A Soldier and a Liar
by Caitlin Lochner
February 19th 2019
YA Dystopian / Science Fiction
In a world on the brink of war, four superpowered teens must learn to work together for peace in Caitlin Lochner’s action-packed debut novel, A Soldier and A Liar.
Lai Cathwell is good at keeping secrets. As a Nyte, a supernaturally gifted teenager who is feared and shunned by the ungifted, this skill is essential to survival. Orchestrating her own imprisonment to escape military duty has only honed her ability to deceive others. But when rebels start attacking the city, Lai is dragged back into the fight with a new team of Nytes.
Thrown together with Jay, a self-conscious perfectionist consumed by the desire to be accepted; Al, a short-tempered fighter lying for the sake of revenge; and Erik, an amnesiac hell-bent on finding his memories and his place in the world, Lai realizes she’s facing an entirely different kind of challenge–one that might just be impossible. But if this team can’t learn to work together, the entire sector will be plunged into war.
After reading the blurb, I knew I had to get my hands on this book, and I was not disappointed.
Lai's world is broken into two sorts of humans, those with powers and those without. Those with powers, the Nytes, are shunned, mistreated and mistrusted. Although Lai, a Nyte who is a telepath, was a top solider in the military of the normal humans, she was thrown into prison thanks to a small crime. She sneaks out and secretly works for the Order, a growing underground society which strives for a peaceful life for both types of humans. When the military comes and asks her to return in exchange for her release, she's not sure she wants to, but realizing it's a chance to gather more valuable information for the Order, agrees. But after begin back in uniform, she soon discloses secrets more dangerous than she suspected.
In some ways, this book reminded me of the X-Men but placed in a futuristic world with a heavily split society. And it worked. Lai is an easy character to root for. She's tough, she carries loads of secrets, she's clever, she carries doubt of her own skills at times, and she has a good compass for knowing right from wrong. Her dedication to her friends is inspiring, and her ability to win people over...although not always through the best means...makes her hard not to like even with a few sharp personality corners. It's easy to root for her and those around her, especially with the situation of the Nytes pulls at the sense of needed justice.
The pacing in these pages is pretty fast, guaranteeing a grabbing read with lots of surprises. There are levels of intrigue, some just dabbed upon and leaving the promise of excitement to come in the rest of the series, and secrets around every corner. Everyone has a history, and everyone has an agenda. It makes for interesting characters and a plot which is hard to decipher at times.
While there is a little romance, it by no means carries the plot but rather lays in very slight dabs with the rest of the story. In these pages, friendship is golden and team work is not simple, but inspiring all on its own. Fans of super humans, fast paced action, intrigue and fighting for justice in an imbalanced society...and girl power...are going to enjoy this tale.
And here she is...
(Um, so, wow bios are hard.) I studied creative writing at the University of South Florida and used my BA in words to become an English teaching assistant in Tokyo. I’m in love with storytelling of any kind, but especially in the form of books, manga, and video games. If you ever want to talk nerdy, I am VERY down.
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