• $10.99

Publisher Description

Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Acclaimed author, Tochi Onyebuchi, has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.

Young Adult
October 15
Penguin Young Readers Group

Customer Reviews

ShootForTheEdit ,

Reading it backwards made it better ⏪

If you just want to read my review, then scroll down ⬇️. But I’m going to go off on a small tangent here first, because I feel like I should explain myself:

So as previously mentioned, I read this book backwards (literally). I started at the end and read each chapter in reverse order 🤪 (don’t judge me, I had my reasons). Admittedly, this was an experiment. Partially because I was just curious. Primarily because of the way I read, I often find myself rereading previous portions in order to fully understand what I just read. But also, I find that I enjoy books more when I know where they’re going. Not necessarily knowing the ending, but the comfort in knowing that things are happening for a reason, that it’s leading to something, and the writing isn’t just aimless (cough ACOTAR cough).

And honestly, I think I liked it better. If I had read it normally I’d probably be criticizing this book as another unoriginal YA novel trying too hard to be original. In my experience, YA novels are incredibly boring early on. But by starting at the end, all the good parts happened at the “beginning”, and did a much better job of holding my attention “later” in the book. On top of that, it was rather interesting to jump right into the action, and then work backwards to see how they got there (like my own little version of Momento).

So yes, this is yet another YA novel riding the coattails of Black Panther. But what I like is that War Girls doesn’t try to hide it, and instead was its intention all along. Between its characters, setting, and advanced technology, War Girls knows that it’s basically copying Black Panther, but to a point were it’s more of an homage than a rip-off.

"She can’t waver now. Not when everything that has happened has finally caught up to her. The murder of her family, her life with the Biafran War Girls, her kidnapping, her time with the Nigerians overseeing the separation of families and the detention of children dubbed “enemy combatants,” her time in prison when she had lived as an accused traitor, her attempted assassination of the person who slaughtered her family. All of it has been leading to this moment."

(Going back to reading it backwards, this segment gave me quite a bit to look “forward” to.)

Just like any other YA fantasy, War Girls is slow in the beginning, predictable in the end, and mediocre as a whole. There’s no x-factor or wow-factor here, and nothing that hasn’t already been done before to make it standout in an already over-saturated genre.

But where I will give it credit is, in comparison to other YA fantasy, War Girls is pretty nonstop. As mentioned in the excerpt, lot happens throughout the story, and they come almost one after another with little downtime in-between. It does a good job of keeping you on edge, but once you get about halfway through is when things really get interesting. Alliances are made and broken, scenes of mass destruction, body augmentation, hover bike chases, and if anything, War Girls offers a unique perspective on futuristic terrorism.

Typically, I don’t recommend reading a book backwards, but I was really curious. I knew what kind of book this was, and knew I wouldn’t have liked normally. It worked out pretty well, but I doubt I’ll be doing it again (except for maybe the sequel, just because 😉).

yeahididreadit ,

War girls

Written well but no good plot . Could’ve been a great book

Insertsassyname ,

Amazing! Sheds light on a part of history that isn’t talked about enough

I don’t even know where to begin. So let’s start at the beginning. I was super excited for this book. Literally thrilled that I got it and early. And then it took me a week to finish, but I was completely enthralled and addicted. There was so much going on, and I absolutely loved every second, even though it did take me longer than it should have. I knew nothing about the Nigerian Civil War, but man am I going to find out!


-the unlikeable characters so unlikeable, but so redeemable. I will be honest, I hated Onyii at times, but that just made me love her more. And Ify. She annoyed me so bad, but crap did I love the crap out of her!

-the action. So. Much. Action! There were few filler chapters where nothing happened, and I absolutely loved it! Everything happens fairly quickly and you’re roped in immediately! So freaking good!

-the interludes between parts. Yes! I loved them! I wanted Enyemara to find Onyii or even Ify. And when she was about to die, my heart was literally breaking! What a good side-arc for this book!

-the heartbreaking moments. I’m the type of person who doesn’t get emotional when people die in books. It’s expected for the genre that I read, but there were so many deaths that genuinely tore me apart and I had to take long breaks from it!

-the authors note, and the history lesson. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I knew nothing, and now I know so much! Thank you for that!


-not a whole lot of description. I have no idea what anybody actually looked like. Which was a huge let down. We got a lot of facts about how young they were, what color their hair was and what robotics they had. But no description of them.

-I just read 446 pages of amazing technology but I have no idea what any of it actually looks like. Mechs. No idea. They were mentioned a lot, but from what I gathered, they’re giant fighting robots that the cyborgs power with their own bodies and they can feel pain

-the authors note at the end and not the beginning. I’m just picking at straws here. I would’ve loved that in the beginning, but it’s absolutely an amazing authors note

In conclusion. Yes this book is absolutely insane. Prepare to have a love-hate-love relationship with absolutely everyone, and be prepared to feel super emotional over some of the characters. I loved every second, and am already psyched for re-read! Incredible book!

More Books by Tochi Onyebuchi


Other Books in This Series