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War Girls

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Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther–inspired Nigeria. The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther–inspired Nigeria. The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there. Acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.


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Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther–inspired Nigeria. The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther–inspired Nigeria. The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there. Acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.

30 review for War Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi ♠

    *clutches book to chest and strokes the cover lovingly whilst crooning under my breath all the love songs I can think of*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I’m ashamed to admit that I went into reading WAR GIRLS knowing almost nothing about the Nigerian Civil War that ravaged the country in the late 1960s, following a declaration of secession and resulting in the displacement and death by famine of countless millions. I held my breath through much of this book. It’s the story of two sisters, Onyii and Ify, who find each other on opposite sides of a devastating war, and explores the way violence ripples through lives, particularly those of children — I’m ashamed to admit that I went into reading WAR GIRLS knowing almost nothing about the Nigerian Civil War that ravaged the country in the late 1960s, following a declaration of secession and resulting in the displacement and death by famine of countless millions. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I held my breath through much of this book. It’s the story of two sisters, Onyii and Ify, who find each other on opposite sides of a devastating war, and explores the way violence ripples through lives, particularly those of children — innocents who should never have to watch their families die in front of them or be taught to hold guns bigger than they are. It is brutal, action-packed, and heartbreaking, and it is a masterpiece. It takes an author of great skill to instill such hope, love, and humanity into a topic of such intimate emotional pain, as a child of a mother who survived the civil war that inspired the book. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Please keep an eye out for this book to hit shelves October 15!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz I read Tochi Onyebuchi's debut Beasts Made of Night and thought his African focused story was something the book community needed. So when I saw he decided to make the plunge into a sci-fi dystopia type of African story I knew I needed to check it out!! And the cover totally does it justice... its gorgeous!! I'm not a fan of live faces on covers but it totally works for this (even though they could have taken it farther and given of Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz I read Tochi Onyebuchi's debut Beasts Made of Night and thought his African focused story was something the book community needed. So when I saw he decided to make the plunge into a sci-fi dystopia type of African story I knew I needed to check it out!! And the cover totally does it justice... its gorgeous!! I'm not a fan of live faces on covers but it totally works for this (even though they could have taken it farther and given of Onyii's facial augments too!!) And the title is spot on as well... we totally go all warrior girls for this... The Premise War Girls is a futuristic reimagining of the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria from the late 60s. The author cements this war in real facts and tensions making the divide between Ify and Onyii so wide that I was a nervous wreck!! We see from both sides that civil war particularly is a messy and ugly affair. However, it was hard for me to keep from picking a side. And unfortunately the side I chose is not the side I was supposed to choose. It's really odd to read and want the protagonist to fail. But each page that passed made me believe more and more that Biafra was in the wrong. However the author disagrees!! He explains in his author's note where he was inspired to write War Girls and I can see why he chose to rewrite history. I was really uncomfortable how Biafra acted in the war. The War Girls seemed to have no problem with the ethics of what they were doing. It seems that as long as its Africans who are enslaving a people its an okay practice. In fact the abd were my favorite part of the story, a slave soldier whose history and emotions were wiped. They successfully won my sympathy, particularly Agu. The villain of War Girls isn't clear until much later. Hints are made about religion but it influencing or causing the divide in the country was never brought up. I came to this conclusion due to certain religious mentions, scenes being included and the villains own remarks. But because it wasn't explained how the religious elements influenced each side I wasn't influenced by these very realistic motivations. The fact is I found the villain much more sympathetic than the Biafrans. Suddenly bringing up religion in the twist felt contrived instead of natural. The futuristic, war fraught world of War Girls is pretty incredible though. Augments of arms, legs, eyes, recovery from terrible trauma to the body, new fuel sources that allow for mechs, using bodies to create slave soldiers, a network that reveals how every technology links together... a really rich world with many fabulous ideas that were all necessary and pertinent to the story in War Girls. I just wish I was rooting for the winner of the war and that more steps were taken to show what both sides stood for. My Experience War Girls has a magnificent start... I thought for sure after part I that this would be a 5 star read for me. I totally fell for Ify even with her doing these secretive things behind Onyii's back. And Onyii's love for Ify totally won me over. I was immersed in their war torn, earth ravaged, tech saturated world just from the War Girls camp. When their world was torn apart my heart was ripped out with them. This part felt like the best short story I'd read with a powerful ending about the delicate balance there is in war. Then I started part II of War Girls. I felt like I had to start all over. Yeah, I still loved Onyii and Ify but everything was different. The story had rebooted. And I wasn't as enthralled by their situation. It took a whole new setup for War Girls to capture me again... and I admit I felt like the author jerked me around. Why all the vignettes? Start at the start!! In this "short story" I felt like I was on the wrong side. It made reading War Girls super tiring. The fact is I don’t want to be so worn out reading that I want to stop reading! By the time I started part III I realized I really hated this "short story" part I, II and III format. Not enough was shown to us about the war for us to understand why each side was in the right or wrong according to the author. We were just assumed to be on the protagonist's side of the war. As characters started to die I became really bored. The war ends for a stupid reason. Suddenly characters are acting out of character. Ify became a huge contrivance. The end wasn't satisfying and came too fast. I kept thinking that I wanted to understand and feel the war better. I think its really odd that this isn't a stand alone book!! To see that its the first of a series doesn't make sense since so many characters are dead. And where does the story go from that end?! I didn't feel like much happened in part III. If anything I think the war could have been expanded and the end of the war be the end of book 1. Then we get the aftermath in book 2. Cramming all of this into one book would only work well if War Girls was meant to stand alone. War Girls is a really ambitious futuristic reimagining of the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria... and it doesn't quite work. But Onyii and Ify will surely draw you in!! You'll want to see these sisters reunite and win the war... the pacing is quick and tense so prepare to go on a wild technological ride!! Whether you enjoy the end or not will depend on who you root to win the war... ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building A- Cover & Title grade Thanks to BookishFirst and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews... Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    It reeeeally bums me out to see people give up on War Girls or rate it poorly because they weren't familiar with the Nigerian Civil War and the history related to Biafra. Honestly, this reflects poorly on reviewers as a whole, given that the vast majority of GR reviewers (and reviewers with this particular complaint) are white and Western. We need to do better. If you find yourself confused or disinterested simply because you're not familiar with the Nigeria/Biafra conflict, before you DNF, try: It reeeeally bums me out to see people give up on War Girls or rate it poorly because they weren't familiar with the Nigerian Civil War and the history related to Biafra. Honestly, this reflects poorly on reviewers as a whole, given that the vast majority of GR reviewers (and reviewers with this particular complaint) are white and Western. We need to do better. If you find yourself confused or disinterested simply because you're not familiar with the Nigeria/Biafra conflict, before you DNF, try: →Skipping to the end (page 459 in the US ARC) and reading the author's note, which lays out the basics in 4 paragraphs. →Opening a second tab next to Goodreads and reading the first 2-3 paragraphs of the Wikipedia article on the Nigerian Civil War. I'm talking about literally 3-4 minutes learning the names of the nations at play and the premise of the conflict. (To be honest, I think the book reads fine even if you're new to the history. The author tells you who is Nigerian and who is Biafran and what that basically means. He even says in the author's note that this period of history isn't taught very much, so he's clearly expecting readers to come into War Girls with very little knowledge. But if you feel that's an obstacle to your reading experience, fine--that's what the internet is for.) For the record, I loved War Girls, but if I hadn't, it sure wasn't going to be because I didn't put in a minimum of effort. There are lots of reasons War Girls might not be your thing--it's not for everyone. And I still have a few complaints about the writing, so rating it low because the flashback structure wasn't successful or the characters seemed underwritten to you wouldn't be unreasonable. But that's not what I see happening. I see people not giving it a chance. This is where we walk the walk, people. If you say you want diverse voices, if you say you want untold stories, then you have to give them a fair chance. A sci-fi inspired by medieval Italy or the Cold War or whatever has the benefit of your built-in familiarity with the real history (especially if you're European or American). If you actually want marginalized voices, you won't always get that benefit. That's... the entire point. Turning your nose up at putting in 3 minutes of background skimming so you can read an #OwnVoices African-history-based book with the same level of engagement you'd read a Eurocentric fantasy? That really makes it sound like you don't actually want diverse voices, you just want the same exact thing you've always read, just with a person of color in the author's picture. This is what reading outside of your comfort zone means. It means sometimes you have to google the name of that unfamiliar food or country or honorific or object. And it means sometimes... gasp... you won't quite get everything. I think my cursory research was enough for me to grasp the story. Would I appreciate the book more if I had real, deep education on the topic? I'm sure I would have! I'm sure there's a lot of nuance I missed. Would Nigerian readers get more from this book than I did? Very likely. But maybe that's okay. Maybe I need to practice thinking of myself as a guest in the story rather than the primary audience. Anyway... here's my review of the actual book. It's phenomenal, and I'm so frustrated by the number of readers who not only won't give it a chance but will turn other readers away simply because they're unfamiliar with the background. Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing an advance review copy of this title. No money changed hands for this review and all opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Received through Bookish. com I was so excited to read War Girls. I thought War Girls was going to be a fun, action packed story about two Black girls kicking ass. What I got was a boring repetitive story that meandered and never really accomplished anything. 2 stars because the first 100 pages were great but the book just fell apart after that. No rec.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    3.5/5 stars .5 ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Set in a futuristic, Black Panther inspired Nigeria, War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi is the story of two sisters, Onyii and Ify, who- despite being torn apart by war, dream of peace and a future where they can be together, and they're willing to do just about anything to make that happen! This novel wastes no time jumping straight into the action! When it comes to the first book in a series I'm usually not the biggest fan 3.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐.5 ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Set in a futuristic, Black Panther inspired Nigeria, War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi is the story of two sisters, Onyii and Ify, who- despite being torn apart by war, dream of peace and a future where they can be together, and they're willing to do just about anything to make that happen! This novel wastes no time jumping straight into the action! When it comes to the first book in a series I'm usually not the biggest fan of that, but I had no issues whatsoever following the plot of War Girls, and I thoroughly enjoyed Onyii and Ify's point of view's alike! While I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where the story goes- I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending! In fact- up until the final quarter of this book I was unable to put it down, and then (for reasons I am unable to get into because of spoilers) I started to lose interest! That being said- I did come to care for the characters by the end, and I do think the sequel has the potential to be even better!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monica **can't read fast enough**

