REVIEW: Heavenbreaker by Sara Wolf

The first in a new sci-fi series, Heavenbreaker is a fast-paced tale from author Sara Wolf that follows Synali von Hauteclare, a young woman living in the year 3442 with one thing on her mind: revenge.

HeavenbreakerHeavenbreaker starts with a bang. Living in the poorest section of a space station orbiting a gas giant, Synali has just killed her noble father after he had her commoner mother killed. Not content with this act of revenge, Synali aims to take down the entire House Hauteclare by first entering a massive sci-fi jousting tournament between the great houses. Controlling massive military machines, the competitors risk death but Synali doesn’t care about the dangers involved as she teams up with former prince with vengeance of his own in mind. Synali rides in the titular Heavenbreaker (this made me think of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim), fighting one enemy at a time against other machines that were left over from a great war. Whilst commoners starve, the ruling class amuse themselves with such games and Synali aims to make them pay.

Grimdark fans are well-acquainted with characters hell-bent on revenge and there are shades of Monzo Murcatto (Abercrombrie’s Best Served Cold) and Katniss Everdeen (Collins’ Hunger Games) in Synali as we follow her on her mission to rid the world of the House of Hauteclare. She is a character broken by the actions of those around her and feeling alone and different to everyone else she sees. She’s a flawed character full of shades of grey and that’s what drew me to her. It’s easy to root for her on her quest for vengeance toppling a powerful structure with seemingly endless resources and the sci-fi elements are well written with some good twists and turns along the way to keep the readers’ interest. Synali makes a few questionable choices that threw me out of the story for a moment as they didn’t make sense to me but I was pulled back in and able wanted to find out how the story would end. Many different labels have been attached to the Heavenbreaker but for me, this is straight up sci-fi with little romance (fine by me) and fantasy.

Heavenbreaker is an interesting sci-fi revenge tale with a flawed protagonist fighting against an all-powerful and corrupt ruling class.  If you think revenge is best served cold in space with a badass heroine, this book is for you.

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

Aaron S. Jones is the author of Memories of Blood and Shadow, and The Broken Gods trilogy. He is Head of School at a school in Kent, UK and when he is not tearing his hair out at students struggling with their, they're and there, he is tearing his hair out as he dies for the thousandth time on Elden Ring. You can find him on Twitter @HereticASjones where he is most likely procrastinating for hours at a time instead of focusing on his Orc murder mystery.

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