Book Review: We Rule The Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Book: We Rule The Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Published April 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA

Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds. 

I’m not sure how I feel about We Rule The Night.  I liked it but it was hard for me to get through, and I could only read the book for a little bit before needing to put it down.

The story itself is pretty interesting.  The backdrop reminded me of World War 2, but with a fantasy/steampunk twist.  The book is described as Shadow And Bone meets Code Name Verity, and Code Name Verity came through pretty strongly.  A lot more than Shadow And Bone, at least for me.  I thought the magic was interesting, and explained well enough you knew how it worked.

According to the author’s note at the end, it is loosely inspired by the Night Witches, who were Russian female aviators who flew during World War 2.  That’s pretty much all I know about them, so I don’t know how much of their story actually made it’s way into the book, but I can see how they’d inspire a book.

I did struggle with the book, mostly because I was really bored reading it.  There were a few points where I considered not even finishing it.  The book focused on training and the girls getting ready for combat, and it took most of the book for there to be any action.  The book ended in a pretty good place, but I wanted a little more of them in battle.  It felt pretty slow, and I just wasn’t interested in seeing page after page of Linne and Revna hating each other but trying to work together.  Even though there’s no romance in the book, I honestly thought, for a while, that they’d end up for falling for each other.  They do learn to work together eventually, which is nice and I’m glad there wasn’t any romance.  I think that would have taken away from the story.

I don’t know that I cared for Linne or Revna, though I did like Revna a little bit more than Linne.  I’m not sure why, but Revna was a character who felt more real and fleshed out that Linne.  Which is weird, because they both narrate the book.  I was definitely rooting for Revna the entire time, and wanted her to succeed.

2 stars.  We Rule The Night ended up being okay.  I was bored reading it, and I wanted a little more action.

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