    With strongly developed female characters, world building that is readily imaginable, and a plot that keeps the reader engaged War Girls is a tale that I would have loved to have read as a teen. ***I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*** Where you can find me: •().•*Monlatable Book Reviews*•.()• Twitter: @monicaisreading Instagram: @readermonica Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase With strongly developed female characters, world building that is readily imaginable, and a plot that keeps the reader engaged War Girls is a tale that I would have loved to have read as a teen. ***I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*** Where you can find me: •(♥).•*Monlatable Book Reviews*•.(♥)• Twitter: @monicaisreading Instagram: @readermonica Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase

  8. 4 out of 5

    MeaganCM

    LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS COVER! This is going to be fucking amazing!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    War Girls is s five star novel. It has a great plot, great theme, great everything. The novel was awesome and action-packed. I feel there should not be a book 2. The novel shouldnt have been a series. I liked how it ended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    Thank you to the publishers for providing a free copy of this book! 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book, it’s like a futuristic version of Black Panther inspired by the Nigerian civil war. Reading the author’s note at the end made me feel truly touched by his intentions, and I think that a lot of the metaphors (about how the children basically become machines used to kill, much like how child soldiers were forced to fight in real life) worked out well, and of course the struggle with loved ones being Thank you to the publishers for providing a free copy of this book! 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book, it’s like a futuristic version of Black Panther inspired by the Nigerian civil war. Reading the author’s note at the end made me feel truly touched by his intentions, and I think that a lot of the metaphors (about how the children basically become machines used to kill, much like how child soldiers were forced to fight in real life) worked out well, and of course the struggle with loved ones being on the opposite side of a conflict. If you are not familiar with the war, I didn’t find it too confusing however, as mentioned above, the author includes a historical note at the end which gives background on the conflict. It shows how the creation of territories with no regards to the people who actually live there and their own groups can cause lasting damages for generations and centuries, I had no trouble believing that this would be the case still in this futuristic setting. The book is incredibly action packed and I enjoyed Onyii and Ify and their sisterly bond, and showing how complex some of these relationships can be when you love someone who either is or should be on the other side of the conflict. I also thought that the tech was very imaginative. However, my main issue with this book is that there’s a lack of description. I can understand the war metaphors but considering that it is futuristic there is very little description of the technology, where people are physically located and the characters’ appearances beyond the machine elements of the war girls. Ultimately, while this book was fascinating and had a lot of potential for setting and atmosphere, it fell short. I am still planning on reading the sequel, and hopefully that is something that will improve!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Toya

    It took every fiber in my being not to yell ‘Wakanda Forever’ while reading this book. When a book is toted a Black Panther inspired Nigeria, I just can’t help myself. Black Panther is one of my all-time favorite movies. War Girls has a futuristic setting with the inspiration for the plot is being pulled from the savage civil war that was waged in Nigeria during the 1960s. That being said, you don’t need to be well versed or even have prior knowledge of this war to appreciate this beautifully It took every fiber in my being not to yell ‘Wakanda Forever’ while reading this book. When a book is toted a Black Panther inspired Nigeria, I just can’t help myself. Black Panther is one of my all-time favorite movies. War Girls has a futuristic setting with the inspiration for the plot is being pulled from the savage civil war that was waged in Nigeria during the 1960s. That being said, you don’t need to be well versed or even have prior knowledge of this war to appreciate this beautifully spun tale by Onyebuchi. This story follows Onyii and Ify, two sisters living in a refugee camp for girls who managed to escape the clutches of the brutal war, which has left a wake of nuclear destruction, famine, an political unrest in its wake. In this camp the girls are self sufficient. In addition to maintaining their studies they also train in weapons handling and combat. Most of the girls have augments; nanotechnology infused limbs or organs. Everything changes when the camp is raided, and Onyii and Ify are captured and separated. They now must face their new lives and roles on opposing sides of the war. Onyii and Ify were both fierce and independent characters that I could get behind. Onyii has been a child soldier for most of her life. She became an expert marksman when guns were bigger than her. Equipped with a mechanistic arm that is infused with advanced nanotechnology, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Ify may not be the killing epert that Onyii is, but her technological abilities allows her to control entire data networks, which means she gains access to everyone’s secrets and can bring down entire systems. As someone who absolutely loved Black Panther, it was easy to imagine this futuristic world that these girls lived in from the mechanistic limbs and flying suits to Ify’s kimono beads that allowed her to tap into intricate networks. I loved every single second. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this trilogy has to offer. Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing an ARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amber (The Book Bratz)

    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz I received an ARC of WAR GIRLS are BookExpo 2019! I met Tochi ass BookExpo this year and though I wasn't familiar with his previous works he was incredibly fun to talk to and was down to earth. He was also super excited to talk with everyone who was on his signing line and made sure that everyone was able to have their moment to talk to him. I didn't know about War Girls until the cover reveal and ever since then I KNEW that I just had to The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz I received an ARC of WAR GIRLS are BookExpo 2019! I met Tochi ass BookExpo this year and though I wasn't familiar with his previous works he was incredibly fun to talk to and was down to earth. He was also super excited to talk with everyone who was on his signing line and made sure that everyone was able to have their moment to talk to him. I didn't know about War Girls until the cover reveal and ever since then I KNEW that I just had to read this book. Though I didn't love War Girls as much as I hoped I was going too, I still did enjoy the story can't wait to see where Tochi is going to take these girls next. I read a lot of science fiction and having a person of color as the main character isn't something I have seen often, so it was really nice to see the representation in this novel and I hope it is something we start seeing more of in science fiction. Some of Tochi's inspiration for War Girls came from the Nigerian Civil War. I admit, I know almost nothing about the Nigerian Civil War and this novel opened my eyes to a horrible period of time in the worlds history. I enjoyed most of War Girls but I do feel like there were things that could have used a lot more development. The novel takes place in a ravaged country in 2172, there has been nuclear fall out, war, famine the landscape is radically different as well as technology. War Girls falls heavily on technology and the advances it makes in becoming one with humans. Every concept in War Girls was interesting and cool but I had a hard time picturing it. I feel like there needed to be more description and explanation to what things are. I went back a few times to make sure that I didn't miss a description, but there really wasn't one. There is a lot that I wasn't to talk about but I can't because I don't want to spoil any of War Girls for those who are looking forward to it. Though I did have my few issues with War Girls I did really enjoy Onyii and Ify's story and can't wait to see what Tochi has in store for these girls next.

