sort of cyborg-type creature who can pilot one of her city’s mecha-deities (also called Windups). Her story, in the beginning, takes place in Godolia, a sort of city-state that worships Gods in the form of giant robots, and pilots use those robots to… defend the city? And also to wipe out towns in the “Badlands”, the wasteland around Godolia. Some information is provided about wars from the past that have transformed the area into a wasteland, and at this point, there are only a few towns left that exist to provide resources for Godolia. The other point-of-view character in Gearbreakers is Eris, who is part of a group of people called “Gearbreakers”, whose mission is to take down the Windups that enter the Badlands. She captains her own crew of underage Gearbreakers who work together to take down Godolian robots. On one of her robot take-down missions, Eris is captured by the Godolians and taken to the Academy, where the mecha pilots, including Sona, reside. The entire first half of the book follows Eris as she gets captured, is tortured by the Godolians, and plots her escape with Sona, who is secretly anti-Godolian. One of my major problems with this book is the worldbuilding, which simply does not make sense. Vague references are to wars that have happened in the past, but it never quite becomes clear how Godolia came to be. At some point in the past, people have decided to merge all the major world religions, but it never becomes clear whether those are the religions on our Earth, or whether this book takes place in a secondary world. It would make sense for it to be a future version of Earth since some of the Windup classes are named after figures from religions in our world, for example, Valkyries or Archangels. Eris also mentions that she is named after one of their world’s gods of discord—Eris is the Greek goddess of discord. The problem is that if in this world, all the major world religions have been merged, it would make no sense for Greek and Norse polytheism (see Eris and Valkyries) to be merged with Christianity (see archangels). The characters also speak of “twin hells”, suggesting that two different religious concepts of hell have been combines, which, to me at least, also just makes zero sense. If you are going to make references to real-life religious concepts from past and present, I would at least like some more explanation for how these have been merged. Godolia as a state is also a vague concept. There are some descriptions of how the city looks, but it does not become clear how the city operates on, for instance, a political level. It is apparently lead by five “Zeniths”, but it never becomes clear who these Zeniths are, what they do, or how they come into their positions. Apart from that, the only aspect from Godolian society that is explored is the Academy, where soldiers are trained, and the pilots who control the mecha-deities. Other than that, I have so many more questions about Godolia. Why do they want to erase the Badlands people? They are mentioned to be at war with other nations, but where are these nations? Who are they? How did Godolia come to be? Do all Godolians believe that they are somehow superior to the people who do not live in Godolia? These questions just scratch the surface of my frustrations with the lack of insight that is provided into the setting of Gearbreakers. A significant part of the book also takes place in the operation base of the Gearbreakers, a place called the Hollows. This seems to be a collection of buildings where crews of Gearbreakers all live on their own floor, which is clear enough. The side characters introduced in this setting, however, are simply unmemorable. Eris is the captain of her own Gearbreakers crew and leads a bunch of kids in their effort to take down Godolia’s Windups. The problem is that none of these kids are memorable. They form the found family that is at the core of big parts of the story, and yet I could not keep most of them apart. I finished this book some 15 hours ago at the point of writing this review and I cannot remember most of their names, let alone tell you anything about them. That is a problem when large parts of the book focus on the connections between Eris, Sona, and these kids. Eris and Sona as characters also were not very memorable to me, if I’m honest. There were points in the book where I could not keep their points of view apart because both of their inner narratives are so heavily defined by anger and hatred for Godolia. Their anger is righteous, that is true, but without a clear background for the conflict between Godolia and the Badlands, I simply could not care less. Both characters are feral, angry, and aggressive, and I’m not necessarily opposed to that, but sometimes it felt like these characters were being aggressive for the sake of being aggressive and it got to a point where I started rolling my eyes at Eris in particular. As I wasn’t the biggest fan of either of their characters, I also did not particularly care for their romance. Also, when an author calls the book “a rom-com with robots” in her acknowledgments, I expect a bit more focus on romantic development. The plot and structure of Gearbreakers also left a lot to be desired for me. For a large part of the book, there does not seem to be a central plotline other than vaguely trying to rebel against the Godolian state. Towards the last third of the book, they finally seem to be working towards a final goal, but even then it is not structured well. There is a big battle happening around two-thirds into the book, but the final part of the battle is just… skipped over with a scene break? I was so confused and frustrated. In general, there are parts with emotional and romantic development skipped over in the last third that I would have been interested in seeing, whereas there are parts in the first two-thirds that I think could have been skipped over. Honestly, I sort of got the idea that the author first came up with characters and a romance and then realized that maybe the book also needed a plot and a world to take place in… and never properly developed them. All in all, Gearbreakers was just a massive disappointment. I can hardly pinpoint a single thing about the book that I actually liked, and I think this is genuinely one of my least favorite YA speculative fiction books I have ever read. I would be interested in reading more of Zoe Hana Mikuta’s work in the future because she is a young writer who does seem to come up with really cool concepts. I definitely won’t be reading the sequel to Gearbreakers,, though, even though that ending was mean. Content Warnings: torture, blood and gore, mass murder, familial death, gun violence, immolation, body mutilation

