A Soldier and A Liar is a YA-Dystopian novel set in a world where supernaturally-gifted teenagers, known as Nytes, are feared and shunned by the rest of society.
The set-up of this world is similar to that of The Hunger Games, with different sectors living independently of one another. There’s also dangerous beings on the outside that make travel outside the sectors dangerous.
The entire society is quite fractured, with the ungifted wanting to suppress, or eradicate the Nytes; rebel forces willing to fight back against the ungifted and a smaller faction wanting everyone to just get along.
Unsurprisingly, the government certainly doesn’t mind using the Nytes when it works to their own advantage.
Lai Cathwell is a Nyte and a talented soldier, who in the beginning of the story is in prison, but not for the reasons people think.
When the military wants to rerecruit her to aid in a special mission against rebel forces, they send in a fellow soldier and Nyte, Jay, to try to convince her to join up.
Lai is initally unimpressed, but there’s something about Jay that has her intrigued.
Ultimately, she decides to help and agrees to commit to the team, not just with Jay, but with two other fellow Nytes, Al and Erik. Together the four are set the task of eliminating the rebel threat and saving the sector from a long and brutal war.
I’ve had a copy of this book since it was initially released at the beginning of 2019. I love a good Dystopian story and the color scheme of this cover had me sold. I decided to pick it up recently as a backlist bump; my way of actually reading some of the books on my shelves.
I’m so happy that I did. I really enjoyed this story. From the very first chapter I was intrigued by the set-up of the world and the characters.
Lai, in particular, is the character I connect with the most. She’s a bit of a wildcard and I enjoy that about her. You never really know what she is going to do. She’s smart, strong and used to standing on her own, away from the maddening crowd.
I also really like Jay. He has a difficult relationship with his overbearing father and feels like he always has to be perfect. Even though he has excelled in his military career, is smart and capable, he still struggles a bit with self-consciousness.
Jay is selected to function as the team leader, which works quite well as the team members train together and learn to trust one another.
I loved the team training aspect. That’s a trope I tend to enjoy, so I was happy to find it here. The missions were dangerous and full of action. I also like the layers of this world that keep being revealed; like peeling back the layers of an onion.
This ended on a great cliffhanger and I have already started the second book, which is equally as compelling.
Overall, I had such a fun time reading this. I am always so happy when I randomly pluck a book off the shelf and it turns out to be a winner. Another successful backlist bump. Let this be a lesson to us all, don’t neglect your backlist!!!