  13. 4 out of 5

    The Artisan Geek

    29/3/19 A scifi in Nigeria?? About two sisters and their bond?! WHAT?! My heart has dropped! This is freaking awesome, maybe I am biased because I'm Nigerian, but damn! I love how there is so much more diversity coming out in the literary world the past few years. The young girl inside of me that dreamed of reading stuff like is squealing! You can find me on Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website

  14. 4 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys! With an awesome cover and cool premise, I thought for sure that I would love this one. Instead it was very uneven. The story is a dystopian sci-fi drawn from the Nigerian and Biafra civil war of the 1960s. It takes place in 2172 after the planet has been decimated from climate change. The lucky ones have made it to space but the rest are back on Earth, struggling to survive. At first the two main characters, Onyii and Ify live in a hidden camp of girls in Biafra. Ify's Ahoy there me mateys!  With an awesome cover and cool premise, I thought for sure that I would love this one.  Instead it was very uneven. The story is a dystopian sci-fi drawn from the Nigerian and Biafra civil war of the 1960s.  It takes place in 2172 after the planet has been decimated from climate change.  The lucky ones have made it to space but the rest are back on Earth, struggling to survive.  At first the two main characters, Onyii and Ify live in a hidden camp of girls in Biafra.  Ify's family was originally Nigerian but Biafra has adopted her and considers her family.  However Ify is taken by the Nigerians in an attack and the sisters are split on either side of the divide. Onyii was a former child soldier of Biafra who gets involved in the war over losing Ify and quickly rises through the military ranks in her quest for revenge.  She be a fierce fighter.  Ify loves education and learning new technology.  She grows to love and support Nigeria even though she misses Onyii.  The book switches back and forth between the two perspectives.  Both girls are basically prodigies of a kind but I didn't mind that so much. I loved that this book was #ownvoices.  I loved learning about the Nigerian civil war.  I actually stopped reading early on so I could research background on the real war before finishing the book.  Nasty and heart-breaking.  It is a disgrace really how Nigerian territory was set up and how much other foreign nations interfered.  I loved how the sister's relationship changed over the course of the novel and how both are used as weapons in their own fashions.  I thought the commentary and metaphors around the use of child soldiers was well done.  I loved that women had such respect, strength, and high roles in the world. There were several major problems with this book.  The mechs, bionic implants, and other technology in the world really didn't make much sense.  It sounded cool but there were never good explanations for how the giant robots or neural networks really functioned.  It felt more like magic.  Also the book could have used a lot more description overall. The plot was extremely problematic.  The book was split into parts and jumped around quite a bit in time and place.  While part one was excellent, the story wasn't very straightforward after that.  The pacing was slow and I found so many parts to be either confusing or somewhat boring.  I know ye were supposed to root for Biafra but it was very hard to do so because the people were so brutal to both the Nigerians and their own citizens in their zeal to win the war.  I do understand that the brutality comes from the historical sources. I thought that the book could have been shorter and needed some serious pruning.  At times there was too much focus on action scenes which lead to a disconnect to the main characters for huge swathes of the book.  Many characters die and other characters don't get enough backstory or drop out of the book altogether.  There is good writing in this but it didn't always work.  And the ending was both kinda abrupt and unsatisfactory. Honestly I feel like book would have been better with a lot more editing and if it was a standalone.  I don't know if I would read the sequel but the author has talent and I would be interested in more of his future work.  Arrrr!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anja H.

    "Black Panther–inspired Nigeria." ... ... *adds to list*

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mandi1082

    Beautiful cover but this book wasnt for me. I loved the beginning of the book. I liked the idea of the book. Set in the future there is a war going on in this country. I liked the female cast of soldiers and the fighting. But there came a part of the book where I just got to confused with what was going on and eventually lost interest. I was really disappointed. Wanted to love it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tilly