  16. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Mecha queer girls Sold A huge thank you to Edelweiss and Feiwel and Friends for the arc! As one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, I stack up against my expectations higher than the Eiffel Tower. Cover: check. Synopsis: check. Comp titles: CHECK. Characters: Ok, I loved them both equally for their fierceness and their loyalty. But I had a strong connection with Eris because she's my feral baby and I love her to death. The plot: interesting in its own right, but I had trouble keeping up with some Mecha queer girls Sold A huge thank you to Edelweiss and Feiwel and Friends for the arc! As one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, I stack up against my expectations higher than the Eiffel Tower. Cover: check. Synopsis: check. Comp titles: CHECK. Characters: Ok, I loved them both equally for their fierceness and their loyalty. But I had a strong connection with Eris because she's my feral baby and I love her to death. The plot: interesting in its own right, but I had trouble keeping up with some things and I'm not sure if it was because of the structure or if I was reading too fast. Honestly, I found myself losing interest at about 30% in, but kept on trucking because I wanted to see what happened with my babies. My emotions: OK, I wasn't expecting the book to have SO MUCH HEART, but here we are. I mean, I wasn't even asked permission for the author to put my heart into a vice. It's a heavy book, with a lot of loss and heartache and will run you through the gauntlet. All in all, I liked this book a lot and despite the lagging and the confusion, my little brain kept chugging on with Eris and Sona. Stellar debut.

  17. 4 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    literally in love with cover, concept, & the korean gays ..... but unfortunately i have seen some snippets of the writing and they all look incredibly terrible, so i am very excited to hate read this with m-eight 🙏 literally in love with cover, concept, & the korean gays ..... but unfortunately i have seen some snippets of the writing and they all look incredibly terrible, so i am very excited to hate read this with m-eight 🙏

