Author: Jason Sandford
Publisher: Apex Books
Publication Date: 21 September 2021
Format: eBook - EPUB
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Glowing red lines split their faces. Shock-red hair and clothes warn people to flee their approach. They are plague birds, the powerful merging of humans and artificial intelligences who serve as judges and executioners after the collapse of civilization.
And the plague birds’ judgement is swift and deadly, as Crista discovered as a child when she watched one kill her mother.
In a world of gene-modded humans constantly watched over by benevolent AIs, everyone hates and fears the plague birds. But to save her father and home village, Crista becomes the very creature she fears the most. And her first task as a plague bird is hunting down an ancient group of murderers wielding magic-like powers.
As Crista and her AI symbiote travel farther from home than she ever imagined, they are plunged into a strange world where she judges wrongdoers, befriends other outcasts, and uncovers an extremely personal conspiracy that threatens the lives of millions.
Plague Birds is a genre-bending mix of science fiction and dark fantasy and the epic story of a young woman who becomes one of the future’s most hated creatures, with a killer AI bonded to her very blood.
Plague Birds opened solidly, with an inventive and engaging premise and a wonderful heroine in Crista. I enjoyed seeing her development during the story, especially regarding her relationship with Red Day, her bonded AI. The world building was nicely handled and the plot moved at a good pace. My attention and engagement did drift somewhat over the final sixty to seventy pages; however, I finished this book on a night when I was tired and had a bad headache, so that lapse of interest is likely due to my own concentration issues, rather than any problem with the book itself. Overall, Plague Birds is a sci-fi fantasy story with a fresh and captivating premise that is nicely developed and presented. Aside from my slight attention slip near the end, it held my interest throughout and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. It gets a solid four stars from me.
I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.