    2.5 stars I wanted to love this book. Strong african women and sci fi?! It's on to a winner! But sadly War Girls fell short in execution for me. Things I liked: - I love fictional stories that bring attention to real life situations and War Girls certainly does that. The book is based in war torn Nigeria based on the Nigerian Civil War which began in 1967. - Strong women of colour. YA fantasy doesn't have enough African characters and so having the leads to be 2 strong and very sufficient women was 2.5 stars I wanted to love this book. Strong african women and sci fi?! It's on to a winner! But sadly War Girls fell short in execution for me. Things I liked: - I love fictional stories that bring attention to real life situations and War Girls certainly does that. The book is based in war torn Nigeria based on the Nigerian Civil War which began in 1967. - Strong women of colour. YA fantasy doesn't have enough African characters and so having the leads to be 2 strong and very sufficient women was a breath of fresh air. - There were a few battle scenes and sci fi ideas that were brilliant and unique. Things I didn't like: - The pacing. The book felt incredibly rushed at the start which meant the world building and explaining just wasnt there so I was confused for a lot of the first half. It was also rushed at the end and inbetween many parts felt slow or over thought and too wordy. This may be why I felt myself from the outside looking in rather than being fully immersed in the story. - The jargon. Use of jargon is fine, but explain a bit about what it all means or your readers will be left not being able to picture most of the technology in sci fi book! - I hate saying this but the writing just wasn't for me. I didnt find it flowed very well and it was often way too detailed and dare I say it....boring. - I didn't connect with the characters. Not enough back story or even dialogue between characters was there to gain a sense of their personalities aside being killing machines. It lead to me feeling disconnected. Although I enjoyed parts of it, there wasn't enough there to make me want to continue this book. Thank you to Darkroom tours and Razorbill for gifting this book in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    With heartbreaking reflection of the Nigerian Civil War but with a high-tech futurist twist, War Girls is a homage to sisterhood and family forged by the bonds of loss in a detailed sci-fi war novel. Onyii and Ify are sisters, living in hiding in a secret camp for girls. Both their lives have been touched by the violence of the war in Nigeria. Climate change, nuclear destruction, famine and political unrest have left the country war-torn by battles led by drones, droids and augmented soldiers With heartbreaking reflection of the Nigerian Civil War but with a high-tech futurist twist, War Girls is a homage to sisterhood and family forged by the bonds of loss in a detailed sci-fi war novel. Onyii and Ify are sisters, living in hiding in a secret camp for girls. Both their lives have been touched by the violence of the war in Nigeria. Climate change, nuclear destruction, famine and political unrest have left the country war-torn by battles led by drones, droids and augmented soldiers (those with bionic limbs and tech implants). When a raid on the camp sees the sisters torn apart, they must reconcile their new positions on opposite sides of the war. Onyii and Ify are formidable characters, in spite of the traumas they have faced. Onyii is a solider, with tech implants and mechanic limbs. With fantastic moves in the air and on the ground, she is a killing machine. Onyii protects and shelters Ify. Ify is something of an outsider in the camp and endures the ridicule of the other girls. But Ify has a secret talent for using tech to join networks, discover the secrets of those around her and find data to feed her thirst for knowledge. When a raid tears the girls apart, they are both thrust into the war, but on opposite sides. The girls are presented with their possible futures and details about their pasts. The technology in War Girls is intriguing, from artificial limbs to flying war suits I could only picture as early Iron Man suits. The girls’ skills in building with, repairing and hacking tech is also cool. A huge part of the story is the reflection of the Nigerian Civil War of the 1960s, as well as the use of child soldiers. It’s a sad and poignant reminder of the losses, corruption, and complex emotions faced by those involved in the war. While the premise for War Girls, the tech, the setting and the action, all add up to a great book, unfortunately my attention wasn’t captivated, I didn’t connect with the characters and I had to wade through the writing. Perhaps it was just too long, or just had too much detail in sections, but it wasn’t a book I enjoyed, despite valuing it for its message. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Before beginning my review I just want to thank Dark Room Tours, Penguin Teen and Tochi Onyebuchi for allowing me to be part of the blog tour for this gorgeous book. I am so grateful for the opportunity. I was so excited to receive this book and dive in. I read War Girls in its entirety on the plane to and from Barcelona (2 hours each way from the UK). I could not wait to dive in. My perception of strong warrior girls in a sci-fi like world just really called out to me as being original and so Before beginning my review I just want to thank Dark Room Tours, Penguin Teen and Tochi Onyebuchi for allowing me to be part of the blog tour for this gorgeous book. I am so grateful for the opportunity. I was so excited to receive this book and dive in. I read War Girls in its entirety on the plane to and from Barcelona (2 hours each way from the UK). I could not wait to dive in. My perception of strong warrior girls in a sci-fi like world just really called out to me as being original and so exciting. The first 100 pages of this book was so exciting and action packed, so much happened that I just wanted to carry on reading. However, the action really did have an impact on the story as for me there was a lack of character and world building in that crucial stage of the book. A lot of the time I had no clue what was happening and I feel like a little bit more explanation would have helped me with this. I really enjoyed the fact that this book was based around the Nigerian Civil War. I did not know anything about this before reading the book and since reading the book I have had the urge to research this topic more as I find it really interesting. I have never read a book based on this era before, and I love the twist around a historical event happening in the future. I'm not sure I have read anything quite like War Girls before. I also enjoyed the diverse nature of this book, having strong women of colour in any book is a very rare occasion  and I definitely believe that there should be more of this in the book community. Tochi really drew attention to this and thrived on it, he really did complement the characters. I really feel that this book needed a glossary. I'm still unsure of certain terms that were used throughout and the vast amount of characters really didn't help with this. A glossary would have made it easier for me to relate to the story as I could have skipped to find out exactly who/what the author was talking about. It probably would have added to my enjoyment of this book as I found myself frustrated. These characters were so strong and independent but I feel that the character development really lacked which stopped me from building up a relationship with them. I didn't feel much of a connection meaning that the ending didn't effect me as much as was desired. I think if more development had occurred I may have loved this book a lot more than I thought. I am intrigued to read more by this author. On the whole I did quite enjoy it however based on the premise I believe it could have been a lot more than it was.