  18. 5 out of 5

    skye

    dnf @ 22%. maybe longer thoughts soon? i want to base my opinions off the finished copy because the arc was. well. it was something.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    My rating: 5/5 stars I’ve finally found it. The book I would sell my literal soul to live in. You have absolutely no idea how badly I want to be a Gearbreaker. If Legend and Crier’s War had a baby and let Six of Crows babysit, it would be this book. Sona and Eris had the most Day and June romance I’ve read since Day and June. Just for reference, Day and June destroyed me. Battle couples. If you love battle couples you will love this book. Guaranteed. Okay, now for some actually coherent thoughts. Ma My rating: 5/5 stars I’ve finally found it. The book I would sell my literal soul to live in. You have absolutely no idea how badly I want to be a Gearbreaker. If Legend and Crier’s War had a baby and let Six of Crows babysit, it would be this book. Sona and Eris had the most Day and June romance I’ve read since Day and June. Just for reference, Day and June destroyed me. Battle couples. If you love battle couples you will love this book. Guaranteed. Okay, now for some actually coherent thoughts. Maybe. Right from the beginning I knew I would love this book, but I never could have pictured how absolutely it would destroy me. It did take a minute to get into it, but once I was in it there was no turning back. I loved Eris instantly, but Sona grew on me more gradually. But wow I love her so much now. I wish I could go back and read this entire book for the first time again. I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy because just look at that cover. Look at it. Gorgeous. I still can’t believe I actually just read this book. The one thing I wished this book had is just a smidge more worldbuilding. The world itself was pretty straightforward, your classic Hunger Games-esque capital city forces the rest of the country to work for them and kills them if they don’t, but I really want to know how we got there. Was there a war? A gradual overtaking of power? Hopefully the sequel will clear some of that up. Speaking of the sequel, if by some one in a million chance Zoe Hana Mikuta is reading this: hi, I loved your book with my entire heart and soul, my whole being. And if you just, maybe, sent me the next one, I promise I wouldn’t tell anyone. Pinky swear. Worth a try. I will be thinking about this book for months to come. It was one of those where all I wanted to do was read it. When I wasn’t reading Gearbreakers, I was definitely thinking about it. The crew had the best found family vibes and oh my god the banter. Not just between the main couple (although that was simply amazing) but the entire cast had impeccable sass and I loved it so much. The way they adopted Sona despite her being the enemy still makes me want to cry. And the battle scenes! This book had so much action and it was the best. Every chapter had something to keep you reading, I was literally never bored. Back to the romance, the way Eris and Sona talk about each other, even before they fall in love, is the most heartbreakingly adorable thing ever. I just love them so much. This was the sapphic romance that made my pride month. Was this the best book I’ve read in 2021 so far? Almost definitely. Would I do almost anything to read the sequel like, right now? You know it. Just please, please, please read this book. I would recommend this book if: you enjoyed Legend, Crier’s War, or Six of Crows, you are looking for a sapphic romance to ruin your life, you like tropes like enemies to lovers, found family, and rebellion I would not recommend this if: you are a contemporary reader

  20. 4 out of 5

    XR

    It’s both bloody awesome and bloody annoying! Awesome ‘cause giant mecha robots and lady lovin' ladies. Annoying ‘cause I loathe abrupt endings and cliffhangers. It’s both bloody awesome and bloody annoying! Awesome ‘cause giant mecha robots and lady lovin' ladies. Annoying ‘cause I loathe abrupt endings and cliffhangers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ash ♡

    DNF @26% short rtc!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexandria Ang

    i am going to freaking cry, i need book two.

  23. 4 out of 5

    jut

    i'm kinda disappointed because i have seen so many great reviews about this book that i had to pick this up and so i had high expectations, but it ended up being a lot messier than expected from what the author describes it was gonna be and i mean the whole plot, at first the characters were even cool and could have a good background but then they became annoying and repetitive! another thing was the world building, that made no sense at all and for the most part of the book i couldn't understan i'm kinda disappointed because i have seen so many great reviews about this book that i had to pick this up and so i had high expectations, but it ended up being a lot messier than expected from what the author describes it was gonna be and i mean the whole plot, at first the characters were even cool and could have a good background but then they became annoying and repetitive! another thing was the world building, that made no sense at all and for the most part of the book i couldn't understand what was going on and why the characters were acting the way they did! oh and the writing style....maybe it's just a personal choice but that's right here is not my cup of tea, a lot feels too much...repetitives dialogues and words, at certain point it became painful to read and i had to force myself to finish this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars Ummmm well F*CK THAT CLIFFHANGER AND A F*CKING HALF !!!! Just nononononoooooo 😱 Atm, no words. This was bloody brilliant, but I think the ending killed me. RTC

  25. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta Macmillan Children's Publishing Group I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this entertaining book! I really enjoyed the premise of the story! Giant machines with humans that are cyber-enhanced that plug into these great machines and become one. They then destroy any enemies, which is anyone that is against the very controlling government. To become one of these pilots is full of pain and possibly death. Very cruel training from an early age Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta Macmillan Children's Publishing Group I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this entertaining book! I really enjoyed the premise of the story! Giant machines with humans that are cyber-enhanced that plug into these great machines and become one. They then destroy any enemies, which is anyone that is against the very controlling government. To become one of these pilots is full of pain and possibly death. Very cruel training from an early age. The resistance fighters know a trick to bring down the giant machines and that is to jam up the gears in the middle of it. There is a couple of guards in the middle but no one expects them to get that far. That's why they're called Gearbeakers. One pilot went through all this training to turn against the government. She helps a gearbreaker escape. But can they trust each other? Love is in the air despite the distrust from others. This is where I found the book went downhill. It was then all about teenage love angst. The last half the book was more about romantic feelings than action, butt kicking, machine action! I know it's a teen book but there are giant machines! Lets get busy not kiss face! It's a LGBT book so if this offends you well don't pick it up! I found it entertaining and loved the action packed scenes. Teens will like both, action and romance, lol! I am just not into romance books. Definitely an author to watch!

