Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.  I am always so impressed by Tracy's writing, and this book is no exception.  Read on for my review, and follow along with the rest of the tour here.

Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart
(The Diatous Wars #1)
Publication date: February 28th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction


For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.

In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit.

As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.
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As a dystopian adventure, Shattered Veil is a bit of a departure from Tracy Banghart's earlier books, and I think she did a wonderful job with it!  I was most impressed with the wide scope, multiple points of view and intricate plotting of the book, with the author revealing just the right information and surprises at the right times to keep the pages turning.  As in Banghart's other books, character development is also exceptional, with a protagonist, Aris, who is somewhat weak and needy at the beginning of the book becoming a much stronger person without losing the vulnerability that makes her a believable character.

Even though Shattered Veil is a dystopia, I felt like Banghart used her future society to explore contemporary issues, which made the novel that much more interesting for me.  In Shattered Veil, women aren't allowed in the army, and Aris has to go undercover as the male soldier Aristos; while this is different from our current situation, there's no question that today's female soldiers have to deal with sexism and perhaps even create a bit of a false identity to survive in such a male-saturated environment.  In addition, the politics of Banghart's world reflect current world issues where certain countries have natural resources that others lack, and conflicts invariably arise.

At the beginning of Shattered Veil, the author sets up what seems like a rather typical romantic arc, but as with other aspects of the book, the author isn't afraid to take the romance to places that will surprise and even upset readers.  I admired Banghart's willingness to take risks and present this part of the book realistically, even though she might disappoint some readers in the process.

The ending of Shattered Veil is satisfying, but open-ended enough to feel realistic and leave room for future installments.  Tracy Banghart is a truly talented and versatile author, and I definitely recommend you check out this novel and her other work! 

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Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.