Crier's War by Nina Varela

Crier's War (Crier's War #1)
Author: Nina Varela
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

Crier’s War was a book that I was kind of up in the air about. Mostly because I have mixed feelings about books with any kind of Android/Automations along those lines. I really enjoyed this story, it was well done.

One of the things that surprised me that I got so into was the politics of the story. I was on the edge of my seat as each mystery was unfolded. As each political power was exposed for where their alliances fall. I couldn’t stop reading.

I loved Crier. I liked Ayla, but I really loved Crier. I didn’t think that I would be as inclined to bond with a Automae. Crier seems naive but it is because she is kind. She also can see things at more than face value. I think the way she is honest with herself is what makes her endearing.

Ayla is strong and resilient but she is also lost. I think that she hasn't found her full potential yet but I think when she is with Crier she finds herself. I think there are often times in the story where lines get blurred for Ayla and she's not always sure where she should fall.

The romance between Crier and Ayla is light but sweet. Not as strange as I would have thought, since Crier is automae. I kept thinking of Crier as a person not a machine and I think because we experience her perspective it makes her more human. Again the way she just openly enjoys Ayla’s company and doesn’t shy away from her feelings. Just really made me love her character. Plus I felt like the development between them was very organic.

There are tidbits of history mixed into the story. Which I absolutely loved. I also like when a story gives you background that way. It’s like you referencing a history book and saying ahh I see now how this is. I would love to read the history of the Automations and the war. Not sure why I was just so intrigued!!

I don’t want to give anything away but I really enjoyed this story. I think if you are weary of stories that involve Automation, AI and all that. You would enjoy this book. The way it presents it makes it easy to fall into.

Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. CRIER’S WAR is her first novel.

You can find Nina at any given coffee shop in the greater Los Angeles area, or at

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