Thursday, September 7, 2017

What Will You Fight For? • Rebel Seoul

Rebel Seoul book cover
Seoul has been split into two: Old Seoul, where gangs run rampant, and Neo Seoul, a military society where status is directly related to your combat ability. Lee Jaewon, a former gang member, is a talented pilot making a name for himself at the military academy where he is a student. After passing his test with flying colors, Jaewon finds himself given the assignment of partnering up with one of the supersoldiers - Tera - developed by a top weapons division. The more he gets to know Tera, and the more he discovers about the military regime, Jaewon finds himself questioning where he truly stands - with the Neo State or as a rebel for the people. 

I honestly wouldn't have heard of Rebel Seoul early had it not been for some lovely folks (namely Chelsea & Julie) talking it up on Twitter. Their excitement about the title was infectious; the book synopsis, which sounded just like a Korean drama, convinced me to add it to my TBR. I was granted the opportunity to read it early, and I'm so, so happy about that because I bloody loved Rebel Seoul!

I initially had difficulty connecting with Jaewon. Most of you know that I place a lot of value on my ability to connect with a character when I read, so I was a little worried that it wouldn't change. Thankfully, this totally turned around by the midway point! It was interesting to see how Jaewon's perspective had shifted, as well as observing how beneath the exterior personality where he does what is necessary for his survival and success, he has a good heart and genuinely cares about other people. Oh did a great job combining his personal experiences with his current circumstances, writing those things in a way that really shaped his personality in my mind. And by the end, I cared deeply about Jaewon and his friends (particularly Alex, who I love, love, love).

The story was right up my alley, and the reason I fell in love with Rebel Seoul. The setting, a society where the military has great technological and combat prowess in a world ravaged by war, was brutal yet intriguing. I was fascinated by the descriptions of the history, the battles and the tech, and while it could get a little out of hand in terms of info dump, I still lapped it all up easily. Combined with the exciting plot turns (of which there are many), well-constructed action sequences (I'm particularly fond of the one in the test sequence and at the end), and relationship development (the friendships! the budding romances!), I was enthralled by Oh's story. It was fun and it was well-done, and I turned the last page with both a smile of satisfaction and a deep desire for more. (Seriously, give me a sequel, please and thank you.)

To put it simply, Rebel Seoul is a novel that you definitely should add to your TBR if it's not on there already. I read it, loved it and think many readers are going to feel the same way.



Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh
Publisher: Tu Books | Publication Date: September 15, 2017
Source: ARC downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)

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