  26. 5 out of 5

    ren

    well this is awkward.. i really tried to like this but i just couldn’t

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    *Spoiler free* I mean, a sci-fi with a title like Gearbreakers was enough to rope me in and shoot this book straight up my list of anticipated list. Plus, the author seems totally badass, so I was incredibly intrigued to see what kinds of book she would produce. Giant robots, rebels, taking down a tyrannical rule from the inside. Oh yeah, that sounded like a book I wanted to read. Trigger warnings: torture, grief, blood I am shocked almost speechless by this book. The best way to describe this book *Spoiler free* I mean, a sci-fi with a title like Gearbreakers was enough to rope me in and shoot this book straight up my list of anticipated list. Plus, the author seems totally badass, so I was incredibly intrigued to see what kinds of book she would produce. Giant robots, rebels, taking down a tyrannical rule from the inside. Oh yeah, that sounded like a book I wanted to read. Trigger warnings: torture, grief, blood I am shocked almost speechless by this book. The best way to describe this book is terrifying. The world it creates is terrifying. The giant, god-like robots are terrifying. Mikuta's talent is terrifying. The pain and suffering and hope in this book is terrifying. It's brilliantly terrifying. Alright, let's start with the world. It's incredibly bleak, but it also seems to be injected with a buzz that vibrates just beneath the skin. Also, that word terrifying? Yeah, I'm bringing it back again. This world looked for a God. And it got them in the form of massive, mass killing robots. The kind that can level towns with a single step. Those robots? Yeah, they don't belong to the good guys. They are used to keep people in line, to make sure they worship the people in power, to make sure a toe isn't out of line. And they are beautifully, horrifyingly written. The characters in this book are the definition of feral. They live for the fight. They live for the chance to hurt the government that has hurt them. They don't have permission to die, and damn, they are not going to. They run towards danger. Honestly, they all seem like they're hopped up on seventeen expressos at all times, which is extremely valid given their circumstances. But boy, do they certainly act like they are hopped up on caffeine. Of course, I loved them. Though, I am more scared of Jenny than anything else. Also, the pain that runs through this book is something else. It's so hard to describe, because it is so uniquely its own thing. It's fighting for yourself, it's fighting for the already dead, it's fighting for the living, it's fighting to cause pain to the people who hurt you. This book snaps hope in half, throws the pieces at your feet, and tells you to do something with them. And oh, the amazing things that can come out of two half pieces of hope. This book is also a heck of a lot heavier than I was anticipating. It doesn't shy away from anything. This is a cruel, broken world, with children trying to make it better. Of course it's going to be dark. And the way the darkness is handled is what makes it so amazing. I mean, this book is also very gay, so that ups the awesomeness by a lot. The writing, oh dang, the writing. I think it's this is what truly drives everything about this book home. It's heartbreaking, and it's gorgeous. I feels like a knife through the heart. And one I even welcomed. This is weird thing to mention, but I do feel like it's worth mentioning. I feel like it could have been so easy for this book to fall into feeling cheesy. Instead of having horrifying robots, they could've just been giant robots stomping around (think Spy Kids 3ish). But, it truly hits the mark with everything that it is trying to do. All in all, this book was very, very good. It might've been a bit heavy in places, for me personally, but this book overall is something special. Something terrifying, but something special. Just very, very good.

