Review: Dandelion Iron (The Juniper Wars)

Dandelion Iron (The Juniper Wars)
Dandelion Iron (The Juniper Wars) by Aaron Michael Ritchey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book # 46 for 2016
Habitica’s Legendary Book Club Modest Reading Challenge Task: A book you’ve been meaning to read.
PopSugar Challenge Prompt (part 1 of 2): A book and its prequel.

Kudos to Ritchey for this highly imaginative tale featuring kick-ass female characters and an awesome voice in the first-person narrator, 16-year-old Cavatica Weller. She is very much a 16-year-old girl that anybody who has ever been a 16-year-old girl will be able to identify with on some level, but she’s also an effective guide through both “the World” and “the Juniper” as well as her own personal conflicts.

I don’t claim to understand all of the world-building here, but I didn’t need to in order to enjoy the book. It’s sort of like Firefly meets a flipped The Handmaid’s Tale, with a few dashes of As I Lay Dying and Little House on the Prairie (though more the TV show than the books). But post-apocalyptic steampunk in the weird and wild west. And all without ripping off these influences. I also read one of the prequels, Armageddon Dimes, which I recommend for another perspective on the Weller girls and the world-building.

Oh, and I loved the horse’s names. They always made me giggle, and the book is full of these fun little nods to our current era. There is also some fairly serious examination of politics, religion, and social structures. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. This volume did end on a cliffhanger, but I’m hooked and will definitely be reading the next volume, and I felt there was sufficient resolution of the obstacles encountered thus far in the adventure.

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