On the Edge of Your Seat | We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Friday, March 29, 2019

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 4/2/19
Pages: 400
Source: publisher in exchange for honest review (Thanks, Little Brown!)
Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity. Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first. We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.
Revna, a traitor’s daughter, keeps her head down at the factory that she works at. When a bomb lands in her hometown, she escapes death using illegal magic. The only problem: she was caught using it. Linné, a general’s daughter, disguises herself as a man to join the military to fight for the Union. It isn’t soon after that, she is caught. The two women join the 146th Night Raiders, a female-only regiment, that intend to use magic to help win the war against the Elda. With their clashing personalities, Revna and Linné must learn to work together. Their very lives depend on it. Claire Eliza Bartlett builds a stunning debut, leaving readers wanting more.

  • The intriguing premise of an all-female crew of militants using illegal magic to help end the war sounded absolutely fantastic! It also opens up to several reflections of women in the military and how they're treated. Despite the fantasy backdrop, the discussion on sexism can easily reflect our own society, and even some of our own experiences. 
  • The book opens right in the middle of a raging war. It was such an easy and visual way to be introduced to our two female leads. Revna finds herself under a bomb threat at the factory she works for. While Linné is being called into the colonel’s office for disguising herself as a man all this time. From these introductions, the back stories of both characters are immediately intriguing. We Rule the Night quickly becomes a page turner of epic proportions. 
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  • We Rule the Night follows the 146th Night Raiders, a group of amazing woman intent on flying planes run on magic to win the war. The regiment is filled with such a large cast, it's difficult to remember every name. The two leads are easy enough to remember: Revna and Linné. However, as much as readers get a few scenes filled with the large cast, there isn't much description to help remember each character in the book. 
  • Revna may have leg prosthetics but she doesn’t let that stop her fighting for the Union. When she falls, she gets back up. She is strong, intelligent, and brave—even if she doesn’t think so at first. 
  • Linné is immediately judged by the woman of her new regiment for her connections in the army and being her father’s daughter, a general’s daughter. It also doesn’t help that she acts as if superior and more-knowing than the other girls. However, a lot of the assumptions and fast judgments made by the girls were rather unfair as no one tried to break through Linné’s barrier to get to know her. Out of all the characters, Linné is the most realistic, most complex. Despite getting a bad reputation from the other characters, I quite liked her. 
  • I got some major steampunk vibes from We Rule the Night. YA has a sparse landscape of steampunk novels so I was stoked to find elements of it in this one. The book is set during wartime. There are planes made from living metal, which has a mind of its own. The pilot and navigator connect to the plane, becoming one mind. The concept was enthralling to behold. 
  • The friendship between Linné and Revna, once forced, becomes complicated and deep, intertwining with their clashing personalities. The war brings out the worst, and the best, of the two. In order to make their plane fly, they must connect their minds to the living metal which forces them to connect to each other on a different level. Through the book, readers witness the wonders of a friendship take root between Revna and Linné. 
  • The world building is constructed beautifully. The superb writing folds the world right into the seams of the story. There is a minimal info dumping which is always the best way to introduce a new world.
  • The ending wasn’t exactly what I wanted. It was realistic. Yet, after the exhilaration of the climax, the ending was a bit disappointing. Under my disappointment was a smile, however, in what the two amazing female leads had accomplished. 
  • I couldn’t help wanting more though. Bartlett opens readers’ eyes to this whole new world that is as fierce and deadly as it is gorgeous and intriguing. The story is a wild ride that straps you in and refuses to let go. 
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Bartlett created a superb world that I hope to visit again. We Rule the Night was a riveting narrative of complex relationships, shocking action sequences, and an on-the-edge-of-your-seat story.  

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  1. I hadn't really considered this one until now! I am not sure why it isn't getting more hype. I love a good book with illegal magic. Thanks for the review!