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Hullmetal Girls

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications a ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Delacorte
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Emily One of the two POV characters identifies on the page as aroace. One prominent side character is a trans girl, and another is on-the-page pansexual.…moreOne of the two POV characters identifies on the page as aroace. One prominent side character is a trans girl, and another is on-the-page pansexual. One character can be read as questioning or uncertain, but only ever expresses romantic interest in other genders.(less)

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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  538 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good shit go౦ԁ sHit👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌shit right👌👌there👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good shit
➽and yes, this review, which has been up since June of last year, has a full review now! fun!

In the quiet of the early morning, before the Reliant’s lights begin to glow, I plan two funerals.

I have been anticipating this a lot ever s
I’m going to tell you right from the start that you’re not missing anything by passing on this one.

Even if you’re a die-hard fan of science fiction. Even if you absolutely love lesbian relationships. Even if YA is your jam, man.

Because if you’re a die-hard fan of sci-fi, you’ve read so much better. This author isn’t even trying to be original. Enhanced human soldiers that become cyborgs? I mean, that sounds awesome but the word ‘‘robot’’ is basically synonymous of ‘‘sci-fi’’.

What did sound inter
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Hullmetal Girls is the weird, complex, sci-fi book about consent and reluctant friendship between girls I didn't know I was looking for.

This book follows two POVs, Aisha Un-Haad (a hijabi aroace girl) and Key Tanaka (a Japanese girl) when they each become Scela, genetically altered, mechanical soldiers. Aisha makes the choice for herself, a drastic decision that goes deeply against her religion, in order to get the government money her younger siblings need to survive life in the back of the fl
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

I had a lot of issues with the treatment of queer characters in this book, which I wanted to mention in my review, but didn't know how to word things. The representations in this book are pansexual, ace/aro, and trans, and I don't fall into any of these categories as a cis bisexual woman, so I wasn't sure if I was imagining the issues I had, but after talking to friends and reading own-voice reviews, I am convinced that I was right in my initial thoughts.

The trans charac
May 27, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-did-this
This is my third book. The closer I look at it, the more I realize it's made of things that scare me. Physical things, like surgery and irrevocable body modification and sci-fi body horror. Abstract things, like being known too well, giving away too much of yourself, and being used. But it's also made of things I love: spaceships, jacked up cyborgs, angry girls, and machines with a little sass in them. I hope it scares you, but you love it too.

If you want a head start/little taste, the first cha
Sh3lly (
Review also at:

Hullmetal Girls is a sci-fi adventure with tinges of dystopian fiction. Humans left Earth over 300 years ago and are traveling the stars, searching for a habitable planet to make their new home. The fleet is made up of many ships, with the richest and most elite up front. The caste system follows the fleet down to the “back end,” where the poor and unprivileged live.

There are hybrid humans called Scela, who are warrior “machines” that work f
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This was more formulaic than I expected. I thought a story set on a generation fleet that promised queer rep and revolutions wouldn't feel like the average 2012-era YA dystopian, but it did. I've already read this plot at least ten times before; the only things that changed in Hullmetal Girls are the setting, the technology and the focus on friendship instead of romance, which I really liked.

The queer representation wasn't great. I say this not because it was bad, but because it was barely there
Claudie Arseneault
Went ahead and picked this up because I am working on an analysis about the ways asexuality and aromanticism are often revealed through confrontations (unwanted flirt/sexual advances, microaggressions, etc.). Here are some thoughts ~

Overall, Hullmetal Girls would have been a great example of adventures with queer characters without centering that queerness if it wasn’t for the way it so flippantly mistreats these identities when they present themselves in the narrative. The attention and care Hu
I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately, it fell flat in a lot of ways. Read the full review on my blog.

