Shattered Veil: The Diatous Wars #1
In Diatous Wars: Shattered Veil, we find ourselves in a post-Apocalyptic world, where homes are solar-paneled, built high above Earth’s past ruined cities, numerous nations are at war, and people fly “winglets” as a major mode of transportation. In this world, we meet heroine Aris, a young adult in a farming community and talented pilot, a skill developed, in part, to compensate for her limp, resulting from an illness. She is on the verge of both her “selection” and “promise:” her appointed job training and engagement. As expected, she is selected for the environmental sectors because women, bearers of children in a war-decimated world, are too valuable to become fighter pilots. However, Aris’s boyfriend, Calix, suffers crushing disappointment when selected for the military, rather than medical sector, given the global conflict, ripping him from their hometown and delaying their promise. Aris then decides to accept the offer of a mysterious recruiter to train as a fighter pilot and disguises as a male with the help of a body concealing “veil,” in a community of other trainees who may be similarly disguised.
This book compels the reader forward, almost each chapter a single scene, as if meant to be filmed. It rises above well-tread territory of a futuristic world at war as it alternates between Aris’s personal conflicts and the larger global one, the details of both well conveyed. Although the globe’s territories and geography have changed, the reader catches glimpses of the familiar. For example, “Ruslana” is certainly a nation that evolved from Russia. Although there are some lapses—Aris and Calix refrain from intimacy because it wouldn’t be “right” without a promise, but by what standard is not clear as the society’s moral tradition has not been conveyed. This is a strong story with the convention of Aris’s disguise grounded in a tradition that goes back to Shakespeare, which the author references.
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