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(Warchild #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  763 ratings  ·  51 reviews
At age four, Yuri Kirov watched his home colony destroyed by the alien enemy. By six,he was a wounded soul, fending for himself in a desolate refugee camp, and still a child when the pirates found him. Now 24, Yuri is a killer, a spy, a blackmailer, and a pirate captain doing life in prison. That is until Earthhub Black Ops agents decide to make Yuri their secret weapon in ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Aspect
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Ruka It's better but not mandatory. I did Cagebird -> Warchild -> Burndive the first time and it was still great ! Of course you'll miss some references to…moreIt's better but not mandatory. I did Cagebird -> Warchild -> Burndive the first time and it was still great ! Of course you'll miss some references to Burndive characters but it shouldn't stop you from enjoying most of the story(less)

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Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Warchild, Burndive, Cagebird

Interesting series. I got these because I'd seen them highly reviewed somewhere; of course, now I don't remember where.
In many ways, they're basic military SF - I'd recommend them, with some reservations, to fans of Lois McMaster Bujold, maybe CJ Cherryh.
Each one has a different young man as the protagonist, but they follow one timeline, and link to each other, with many shared characters.All of them are very homosensual. All the young men are super-cute, and there is
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Cagebird starts out much like Warchild did: A young boy's home colony is destroyed as part of the war, and he (eventually) ends up in the hands of a pirate. Because of that, this book really worked for me at first, and I had high hopes for it. (I love plots about brainwashing and trust issues, not to mention age and power differences in relationships.) Unfortunately, it veered off into quite a different direction than Warchild did.

Yuri, the boy in question, is sent to a refugee camp. The story f
Aug 29, 2007 added it
I really appreciate Karin Lowachee stylistically. Each book builds on themes presented in the previous ones, but takes a unique perspective. Each book can also be considered a character study of how war (and Falcone) directly and indirectly affects different people. Each of the three protagonists has different reactions to what can be considered similar events, based on their personality types and their experiences so far. The author present a wonderful character study in each book. The reason t ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Oh, wow. Utterly harrowing but ultimately redemptive--I teared up at the end. Trigger warning though, this book is pretty effing graphic about severe childhood abuse of all kinds. I really thought this main character was amazingly done. My one gripe is that the character of Finch seemed underdeveloped. I had no idea exactly why Yuri had fallen in love with him, and since that's the crux of his emotional recovery and kind of the whole book in a way, it was frustrating. Overall, I really liked it, ...more
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lowachee is not for everyone. Her writing style is unorthodox and she takes great liberty with grammar and invented jargon, yet despite this I found the novel totally engrossing. She has a talent for creating damaged characters who feel real--these aren't the Mary-Sue stereotypes that litter most stories. I definitely, suggest starting this series with Warchild, which is still my favorite book of the series. The plotline will make more sense if you read that one first and then Burndive, however, ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Warchild remains my favorite of the three Warchild books, but this one is also excellent and my next favorite after that one. It's the most raw and character-driven of the books so far, and Yuri is an interesting character to follow. I am beyond excited that a fourth Warchild book, The Warboy, is in progress.

4 1/2 stars - Loved it

Full Review:
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disturbing and hard to read in a couple of places but absolutely brilliant!
Mary Soon Lee
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the Warchild science-fiction series. Major spoilers and content warnings ahead. (view spoiler) ...more
Trigger warning: rape, self harm, child abuse, child grooming…

Cagebird is the third novel in Karin Lowachee’s science fiction series exploring how a war psychologically impacts boys. The series starts with Warchild, which I still believe to be the best in the series. While each book has a different protagonist, I would recommend reading them in order.

