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HEAVENBREAKER by Sara Wolf Kirkus Star


by Sara Wolf

Pub Date: May 21st, 2024
ISBN: 9781649375704
Publisher: Entangled: Red Tower Books

The first installment of Wolf’s SF series chronicles a young woman’s quest to avenge the murder of her mother and destroy all of those involved in her death.

Set in the distant future (3442) on a space station orbiting a gas giant, the story revolves around Synali von Hauteclare, a young woman living in the poorest section of the station. The product of an ill-advised tryst between the head of a noble house and a lowly commoner, Synali saw her life descend into tragedy when her beloved mother was killed by assassins sent by her father. Now, fresh from murdering her father with her own hands, the vengeance-obsessed Synali sets out to destroy the entire House Hauteclare. When she meets a former prince named Dravik who has similar retributive motivations of his own, the two conspire to take down the political hierarchy by competing in what is basically a jousting competition between houses. Instead of horses, the competitors drive massive “steeds”—military machines left over from a distant war—through space. These steeds are as “tall as buildings,” powered by strange technology, and they inevitably destroy their riders if they compete for too long. Synali doesn’t care about the dangers involved—she, in fact, wants to die, but not before delivering karmic justice to everyone involved in her mother’s death. While the SF elements (including intricate worldbuilding and mind-blowing revelations regarding the aliens that humankind defeated in that distant war) are brilliantly done, it’s the insightful characterization and emotional vulnerability of Synali that power this story. Her pain, incendiary anger, self-doubt, and ultimate courage will resonate with more than a few readers. “Where does a twisted girl like me fit in the universe? Everyone else is full, whole. No one wants the darkness—they want the stars.” Synali could be the next Katniss Everdeen—the potential is certainly there.  

A highly palatable fusion of SF elements.