5 out of 5 stars
I love when a story grabs you right from the very beginning! Knight in Paper Armor did just that and didn’t let go till the very last page. Even after, I think this one will stay with me for awhile. As much as I love reading as a form of escapism, especially in times like this where you feel the extra weight of world issues weighing heavily, I also read to feel. To be moved, whether to laughter, or tears, or suspense, etc. This book moved me. Not only was it a solid dystopian/fantasy novel it also had a lot of heart and it pulled from real societal issues both past and current that was masterfully weaved throughout this story. Sometimes it was hard to look at, some lines were hard to read, mostly because there was a realness in it and that had the sharpest sting. As bleak as it seemed at times, there was an unyielding undercurrent of hope and light, selflessness and voices that would not be silenced. It brought not only a great balance to the story, but also a great reminder to me as a reader. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the seemingly endless onslaught of negativity, the pain and the suffering, sometimes you forget how much beauty and hope there is amidst it and how powerful those things can truly be.
Another thing that stood out to me, and gave me some Stephen King vibes, was how the author highlights the young. And like King, he pulls no punches with them either. But Conley also shines a light on the hope and brilliance of them. There’s a strength in youth, a drive and an untempered sense of the world and right vs wrong there and Conley plays this up in the best ways.
“And what I mean is, well… achievement comes from failure. From trying, knowing we can’t succeed, and trying again.” He stirred his coffee. “So yes, I have hope in people. Because even though humanity is flawed, it never stops trying to be better. Every generation is one step closer than the last. There’s always a forward thrust…”
I too believe this of each generation. I see it in my own kid. In what she believes in, what she is passionate about and how she translates those passions into momentum. I see it in kids like Emma González and David Hogg too.
All in all Knight in Paper Armor was riveting dystopian/fantasy with a lot of heart. The mix of supernatural and realnesss was perfectly balanced and it will undoubtedly have you thinking throughout and afterwards. I truly look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
I received a copy of this book from the author and this is my honest review.