Jaewon, a citizen of Old Seoul, is recruited from a military school in Neo Seoul into a lucrative weapons development department that could secure his position in the Neo Seoul Military for years to come. But the situation becomes complicated when Jaewon meets the test subject, Tera, and recognizes her.
Why this book?: I joined the Lit CelebrAsian book club, and this was the first read. It’s a buddy read with Sinead @ Huntress of Diverse Books!
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I had only heard of it a few times before picking it up, and everyone was comparing it to the movie Pacific Rim . . . which I haven’t seen, since the only movies I watch are Star Wars, and any book adaptions. So, I was expecting a random sci-fi story set in Seoul, South Korea.
I . . . was really wrong with that assessment. Rebel Seoul is so much more than that, with relatable characters, intriguing story, and badass fight scenes. I was mesmerized by the concept of God Machines, and how they were used. I found all of the technology fascinating, and I just wanted to know more and more about just the general technology in the society.
But, really, Rebel Seoul was way more than that. The characters, especially Jaewon and Young, and their relationships added so much to the story. The combination of the two led me to tears more than a few times, and I found myself staying up thinking of what certain things could mean, and making theories to share later one about what something meant. To me, Rebel Seoul is much more than just being about a military society, but about the people who are affected by that military society. Axie Oh focused so much more on the characters than on the setting, and that’s always something that ends up affecting me much more than anything else.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
Rebel Seoul was definitely something I wasn’t expecting to enjoy so much. It had everything in it that I wanted in a book, and had the perfect balance of action and reaction. One of the few things that bothered me was the cisnormavity. It was kind of referenced that people with uteruses worked better for something, but instead they said women, females, and said only that.
Would I Recommend?
YESSSSSSS. Except for the cisnormavity, I immensely enjoyed the story and the characters, and want to cry about it to other people.
Published: September 14th, 2017
Publisher: Tu Books
Page Count: 389
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Synopsis: via Goodreads
After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.
When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.
With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.