Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart

Shattered Veil
Author: Tracy E. Banghart
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 377
Release Date: February 28th, 2014
Source: Netgalley/Purchased

When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?

For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.

In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit. 

As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.

It's been awhile since I read a good book, a really GOOD book, that makes me flail as I reach the last page, sob a little as I realize the sequel isn't coming right away and share it with everyone I know. If someone had to ask me what the recipe was for a book that would make me feel this way, I couldn't tell them. All I know is Shattered Veil WAS this book for me. 

I can't begin to imagine how heart-wrenching, pure and beautiful this book felt. I loved Aris, I loved her struggles, and I hope the sequel is just as wonderful when it's released.

I've read books where women conceal their identities for various reasons, but this one just felt honest to me. Aris loved Calix, and when he was Selected to be in the military, everything fell apart for her. All she had left was flying, and even that was in jeopardy with the demand for her to start working and be more responsible. 

I've been in Aris' shoes, heck, I may still be in them, so maybe that is what drew me in so fast. When you're a dreamer, when you really LOVE something, there is nothing more terrifying than the possibility of loosing it. Whether it is a person, or a passion (like flying). I've heard the voices around me telling me it's time to move on, time to grow up, and it is so painful to take. This book captured that, and when Aris got the offer to join the military, and embrace her talents as a flyer, I was thrilled to watch her take it. In the end, the journey she found herself on had so much more meaning for me.

To me, this was a story about finding yourself. About having a dream and trying desperately to just hold onto it, because that is who you are. But sometimes chasing dreams, who we are can change. Aris realized there was something bigger than just flying, something more she could accomplish by being part of the fight. Even her relationship with Calix shifts as she grows as a character. Calix may have been the reason she joined the military, but he isn't the reason she stays.

It's been a long time since a book really struck a cord in me, and left me breathlessly waiting for more. Tracy E. Banghart has created something wonderful, and I can't wait to see what she writes. I may have got this book for free, but I bought my own print copy because an e-book just wasn't enough. I want this book by my side for years to come.

Can I just keep gushing for the next few hours?

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