Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Zoe Hana Mikuta, Author of Gearbreakers – On the World through the Eyes of a Young Writer, Mecha Sci-Fi and ‘Quiet’ Romances

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Zoe Hana Mikuta, Author of Gearbreakers – On the World through the Eyes of a Young Writer, Mecha Sci-Fi and ‘Quiet’ Romances

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

Having grown up and enamoured by mecha stories – whether it be Gundam or Suisei no Gargantia or Pacific Rim – say the word ‘mecha’ and I’ll likely come running. So when I first heard about Gearbreakers, and later had the opportunity to read it early, I was delighted and excited. I had expected Gearbreakers to be a story full of mecha battles and action, a story led by two strong-willed girls. Although the book does have parts of this, at the center of Gearbreakers is a tender and bittersweet heart – which is what drew me in and resonated with me.

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Book Review: Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta – As Vicious as a Serrated Blade; a Queer Mecha-Dystopia about Identity, Love, and Teens in a Futile War

Gearbreakers
Synopsis

We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead...

The shadow of Godolia’s tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords.

Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within.

As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia’s reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer–as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more…

I was provided an eARC from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta was one of my most anticipated books of 2021. Give me a story about mecha god-like machines that shake the earth, angry queer girls, and enemies-to-lovers, and I will probably be first in line to read it. Though Gearbreakers was not quite what I expected, I ultimately enjoyed this action-packed story, primarily for its unexpectedly compelling and evocative themes.

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