  20. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    War Girls is one of those books which builds up with an intensity. From the beginning I was hooked, but as I kept turning the pages, I fell more and more in love with the story and the characters. War Girls is a story about the consequences of war and the road to peace. War Girls is, unsurprisingly, a story about war. The children who look up to the sky and see the shadows of drones. Built on the historical conflict of the Nigerian Civil War, War Girls is a powerful book that refuses to let us War Girls is one of those books which builds up with an intensity. From the beginning I was hooked, but as I kept turning the pages, I fell more and more in love with the story and the characters. War Girls is a story about the consequences of war and the road to peace. War Girls is, unsurprisingly, a story about war. The children who look up to the sky and see the shadows of drones. Built on the historical conflict of the Nigerian Civil War, War Girls is a powerful book that refuses to let us walk away. Told over a span of years, Onyebuchi refuses to give us easy answers about guilty, revenge, and peace. A conflict over minerals, over the ground they walk on, turns into something more - a rhetoric that pits neighbors against each other. That twists the metal beating underneath our skin. From the beginning I fell in love with the science fiction elements. Told from the perspectives of Ify and Onyii, the two main characters, War Girls is a story that examines these two girl's lives. Not only that, but their relationship, their sisterhood, their love. Their lives, even while they are just individuals, play out across screens and distance. What is the truth in war? It isn't as concrete as we think, malleable in warm hands and shadowed in the daylight.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookCon 2019 and Razorbill in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. At the beginning, I was absolutely enthralled with War Girls. The first hundred pages hooked me. The characters were interesting and the world building was fascinating. A lot of science fiction coming out these days feels copy/pasted. The language and setting feel the same – that’s not the case with War Girls. The Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookCon 2019 and Razorbill in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. At the beginning, I was absolutely enthralled with War Girls. The first hundred pages hooked me. The characters were interesting and the world building was fascinating. A lot of science fiction coming out these days feels copy/pasted. The language and setting feel the same – that’s not the case with War Girls. The science fiction in this book was so refreshing. It was sharp and technical enough that it felt modern and real… even though it’s set a century in the future. A lot of sci-fi I’ve read in the last couple years is very comfortable talking about space, but that’s the end of it. Hand-in-hand with space is technology. War Girls has bionic implants, mechs, and advanced weaponry. It doesn’t shy away from technical jargon, and that makes the book feel more immersive. War Girls centers around a Nigerian-Biafra conflict far in the future. The conflict itself is based on various wars that have devastated the African continent and continue to do so to this day. War is gruesome and unforgiving. The action sequences are intense. There’s death and dismemberment. War Girls is realistic about the affects of war. Onyii and Ify are great characters, and I was really hoping for an amazing sibling story… but I don’t feel like that’s what happened. In part one, everything flowed perfectly. There are strong characters, emotional attachments, and good stakes. After that, I felt like things got a little muddled. There was a lot of back and forth in time. I wasn’t sure who the author wanted presented as the “good guys” or the “bad guys” in the conflict. There were just a lot of ideas going on at once and not a lot of follow-through on any of them. I enjoyed certain, specific scenes. There was a piece in the middle where Enyemaka is in the desert, and that’s a great scene. It’s also not relevant to the story, unless it comes to the surface in the next book. War Girls is over 400 pages and the last 60% is very ambling. I understand that there needs to be a level of chaos, and there was an ongoing conflict, but there didn’t seem to be a straight direction for the story. When something happened, it just seemed to incidentally come together. It felt like there was a lot of high tension all the time and nothing really seemed to flip the switch. War Girls had a lot of starting potential, but the messiness of story as I got further in was a bit of a deterrent for me. While I’m not entirely against picking up the second book when it comes out, I think I will wait to see some reviews, and even then, maybe go the audiobook route. I think it was really original in many ways, and honestly, it started off really good. I’d still recommend giving it a try, if you’re interested in a post-apocalyptic, story with a lot of diverse characters. It didn’t click with me because of the pacing, energy levels, and the writing in the second half of the plot, but I still think it’s a good overall book and I really hope it does well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    For what the information is worth, I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you’d surmise from the title, we have war and we have girls. The setting is Africa--specifically a war between Biafra and Nigeria. The year is 2172. Our two main viewpoint characters are Iffy and Onyii. The back cover calls them sisters, but their relationship is almost more mother-daughter. Onyii is fiercely protective of the younger Iffy. A surprise Nigerian attack on their camp leads to their For what the information is worth, I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you’d surmise from the title, we have war and we have girls. The setting is Africa--specifically a war between Biafra and Nigeria. The year is 2172. Our two main viewpoint characters are Iffy and Onyii. The back cover calls them sisters, but their relationship is almost more mother-daughter. Onyii is fiercely protective of the younger Iffy. A surprise Nigerian attack on their camp leads to their separation. Taken by the enemy, Iffy learns secrets from her past, secrets that will alter her relationship with Onyii forever. Meanwhile, Onyii becomes the most feared of the Biafran soldiers. Her skills as a mech pilot earn her the nickname, the Demon of Biafra. In our hearts, we know they will be reunited, but we begin to wonder whether such a reunion will end happily … There seems to be a marked anime influence on this book--not that that's a bad thing. We have mech to mech combat that definitely recalls such classics as Mobile Suit Gundam, Macross, and similar series. There's also a scene with an android in a junkyard that very much reminded me of Battle Angel Alita. Obviously the Biafran war of ‘67 was one of the inspirations for this book. Tochi Onyebuchi says as much in his final Author’s Note. He also touches on the use of child soldiers and other more modern issues. I initially had trouble getting into the book, but once it got going, I found it compelling. There are a lot of concepts to absorb right out of the gate. But if you stick with it, I think you’ll find it as unforgettable as I did. Recommended!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    I received an ARC from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. War Girls follows Onyii and Ify two sisters in a war torn world. The book takes place in 2172 where there was a nuclear war. I honestly had such high hopes for this book, especially because the cover is so beautiful and looks promising. I didn’t like this book as much as I had hoped. I love anything and everything fantasy, and I was very excited to read about a futuristic world that has been through so much. I honestly had so I received an ARC from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. War Girls follows Onyii and Ify two sisters in a war torn world. The book takes place in 2172 where there was a nuclear war. I honestly had such high hopes for this book, especially because the cover is so beautiful and looks promising. I didn’t like this book as much as I had hoped. I love anything and everything fantasy, and I was very excited to read about a futuristic world that has been through so much. I honestly had so many moments where I had no idea what was going on. I wish there would have been way more descriptions and how exactly the technology worked as well. I couldn’t picture anything, it sounded cool, how people were made with machines, but it never really says how the technology actually works. I kept getting sidetracked because I just couldn’t immerse myself into this world. I have to say I know nothing about the Nigerian Civil War and maybe if I had researched more about that, I would have understood better what was happening. Don’t get me wrong this is a promising book, I just really couldn’t immerse myself because I like to know more background information. I did really love the bond between the two sisters that this book follows, and how they will stop at nothing to help each other. I mean even the bond the War Girls have with each other was awesome. Another aspect I enjoyed was how it was action packed from chapter one. I really think this book will be spectacular in most people’s eyes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Renee (The B-Roll)

