Annie Reid and Perky Whittier are two girls just trying to make their own ways in a post-apocalyptic world where technology and big cities have been destroyed by global war, called; The War of the East and West. In the aftermath of war the smaller communities and the age of steam and Edwardian social mores have made a big comeback; creating a place where being an independent girl can be difficult. Annie is twenty-four years old; an aviator, a mechanic, and a steam-car racer. Perky is seventeen and Annie’s assistant mechanic, an athlete, and a proud cadet in the Gem City Home Guard. They have happy lives in their modern world; but their happiness is shattered when the city comes under attack by a heavily armed brigade of clone soldiers designed for combat and serving egomaniacal former General; Maxwell Orson. Making a daring escape from the onslaught, the girls flee to an unknown land to enlist the help of militia units from other cities because these girls fight back.
In an early 20th century/WW1 setting with horses and carriages, steam cars, motorbikes, biplanes and dirigibles, there are also war-walkers, occubots, warbots, nomads, rovers and combat model Y chromosome clone soldiers called Cyclones. When all hell breaks loose, two girls must find a way to strike back, to fight for the people they love and the lives they have come to know. Given the opportunity, a host of leftover technology from before The War of the East and West, and a wealth of human spirit, the two girls and the people they come to know make their stand against tyranny.
I've read Fanning's books before and just loved them, so I was excited to read his take on a steamage post-apocolyptic novel. I wasn't disappointed! In a world where steam is the staple of energy, protagonist Annie is a tough, determined woman who isn't afraid of anything. A mechanic and pilot, she tries to make the most of her life and seems to be pretty happy.
She's taken on an apprentice, Perky. Perky seems to like helping Annie with the mechanic repairs but also has stars in her eyes. She's happy go lucky and at only seventeen, has her whole life ahead of her. But when a regiment of cloned soldiers begins to infiltrate their town, the two girls run. Not because they are afraid, but to get help from other military units from a land they've never been to before. With their help, Annie and Perky plan on fighting back and restoring their own piece of happiness.
With memorable characters, riveting and at times, lighthearted dialogue, and a wonderfully built world, The Cyclone Wars is thoroughly entertaining and page-turning. Quick paced, keen writing and a unique world set the tone for this sure to be highly desirable novel. Well done Fanning! I can't wait to read the next one!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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