­Macmillan ­Audio. 2020. 1,158p. $50.99. ISBN 9781250759160.
Gr 7 Up–Talin is part of a fighting force that helps defend the last free nation of the world. Because she is a refugee, she understands the terrible things the Federation has done to nation after nation. Soon after losing her partner, she steps up and defends a prisoner who has been brought to Mara’s capital. She doesn’t know who he is and what secrets he might have, but he is now her partner and her responsibility. In Lu’s sci-fi series launch, life happens in the middle of a war; there are many fight scenes and hard choices to make. Talin is a fierce fighter, yet no one is perfect, and she must come to terms with what she is willing to do to save the ones she loves. Lu leaves listeners with a satisfactory ending instead of a cliffhanger, but fans will still be looking for the next installment when it is released. Natalie Naudus’s narration is languid and may confuse listeners who expect a more active reading style for such an action-packed book.
VERDICT The strong story means that Lu’s latest will make a good addition to a middle school, high school, or public library collection.

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