At the age of four, Yuri Kirov’s home was destroyed in one of the initial attacks in the war between the humans/alien war. When the pirates found h
Kaje Harper
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, favorites, fantasy
This is the third book in the series. All the books deal with a futuristic far-flung interstellar society where the best and worst of humanity have room to expand. In all three books there is kidnapping, murder, indifference to suffering and childhood sexual abuse so be warned. This book is the best of the three, with the main character I felt most connected to and cared the most about. Yuri's struggles to become someone worthwhile, his love for another man in spite of all attempts to prevent be ...more
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review for the entire series: These books are the stories of 3 young men: 1 captured by pirates as a child, who manages to escape and be recruited to the "alien" side of the Earthhub-alien war,;1 who is privileged yet traumatized by the war's violence; and 1 who is recruited by pirates as a child and grows up to be one. _Cagebird_ is the story of the third man, after his capture, when the government wants to cut a deal...The series is very good, but the material is heavy and most of the characte ...more
Apr 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
As expected of one of my favorite authors ever, she simply doesn't disappoint. Even more exciting than the previous two in the series. That's almost unprecedented; I am a huge fan. She only gets better.

October 2009: Read again in preparation for The Gaslight Dogs release sometime early next year. This is my third read of this book, very unprecedented for me. I almost never re-read books, but I've re-read this series regularly since discovering it.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
This seemed like tourism to me. Like visiting a very painful place, looking around, taking a few pictures, and leaving. I don't trust Lowachee to write authentically, at this point. ...more
Stephen Poltz
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, disturbing book. It’s a look at war and child abuse through the eyes of a boy who’s recruited by pirates. It’s tough to read in parts because of this content. The writing style however is wonderful and it’s a fairly easy read. This is the third book of a trilogy. I didn’t realize it was such but the novel stands alone pretty well. It won the Gaylactic Spectrum award for positive LGBTQ images in science fiction and fantasy back in 2006. However this content is obscured by the sexu ...more
Abi Walton
I have enjoyed all three books in the Warchild series but I think that CageBird if my favorite. Its a lot darker than even Warchild and I really felt for Yuri and the choices he had to make from bad to worse. I though for all things considered and how he was taught to behave as a child Yuri was very likable, even if a little scary and dark. Also Finch is everything Yuri needs someone who will stand up to him and not be afraid of the darker side of Yuri.

I am really looking forward to book 4 in t
I dislike these books for the misogyny, casual and unobtrusive as it is, and love them for everything else. That being said, Yuri DID get on my nerves a lot. He’s this cynical, hardened, immoral creature and then he goes all emo and hurt – as if he couldn’t understand where all this was going! As if he couldn’t see how and why he would have been used! Eh. Still, fun to read and extremely competently written. If there ever will be a continuation of this series, I’ll run to buy it. Maybe in hardco ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant, harrowing, disturbing.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting series

I've enjoyed this series, although the last book was badly edited enough that I'd have requested a refund if I could have done so without stiffing the author.

But this book is quite different from the first 2. First of all its quite sexual - there are two scenes of dubious consent and unhappy outcome. They aren't explicit in a romance or erotica sense, but their presence sets them apart from the first two, which detoured around the sexual aspect of captivity.

Second, the author
Raymond Urrutia
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was way better then the last book, in spades! The protagonist is a badass with a ton of issues (not surprising given what he goes through), and takes an active role in his character development, which is a far cry from the former books protagonist. Be forewarned though, this story’s entirety is not for the faint of heart and there’s some definite trigger warnings here for child abuse, rape, self harm and everything else you can think of when the word ‘space pirate’ comes to mind. Also, and ...more
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. If you've enjoyed the previous two books, then you'll probably enjoy this one. This installment is from the point of view of Yuri, a pirate. Character-wise, Yuri is my least favorite, but that didn't hinder my appreciation of the book as a whole. As emotionally challenging as Warchild is, Cagebird is even more so. It grittier, more graphic, and the harshest of all three. I didn't feel a positive connection to Yuri, but I sure did feel sympathy and pity for him. It was really hard n ...more
Miss Susan
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
oh geez. look, it's not as though the other books in this series are light reads, lowachee is looking at what happens to children growing up in wartime and she deals with child abuse and ptsd in the first two books too but like. i think my skin crawled more in this volume then in any of the rest combined. all the scenes with kid yuri had me internally screaming because frigging child grooming pirates, the way they pushed at his boundaries and took advantage of his desire for affection and a home ...more
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi
The last, the most intense, and the most interior of this trilogy by Karin Lowachee. It tells the story of the second victim of the pirate Falcone, who kidnaps kids and raises them to be pirates through seduction and power and horrific abuse. At the age of four Yuri Kirov's home is destroyed by an alien attack... or is it a pirate attack? At any rate, Yuri ends up on Falcone's ship at the age of nine. We follow his life, told in first person during the same time period as the stories of Jos and ...more
This was quite a difficult read and vastly different from the two previous books in the series, in terms of the character's psychology and internal voice. Like Jos from Warchild, Yuri had also been taken by the space pirate Falcon and made into a protege, however, he turned out very different from the experience. Where Jos refuses to acknowledge the abuse he suffered at the hands of Falcone, Yuri talks fairly candidly about what he's been through, making this book absolutely brutal and heartbrea ...more
Grammy 1
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in the incredible War Child Trilogy by Karin Lowachee. I was gifted with a copy of Warchild, book one of the series, and was told by my gifter that the first book Warchild won the Warner Aspect First Novel Award and Cagebird won the 2006 Gaylactic Spectrum Award and the Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Philip K. Dick Award. Seriously, after reading this series, Ms Lowachee has shown these awards were most well deserved.

