Book Review: Rebelwing by Andrea Tang

Title: Rebelwing
Author: Andrea Tang
Publisher: Razorbill / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: February 20, 2020
ISBN: 9781984835093

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A black-market-media smuggler and scholarship student at the prestigious New Columbia Preparatory Academy, Pru is lucky to live in the Barricade Coalition where she is free to study, read, watch, and listen to whatever she wants. When a drop-off goes awry, Pru narrowly escapes UCC enforcers to find that her rescuer is, of all things, a sentient cybernetic dragon. Drawn into a revolution she has no real interest in leading, Pru and friends Anabel, Alex, and Cat, become key players in a brewing conflict with the UCC as the corporate government develops advanced weaponry more terrifying and grotesque than Pru could have ever imagined.

Rebelwing follows Prudence Wu, a book smuggler and students whose life goes awry when she forms an imprint with a cybernetic dragon and finds herself in the middle of a conflict that she’s previously had little interest in being involved in. Her social circle expands beyond her friend Anabel to include new friends who are central to the plot of the brewing war. Pru has to learn to accept her own flaws and to embrace her strengths in order to find a way to move forward, gain confidence, build relationships, and find success. Hers is a story of self-discovery and coming of age as Pru works to find her inner strength and to reach her full potential.

What I loved about Rebelwing is that most of the characters featured are from marginalized or minority groups whether racially or sexually. It’s great to see a diverse and representative cast of characters who are well-developed, who experience strong character growth, and who are all central to the plot. These are the characters who are driving this story forward, who are striving for change, and who ultimately triumph throughout the story.

I was on the fence about this book as a whole, unfortunately. I wanted to like it, but I struggled to get into the plot. I felt a strong sense of disconnect between the story and being fully absorbed. I felt that the romance was not central to the plot and actually took away from some of the finer details of the story. There’s a time and a place for relationships, but the primary relationship that blooms in this book didn’t seem genuine to me and took away from the political strife, family struggles, financial disparity, and divided societal structure that these characters are entrenched in. All of these issues could have shone brighter if they’d been paid the attention that they deserve.

I will also say that I’m sorely disappointed with the cover of this book. It’s hokey and doesn’t do justice to the story, unfortunately. If I saw this at my local bookstore, I would not be racing over to pick this up.

I gave this one 3 stars out of 5. I enjoyed it overall, but didn’t love it. I think there is a lot of room for improvement, but I don’t feel a need to continue with this series. Let me know if you had a better experience with this one!

Published by wornpagesandink

Hi! I'm Jaaron. I'm a book-obsessed blogger, writer, reader, coffee-drinker, and dog-lover. I have a B.A.H. in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Book and Magazine publishing. I've been fortunate to have worked in both trade and educational publishing. If you have any recommendations for excellent reads, let me know!

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