    Honestly, what more could you want from a modern science fiction/fantasy story? This book is packed with people of color being bold and powerful and it is so refreshing to read. The main characters are sisters, Onyii and Ify, and happen to find themselves on opposite sides of an ugly war. What I loved about this book is that while it isn't set in the current day, it still teaches so much about civil wars in Africa, specifically Nigeria. Those aspects of history are often not taught in most Honestly, what more could you want from a modern science fiction/fantasy story? This book is packed with people of color being bold and powerful and it is so refreshing to read. The main characters are sisters, Onyii and Ify, and happen to find themselves on opposite sides of an ugly war. What I loved about this book is that while it isn't set in the current day, it still teaches so much about civil wars in Africa, specifically Nigeria. Those aspects of history are often not taught in most history courses and so getting to learn about these horrible wars that happened through a creative venue is really interesting. Because as readers we are invested in the characters of the books we read, this book brings these subjects to the forefront and makes them something we are also invested in. This book can be difficult to read because war and the ugliness that go with it are at the center, but the way the author writes about those things as well as the more beautiful aspects of life like love and humanity really seem to balance out in the end. This book is fantastic and really a huge work of art. I loved reading every page of this and eagerly look forward to more in the future! I highly recommend this book because it isn't just well-written and features a heartwrenching story, but also sheds some light on humanity and what it means to love. I enjoyed the deeper meanings in this book and getting to learn more about historical events that are often swept under the rug.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cristine (cristinethebookqueen) Paquette

    Decided to quit at 30% The combination of Inexplicable time jumps and not personally having prior knowledge of the Nigerian civil war made this one boring and uninteresting to me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joey De La Torre

    Reading it backwards made it better. If you just want to read my review, then scroll down . But I’m going to go off on a small tangent here first, because I feel like I should explain myself: So as previously mentioned, I read this book backwards (literally). I started at the end and read each chapter in reverse order (don’t judge me, I had my reasons). Admittedly, this was an experiment. Partially because I was just curious. Primarily because of the way I read, I often find myself rereading Reading it backwards made it better. ⏪ If you just want to read my review, then scroll down ⬇️. But I’m going to go off on a small tangent here first, because I feel like I should explain myself: So as previously mentioned, I read this book backwards (literally). I started at the end and read each chapter in reverse order 🤪 (don’t judge me, I had my reasons). Admittedly, this was an experiment. Partially because I was just curious. Primarily because of the way I read, I often find myself rereading previous portions in order to fully understand what I just read. But also, I find that I enjoy books more when I know where they’re going. Not necessarily knowing the ending, but the comfort in knowing that things are happening for a reason, that it’s leading to something, and the writing isn’t just aimless (cough ACOTAR cough). And honestly, I think I liked it better. If I had read it normally I’d probably be criticizing this book as another unoriginal YA novel trying too hard to be original. In my experience, YA novels are incredibly boring early on. But by starting at the end, all the good parts happened at the “beginning”, and did a much better job of holding my attention “later” in the book. On top of that, it was rather interesting to jump right into the action, and then work backwards to see how they got there (like my own little version of Momento). *Review* So yes, this is yet another YA novel riding the coattails of Black Panther. But what I like is that War Girls doesn’t try to hide it, and instead was its intention all along. Between its characters, setting, and advanced technology, War Girls knows that it’s basically copying Black Panther, but to a point were it’s more of an homage than a rip-off. "She can’t waver now. Not when everything that has happened has finally caught up to her. The murder of her family, her life with the Biafran War Girls, her kidnapping, her time with the Nigerians overseeing the separation of families and the detention of children dubbed “enemy combatants,” her time in prison when she had lived as an accused traitor, her attempted assassination of the person who slaughtered her family. All of it has been leading to this moment." (Going back to reading it backwards, this segment gave me quite a bit to look “forward” to.) Just like any other YA fantasy, War Girls is slow in the beginning, predictable in the end, and mediocre as a whole. There’s no x-factor or wow-factor here, and nothing that hasn’t already been done before to make it standout in an already over-saturated genre. But where I will give it credit is, in comparison to other YA fantasy, War Girls is pretty nonstop. As mentioned in the excerpt, lot happens throughout the story, and they come almost one after another with little downtime in-between. It does a good job of keeping you on edge, but once you get about halfway through is when things really get interesting. Alliances are made and broken, scenes of mass destruction, body augmentation, hover bike chases, and if anything, War Girls offers a unique perspective on futuristic terrorism. Typically, I don’t recommend reading a book backwards, but I was really curious. I knew what kind of book this was, and knew I wouldn’t have liked normally. It worked out pretty well, but I doubt I’ll be doing it again (except for maybe the sequel, just because 😉).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Saloni

    Thank you to Penguin Random House Books for providing me a copy of this book at BEA 2019 and thank you to Tochi Onyebuchi for signing my copy! I love what this book stands for. Generally, I think science fiction featuring people of color is something we need more of. I love the plot and story of this book, seeing the sisters Onyii and Ify be separated by warring countries and attempt to reconfigure the biases told by their native countries about the opposing one. However, I will admit that there Thank you to Penguin Random House Books for providing me a copy of this book at BEA 2019 and thank you to Tochi Onyebuchi for signing my copy! I love what this book stands for. Generally, I think science fiction featuring people of color is something we need more of. I love the plot and story of this book, seeing the sisters Onyii and Ify be separated by warring countries and attempt to reconfigure the biases told by their native countries about the opposing one. However, I will admit that there is something crucial missing from the book, preventing me from being able to immerse myself in the world. I had trouble keeping track of timelines and the passage of time didn't seem to correlate with the character development. I found myself missing large chunks of information and then having to piece it together later. I had a lot of trouble mentally visualizing the book. Since this book takes place in the future with tons of advanced technology, there is a ton of jargon for equipment (mechs, synths, etc.) that I couldn't visualize properly. I am so optimistic about this plot, I'm willing to give this book another try later on. But the first time I read it, I found myself working to get through it, so maybe in the future I'll give it another try.

