I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Swan Riders (Prisoner’s of Peace #2)
Author: Erin Bow
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country’s crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path.
She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.
If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.
Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.
Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.
This sequel to The Scorpion Rules has been one of my most anticipated books of the year for a while, and I was so thrilled when I received an ARC. The villain has a bigger part in the story and there are so many Canadian references. Greta is still such an amazing character, even if she is no longer human. Despite all this, I had some problems with the pacing of the book, and didn’t enjoy as much as I could have.
The Swan Riders is so different from the first book, The Scorpion Rules. Talis, who is kind of the villain, has a much bigger role. Throughout the book, the reader really gets to know him and see him in a different way. Greta also isn’t a prisoner anymore and gets to travel to Saskatchewan. I loved how the book is set in a real place, but modified a little bit. There are so many Canadian references (hat tip to Gordon Lightfoot the horse) which I really enjoyed catching as I read.
Greta has really changed since The Scorpion Rules. She is still the same clever girl as before, but no longer a human. Greta has become an AI and must lose all her memories as part of the transition. She is so determined to keep her memories, even though it’s dangerous, and I really admired that about her. Greta is also bisexual, which I loved, even though her girlfriend isn’t in the book as much.
Although The Swan Riders has so many amazing components, I found the plot to be very slow at times. Certain scenes dragged on, and by the end of the book, I ended up losing interest. On the contrary, other scenes moved too quickly and I ended up really confused. It was hard to enjoy the book when I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening all the time, and I really wish I could have enjoyed it more than I did.
The Swan Riders is a sci-fi book that is very different from the first story. I really enjoyed Greta’s character and the concept of the AIs. I loved so much about the book, but the pacing really bothered me. However, I would still recommend this book to those who have read and enjoyed the first book.