Unholy Warrior: Post-apocalyptic Spy Thriller


Loved it! 😍

Harsh, gritty thriller set in an alternative future with a touch of magic

Trigger warnings appropriate for this book: Torture, brutality, gruesome death, slavery, sexual assault. I won't detail out these things in this review but knowing these things are present should guide whether you want to weather the storm of what unfurls in the novel.

Unholy Warrior is quite a ride. Rebane is a compelling main protagonist that isn't without her flaws. I wasn't sure why she felt loyal to the Russian Federation, considering the real world history of resistance between Finland and the Soviet Union. Even more timely is reading a book where nuclear world war has happened, irradiating the Baltic nations, leaving the US backed European Union and the Russian Federation the only national actors left standing. There were numerous little details that I appreciated as a military person that showed the author's interest and research in writing a story about spies and snipers that usually get overlooked - like use of a spotter, SERE training, the threat of a drone, and the use of the skies as a method of fighting in arctic conditions.

There is explicit violence in this book but it's all detailed in a way that doesn't glorify or justify why it happens. It feels uncomfortable and it should. As awful as these specific actions and violence are, it's a tragic reality of what has happened in previous wars and in other parts of the world. These specific trauma tropes are often used as misguided attempts at character development but in Unholy Warrior, it feels tempered as visceral as such scenes are.

Rebane faith as a Sami is present but it isn't used as a crutch or deux ex machina for saving her from danger. There are prayers, but it is a touch of luck and a lot of tactical planning that gets Rebane through her trials. The Finnish pantheon is not one often portrayed in media and it's refreshing to see it here.

Unholy Warrior doesn't conclude so much as it stops leading towards the sequel. It's gritty, visceral, action packed with a touch of the spiritual. Rebane Nordstrom is a new voice in the Post-Apocalyptic Thriller genre and I look forward to reading more about her struggles against the Union and the Federation.

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I'm horror / science fantasy author and comic book writer. As a indie author myself, I understand how important reviews are for promoting sales. Member of Horror Writers Association, Ladies of Horror Fiction, Sisters in Crime.

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