“Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.
Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?” (via Goodreads)
In the midst of all this is Chief Rocka, the leader of the Las Mal Criadas crew. All sharp edges and bitter words, she is a BAMF sixteen-year-old going on thirty who rules the streets with an iron fist. In a world where girl soldiers are taught to fight first, ask questions never, Chief Rocka is queen of them all. She dreams of a life in the Towers as Déesse’s second in command, but is haunted by nightmares of her childhood spent longing for the father and sister who abandoned her and worrying over her drug addicted mother. When they’re offered a chance at the Towers by running a spy mission on the Ashé Ryders, the LMCs jump into action. But beyond the city walls lies a mystery Chief Rocka isn’t ready to face. The truth about Mega City, its glorious leader, and Chief Rocka’s own past will shake her world to its core…
Read the rest of my review at Tor.com.
Tonight feels different. The weight of her absence hits me. On most nights when my crew and I patrol the streets of Mega City, I feel a sense of invincibility mixed with glee. Violence can do that to a person, especially when you’re the one unleashing it. At night my crew, Las Mal Criadas, own these streets. Not tonight. We’re missing one of our girls, and the warm breeze that blankets my face is a trick meant to seduce me into thinking everything is fine. My soldier Manos Dura. She didn’t have to go out like that. No one deserved that ending.
“Go check the building.” Truck, my right hand, barks out an order. One of my soldiers sprints ahead. It’s been almost a month since the end of Manos Dura, and we’re still feeling it. It was Truck who recruited and trained her to be the fifth in our all-girl gang. Manos Dura’s specialty was her fists. No one ever wanted to catch them hands. She was good, and now she’s gone. The last thing I want to do is be out here patrolling. Such is my lot in life. It’s what Las Mal Criadas do. Not for long, though.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a review copy.
Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.