Brief note for those who only look at GoodReads reviews: if you are trans and/or aroace, please read the full review as the coming out scenes for the trans character and the aroace character were really harmful.
Dec 13, 2016 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
The author called this: "My little standalone sci-fi Battlestar/Pacific Rim/Sense8/Snowpiercer frolic affectionately known as Cyborg Space Jam" SO OBVS NEEEEEEEEED X INFINITY
Jessica Cluess
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This is the Battlestar Galactica cyborg space military mashup you never knew you always wanted. Fascinating biotech, flawed but strong characters, realistic relationships, a unique militaristic society, plot twists and turns galore, it all amounts to one of the best YA sci fi books out there.

I'm not a big sci fi person. I'm not a cyborg fan in general. And I LOVED this book. I can think of no better recommendation than that. Go buy this baby now.
Dani - Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

When her brother contracts a plague Aisha volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to serve the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother. Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no idea why she chose to giv
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
Okay I don't know why it keeps saying three when I'm definitely clicking FOUR stars, but the review for this book will be up on my blog tomorrow. I'll be sure to come back and link it when it's up :)

There was a problematic element at the beginning that was never addressed but I really liked this book. Problematic stuff aside it's a solid four stars which is very good for me. Highlights:
-lady cyborgs in space
-God is a woman
-unlikely lady friends
-good discussion on modern day views of religion
Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek

Buddy Read with Destiny!!

Update: I have mentioned the potentially triggering content involving LGTBQ+characters in this book, characters being outed involuntarily in a manner I didn't agree with. However, I have also seen the author invade a reviewer's private space also in a manner I don't agree with so unfortunately I don't think I'll continue reading her work. It isn't right for a reviewer to feel that their opinions can be attacked. For
Tara Sim
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like badass girls, space adventures, gray morals, and huge mecha soldiers, this is the book for you. Emily once again demonstrates her ability to craft an action-packed story that nonetheless wallops you right in the feels.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
I personally loved the futuristic technology in this novel with augmented cyborg humans under the mental control of government mandated AI implants. Likewise, I enjoyed reading about ethnically and sexually diverse characters. The story was not particular original, which I didn't really mind, but I found the actual narrative disappointingly weak. I wanted to completely love this novel, but instead I have to settle for appreciating it. Even though it's classified as young adult, I thoug
4.5 stars

This took me a good hundred pages to warm up to (keep in mind this book is not that long - only 320 or so pages), but OH MY FREAKING GOD I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.

Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was super ready to love this: angry cyborg girls, space, queer characters?! Sign me up!

Alas. I have basically read this book before. It’s pretty much Hunger Games, without the literal games, in space. See also: An Unkindness of Ghosts.

The thing about space books is I love them so much, but my standards are also v v v v high as a result. I liked the initial premise of this book a whole lot - but felt really let down in the delivery unfortunately.

First up, if you were here for queer characters,
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Unfortunately, Hullmetal Girls just didn’t live up to my hopes.

I loved the mecha aspect of everything. The author put such thought into her cyborgs – the way the mecha merged with the human, and some of the ways in which it really didn’t.

But our Girls were kind of…bland. They were so…so…angsty/introspective most of the time. (And, BTW, I hated our Hullmetal Boy.)

The worldbuilding was a little slow for my taste. It took forever for me to really even understand the main point of the plot. And, unf
Laura (bbliophile)
It's probably more like 3.5 stars but oh well. Full review to come.
Faith Hicks
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The setting for this story was 100% my jam: spaceships, cyborg girls, humanity broken down into class systems, brutal, female-centric sci fi. I really loved the worldbuilding. Unfortunately the characters, villains and their motivations were super thin, never quite living up to the promise of the setting.
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
maybe a 2.5 if I am being lenient. Maybe.

I am disappointed, though. This book has more than a few good ideas but the messy execution of them makes it hard to stick around, much less immerse myself in Key and Aisha's POVs. The worldbuilding is sink or swim, but without enough information provided and the POVs felt indistinguishable. There is a definite uptick after about 65% in -- the story makes up somewhat for lost time by the end but it's not enough to entirely compensate.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this arc as a gift from a friend).