  28. 4 out of 5

    micah ➳ canonicallychaotic

    "how do you kill a god?" / "from the inside out." sona is a windup pilot: a cybernetic mecha operator who is a soldier for godolia–the tyrannical government in this dystopia. eris is a gearbreker: a rebel from the badlands who takes down mechas from the inside out. when one of eris' missions goes awry and she finds herself imprisoned in a godolia prison, their paths meet. but sona isn't like other windups. she wants to take down godolia just like the gearbreakers do. dystopian ya used to be my "how do you kill a god?" / "from the inside out." sona is a windup pilot: a cybernetic mecha operator who is a soldier for godolia–the tyrannical government in this dystopia. eris is a gearbreker: a rebel from the badlands who takes down mechas from the inside out. when one of eris' missions goes awry and she finds herself imprisoned in a godolia prison, their paths meet. but sona isn't like other windups. she wants to take down godolia just like the gearbreakers do. dystopian ya used to be my go-to genre. reading about teens taking down the government, the stakes of falling in love in the middle of a war, the escapism that came with reading about dystopia. it was always so fun. i've strayed away from dystopia as an adult since it started feeling like i was living in a dystopia half the time. and also most of these books featured straight white characters. i didn't see myself in the fictional revolutions, if not for some tokenized character that was vaguely asian-adjacent. gearbreakers is not that. sona and eris very much fall into the enemies to allies to....yearning. eris is shaping up to be a disaster bi and i love that for me. if i understood correctly, both of them are asian-coded (y'know how dystopia goes, but there's korean sprinkled lightly in the book which is so very refreshing.) most of all though, this book reflects on how the dystopian world breeds these kids to fight in wars that they didn't start. how learning to fight is what keeps them alive, but also what kills them. how they are forced to face their mortality at a young age because they don't know how much time they have or which battle will be their last. how some are bred to fight until the fight becomes them completely. at the heart of this book is a found family that leans on each other to survive, and a pair of sisters that push each other to be the best. so if the sapphic yearning wasn't enough for you, there's that. content warnings: violence (off-page torture and on page gore/body horror), death, general ya level sci-fi horror *a copy of this book was gifted to me for a book tour*

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    4.75 Stars Content warnings at end of review! Thank you to Netgalley and Fierce Reads for an arc of this book! Sona has been turned into a Valkyrie--an elite class pilot to the the giant Windups that Godolia uses to control the people of the Badlands; her body is no longer her own. As a Gearbreaker, Eris has devoted her life to taking down Windups and hating Godolia. But when Sona offers Eris a chance to escape capture, the girls team up with the rest of Eris' Gearbreaker crew to take Godolia down 4.75 Stars Content warnings at end of review! Thank you to Netgalley and Fierce Reads for an arc of this book! Sona has been turned into a Valkyrie--an elite class pilot to the the giant Windups that Godolia uses to control the people of the Badlands; her body is no longer her own. As a Gearbreaker, Eris has devoted her life to taking down Windups and hating Godolia. But when Sona offers Eris a chance to escape capture, the girls team up with the rest of Eris' Gearbreaker crew to take Godolia down. This book is so good! It has an incredible mix of fantasy and scifi elements, and the world-building and mechas are so incredible to read about! Sona and Eris are chaotic and feral main characters with hatred in their hearts and fire in their veins but I love them so fiercely. I really like the writing in this book, as well, and all the amazing elements of Found Family, enemies-to-lovers, and more! This was honestly the Queer SciFi I needed to read and I highly highly recommend! My only (tiny) complaint is that I sometimes forgot whose POV chapter I was on, so there could have been a little more distinction between Sona and Eris' voices. I can't wait for the sequel! Pub Date: June 29, 2021 Content Warnings Graphic: Blood, Body horror, Child death, Death, Death of parent, Emotional abuse, Gore, Grief, Gun violence, Kidnapping, Medical content, Murder, Physical abuse, Torture, Violence, and Vomit

  30. 4 out of 5

    taylor

    Honestly I went into this with pretty low expectations and it was still kind of a disappointment. I found the world building really confusing and there was just so much happening that it was hard to follow. I'll definitely check out the sequel just to see how things turn out and to see if anything is cleared up. I still love the concept and I think it has a lot of potential, this one just didn't quite hit the mark for me. Honestly I went into this with pretty low expectations and it was still kind of a disappointment. I found the world building really confusing and there was just so much happening that it was hard to follow. I'll definitely check out the sequel just to see how things turn out and to see if anything is cleared up. I still love the concept and I think it has a lot of potential, this one just didn't quite hit the mark for me.

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