Warchild, Burndive and Cagedbird are
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think this is my second favorite of the three. Warchild is still my fave, and Burndive is very good, and this is in the middle in terms of faves. I do hope we see a fourth book set in this universe one day. What Lowachee will do in it and how is beyond me, and I look forward to seeing how all of this plays out, however it plays out, and whenever I get it. But I do know this: Lowachee is on my LIST of writers I will buy anything and everything from. There is so much about her work that I would ...more
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, science-fiction
And I'd thought that Warchild was full of angst. Cagebird beats it hands down. Seriously, have something light and fluffy lined up to read straight after this one, you're going to need it.

That said, I really enjoyed this book. Lowachee is a compelling writer. The world is rich and real and she really gets into the heads of her characters.

Like a previous reviewer, the parts I enjoyed the most were when the protagonists from her previous books showed up, I just wish they'd been in more of it, par
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'll review all three books here. The first one Warchild really caught my interest all the way through. It was unique and intriguing and I really enjoyed reading about the main character. The one thing is I was very disconnected from his trauma about his captivity. Since we as readers did not experience it with him and he never ever thought about or allowed himself to feel anything I did not either. So some of his mannerisms and hang-ups really got on my nerves. But the story was very well writt ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I'm a little surprised at how graphic this book is, although I suppose I shouldn't be. The previous books aren't exactly a walk in the park; this one, however, makes them look mild by contrast. At any rate, it is quite good! All three books in this series are a solid four stars for me, which is impressively consistent quality. Yuri is more fun as a POV character than Ryan, and the romance between Yuri and Finch is nice, especially since basically everything else that happens is horrifying and sa ...more
Sep 07, 2015 added it
Shelves: reviewed, huh
According to one Amazon review, I shouldn't have started the series with this book. ...but what if I read the blurbs and wasn't interested in any of the other characters?

Uh. Well, I read this away from any sort of easy commenting thing, and I started reading something else after, so I don't remember exactly what I thought. I think I liked it? I thought it ended weirdly abruptly. I mean, is more of the story told in the other installments? Was I supposed to read those first to get the meat of the
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
This wasn't really the book I wanted it to be.

Having read the whole trilogy, I've come to the conclusion that it's much less about space/aliens and almost entirely focused on trauma and how nasty people can be to others. That thread carries on throughout even while others hang unresolved.

The pacing was better than in the middle book, which felt like a slow starter, but comparatively it didn't seem as exciting. Again though, it would be wrong to expect fun, all three are serious books.

All that d
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Karin was born in South America, grew up in Canada, and worked in the Arctic. Her first novel WARCHILD won the 2001 Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. Both WARCHILD (2002) and her third novel CAGEBIRD (2005) were finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award. CAGEBIRD won the Prix Aurora Award in 2006 for Best Long-Form Work in English and the Spectrum Award also in 2006. Her second novel BURNDIVE debute ...more

Other books in the series

Warchild (4 books)
  • Warchild (Warchild, #1)
  • Burndive (Warchild #2)
  • The Warboy

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