Iron Widow Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
2021 GoodReads Choice Award
2021 Nebula Award
An instant number one New York Times best seller!
Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA listeners.
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.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 14 minutes|
|Author||Xiran Jay Zhao|
|Audible.ca Release Date||September 21 2021|
|Publisher||Penguin Teen Canada|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #872 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#6 in Young Adult Fiction on Girls' & Women's Issues
#16 in Science Fiction for Young Adults
#26 in Science Fiction & Fantasy for Teens
Reviewed in Canada on September 25, 2021
Reviews with images
Top reviews from Canada
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HOLY GOOD LORD I did not see that end coming, at all, but wow I need the next book.
"Sorry,” I say, cold as Big Sister’s ashes. “You’re in my way.”
Yes Empress, show them who’s boss 💃
So I feel bad for the Hunduns now, like they were just living their lives and bam…invaded
We need a a face-to-fist meeting with the Sages in the next book
I love that he wears glasses and Zetian was like: wait, all that scowling was squinting?? 😂😂 As a glasses-wearer myself, I love when characters wear them too
Also to those who read this please after finishing do not ignore the epilogue, that is quite enjoyable.
The story gripped me from the first page. I immediately liked all the characters, but especially Shimin. I gasped out loud several times and enjoyed how the writing was so unapologetic about the material it covered. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Usually I am not that keen on YA novels, or first person pov. But this one felt like everything I always wished for in a YA novel. The characters are interesting and compelling, the world building is intriguing and I keep wanting to know more but what we do get still leaves me satisfied with the plot and characters. The mental imagery I got from reading was vivid and colourful.
I also loved what felt like a fresh take on the love triangle and romantic resolution.
There was a twist at the end I loved but also felt like it made complete sense.
Top reviews from other countries
Mx Zhao has a beautiful writing style. All their characters feel like full people. Zetian's inner struggle and cruel decisions are wonderfully detailed. She's a full person from her first line and unlike other protagonists I've read who are described as cruel or cold, she actually does do borderline unforgivable things.
The world building is excellent, it really is. Huaxia is honestly the best dystopia I've encountered. Each level of cruelty (and there are many) makes sense within the systems that govern it.
I don't want to spoil the plot more than the summary but I do want to say that I'm emotionally devastated and very impatient for the next book. I'm actually very upset and I cannot wait to cry more in the next book.
Zetian was very unhinged and she slightly scared me at points. Her character development was really intriguing, but she was such a strong character. I was fascinated that she had the lotus foot binding, I've never read that kind of representation before. I loved Yizhi and especially Shimin! From the minute we met Shimin I loved him, just wanted to give him a cuddle. The polyam representation is something I've also not read before but seeing it was really intriguing.
Some negatives were that some things weren't explained properly. I had no idea what the Chrysalises are or the Hunduns, and I still have almost no idea. It also would have benefitted from a pronunciation guide sometimes.
Overall, I really recommend this book. If you like unhinged women and awesome fight scenes. This book was incredible and I cried at two in the morning (thanks). Five stars.