  28. 5 out of 5

    yorkshirebooknerd

    War Girls is set in a “futuristic Black Panther-inspired Nigeria” where climate change and nuclear disaster have left the land inhabitable and the country at war. I definitely felt the Black Panther vibes when reading this book. Packed full of technology and gadgets, this is a sci-fi lovers dream. Some of the technological language is a little mind-boggling, however it does help create a futuristic world where nanotechnology and augmented limbs are the norm and deadly mechs take to the skies to War Girls is set in a “futuristic Black Panther-inspired Nigeria” where climate change and nuclear disaster have left the land inhabitable and the country at war. I definitely felt the Black Panther vibes when reading this book. Packed full of technology and gadgets, this is a sci-fi lovers dream. Some of the technological language is a little mind-boggling, however it does help create a futuristic world where nanotechnology and augmented limbs are the norm and deadly mechs take to the skies to do battle. However despite the numerous action sequences and brutal killings, at its heart, War Girls tells the story of the devastation of war, especially on children. Innocent victims experiencing things they should never experience and doing things no one should have to do. This book shines a fictional spotlight on a real life problem - children armed with guns bigger than them and taught to fight and kill. But on the other hand, it’s also a story of family and love. I couldn’t rate this 5 stars as some of the pacing was problematic and the characters weren’t as developed as I would have liked. I was all set to rate it 3.5 stars but then that unexpected and heartbreaking ending snuck in and stole an extra half a star! 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you to @darkroomtours @penguinteen and @treize64, for providing a #gifted copy as part of the Bookstagram tour. All opinions are my own and provided willingly.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Louise

    *may contain spoilers* I didn't hate this book but I also didn't love it. It was generally easy to read but when I put it down I never felt that urge to pick it back up and continue reading which lead to a less than satisfying experience. In War Girls, there's war, politics, religion, betrayals and family, but even when in the middle of an action scene I didn't feel the danger, I didn't feel engaged with the story. I didn't find the writing engaging either, there were just too many short sentences *may contain spoilers* I didn't hate this book but I also didn't love it. It was generally easy to read but when I put it down I never felt that urge to pick it back up and continue reading which lead to a less than satisfying experience. In War Girls, there's war, politics, religion, betrayals and family, but even when in the middle of an action scene I didn't feel the danger, I didn't feel engaged with the story. I didn't find the writing engaging either, there were just too many short sentences which I found quite irritating. Especially if a full stop was used to show a pause for dramatic effect instead of a comma, it just made the writing seem disjointed and a little lazy. The characters were interesting, I loved that it was basically all PoC and I loved the idea of a sisterhood built through shared experiences of war and their battle for survival. Onyii and Ify have a very intriguing relationship which I wish had been built on more especially when it came to Ify finding out truths about her life before being taken to Nigeria. The whole revelation seemed a little rushed. I found the ending to be quite bittersweet but ultimately an anticlimax. Now the thing that I hated most about this book that may be a little spoilery. The lesbian characters are basically used as cannon fodder. Yes I get this is War and people die and get injured but these relationships were established on one page and then a couple of pages later 1 dies, 1 ends up in a coma, and 1 is on the run ending in them geting severe radiation poisoning. It just seems like another display of using LGBTQ+ characters as a way of creating an emotional response in the reader which I hope it wasn't because this book is already devastated with death and war but it just didn't feel right to me. War Girls is a book about a sisterhood brought together by war with history in our own world which I did look up to try and gain a better understanding of the story but in the end this book just wasn't for me. Rated: 2.5/5 (rounded up to 3 stars) --- I was gifted a copy of War Girls by the publisher in exchange for a honest review as part of the book tour on Instagram.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    In a war-torn future Nigeria, battles are fought using flying deadly mechs, piloted by soldiers augmented by technology. Sisters Onyii and Ify have hardly known a life outside the all-female camp where the live and train but the last few years have brought a tenuous peace as the camp is cloaked from detection. Onyii, always itching for battle is glad for the opportunity for Ify to have a “normal life” but she stays on her guard ready for another attack. Ify, not a fighter like Onyii is an In a war-torn future Nigeria, battles are fought using flying deadly mechs, piloted by soldiers augmented by technology. Sisters Onyii and Ify have hardly known a life outside the all-female camp where the live and train but the last few years have brought a tenuous peace as the camp is cloaked from detection. Onyii, always itching for battle is glad for the opportunity for Ify to have a “normal life” but she stays on her guard ready for another attack. Ify, not a fighter like Onyii is an inventor, always creating new gadgets and technology to help make life a little better at camp. One day, their cloaking device fails and the camp is attacked. Onyii jumps into her mech to defend her friends and Ify but the enemy is too strong, her mech destroyed, her body broken, she watches them destroy the only home she has ever loved. She vows to get revenge. Ify is taken captive, assimilated into enemy life and finally adopted by one of the soldiers who attacked her camp. On separate sides of the conflict, each girl grows up scarred by the war. When they meet again, will recognize each other as sisters or as enemies?

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