Iron widow

Xiran Jay Zhao

Book - 2021

"Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers. The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall of China. It doesn't matter that the girls die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's d...eath. But when she gets her vengeance, it becomes clear that she is an Iron Widow, a rare kind of female pilot who can sacrifice males to power up Chrysalises instead. To tame her frightening yet valuable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest male pilot in Huaxia, yet feared and ostracized for killing his father and brothers. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will take over instead, then leverage their combined strength to force her society to stop failing its women and girls. Or die trying."--

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Subjects
Published
Toronto : Penguin Teen 2021.
Language
English
Physical Description
349 pages ; 22 cm
Issued also in electronic format
ISBN
9780735269934
0735269939
Main Author
Xiran Jay Zhao (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

This feminist, high-fantasy adventure features a tough-as-nails main character and an East Asian–inspired world. In Huaxia, a futuristic society informed by Chinese history and culture, humans are stuck in a never-ending war with Hunduns. These unrelenting pests can only be fought with Chrysalises, war machines powered by two pilots, one female and one male. Utilizing this yin-yang force carries high risks, however, especially for the women who enter the machines as "concubine pilots." For Zetian, Chrysalis journeys bring back terrible memories from when her pilot sister was sacrificed on a mission. Zetian, who does not agree with the rules of her country, seeks revenge for her sister's demise by volunteering as a pilot herself, in order to fight back. What follows is an action-packed adventure with not one but two engaging love interests found in Li Shimin, a murderous pilot, and the wealthy Yizhi. Readers will enjoy the banter between characters, as well as the queer representation in this complex, fierce debut. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall of China...When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But when she gets her vengeance, it becomes clear that she is an Iron Widow, a rare kind of female pilot who can sacrifice males to power up Chrysalises instead"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Offering herself up as a concubine-pilot to assassinate the man responsible for her sister’s death, 18-year-old Zetian discovers her true destiny as an Iron Widow and must use her strength to force her society to stop failing its women and girls. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.? To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia?. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.