Hullmetal Girls was rich, thought provoking, and full of two fantastic protagonists. I loved that some describe this book as full of 'angry cyborg girls' because that to me sounds like my anthem. I want angry cyborg girls and Skrustskie delivers.

So let's begin with the characters. First off, Key felt like this breath of cathartic fresh air and she remains this enigmatic puzzle until the end of the book. I was really expecting Aisha to be
Neko Neha (BiblioNyan)
DNF @ 39%

Okay, this is really difficult for me to write because I fucking adored the author's The Abyss Surrounds Us duology. That was such an excellent sci-fi series with badass girls, diverse cast members, awesome action, and sci-fi elements. This book... was a hot, janky mess of hell no.

The premise isn't original, by far, but it's one I tend to enjoy in the science-fiction I consume. I mostly read adult sci-fi because YA sci-fi infuriates me more often than not. This is a personal issue and n
Sheharzad ⚘ (hiatus)
so this book:
● has characters that resemble me (south asian/middle eastern names, muslims, poc)
● has my sister's name in it
● AND is about cyborg space revolution??

the excerpt sounds SO COOL and i'm mainly interested in how identity + trauma play out for the characters bc we they are poc!!! and also the horror. i love nausea-inducing horror.

there are a few things that quipped my interest in a "hmm, this sounds... different" way and i'm curious as to how those few lines/themes/ideas morph
Whitley Birks
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I was most of the way through this book and stuck on why I was having so much trouble finishing it. It made no sense why I wasn’t devouring the book as fast as possible – it’s got spaceships and cyborgs and conspiracies and training montages! It’s got girl friendships and cool tech and interesting side characters and evil governments being taken down from within!

And…it’s the last one. Taken down from within. Because, as much as there’s a lot of stuff going on with factions and resistance groups
My friends, this book let. me. down.

Aroace protagonist in a book about cyborgs? HELLO? This is my niche. Unfortunately Hullmetal Girls didn't really deliver. The characters felt one dimensional (very clear motivations but not much beyond that); the plot wasn't well structured; and the descriptions fell flat. (Seriously. The descriptions. I could never wrap my mind around what the cyborgs actually looked like. And at one point, I realized a character who hadn't been fully described, who I'd been
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
Read out the first chapter of Hullmetal Girls here!
"The Chancellor sees us the way humans do, the way I used to see Scela. We're tools. Weapons. Things to be wielded with force."
Hullmetal Girls is an ambitious science fiction novel that brings together many elements into an interesting (and frightening) future. The book gripped me with its first words, providing just enough of a primer of the world, the customs, and I had high hopes for this Battlestar Galactica mashup with cyborgs and a mi
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie is a young adult Sci-Fi novel. Set 301 years after a fleet of ships leaves the Solar System in search of a new planet where humanity can survive, things have settled into tiers based on how close a ship is to the front of the fleet. A terrorist group, Fractionists, aims to take power in order to break up the fleet rather than keep it consolidated. The General Assembly's troops and enforcers, Scela, are made up of cyborg warriors. Those who have volunteer to ris ...more
Vicky Who Reads
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
3 stars (but only because I'm honestly undecided and have no idea what my feelings really are about this book)

So...what just happened?

I honestly am just a big jumble of EMOTIONS™ after this book because wow there were so many things going on and this was a wild ride.

I'm probably going to have to sleep on this decision, but the best way I can describe my feelings is this is an adult science-fiction plot shoved into the young adult format and I have a lot of thoughts about this.

There were so many
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Emily Skrutskie is six feet tall. She was born in Massachusetts, raised in Virginia, and forged in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado. She holds a B.A. in Performing and Media Arts from Cornell University, where she studied an outrageous and demanding combination of film, computer science, and game design.

She is the author of THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US and its sequel, THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS, as wel