A good dog doesn’t ask questions, especially when The Council holds their leash. Lieutenant Colonel Nik Zhukov never disappoints—never questions the orders given to him—even as each mission further reveals how corrupt his handlers are. For the sake of national security, the desensitized prodigy pretends he’s just like any other seventeen-year-old living in the year 2076. At least until it comes time to pull the trigger.
On the verge of promotion, Nik is dispatched to the underground city beneath the icy Seattle tundra. What should’ve been a simple bit of recon is complicated by the underground’s dark secrets. He soon finds himself treated as an equal and swept into battles alongside the misfit revolutionaries he was sent to spy on. Their gray-eyed leader isn’t fooled by his ruse, though, and as Nik worms his way into their lives, he unknowingly breaks the number one rule within his ranks. He allows himself to feel normal. It’s a mistake he pays for dearly when he learns The Council’s true intentions for Seattle.
Despite what my blog posts are for my book reviews, there are actually quite a few authors and books I gush about. Let me just say this, Zhukov’s Dogs by Amanda Cyr was completely gush worthy. This book is a young adult science fiction dystopia published through Curiosity Quills Press, and, let me tell you, it is worth reading!
It starts off like a prisoner of war memoir. We literally meet Nik Zhukov, our main character, in the midst of incarceration and impending execution. Through an interview and his own flashbacks, we get the full story of who he is and how he ended up there.
The Characters: Nik Zhukov is a serious badass. I love his quirks and how he changes through the book. He is strong, both mentally and physically, but emotionally he needs help. Enters the underground group he is sent to infiltrate. Each character has their own quirks and personalities. I felt like I knew these people. It is clear that Cyr had taken great care for them.
Val, is a spunky guy who you can’t help but love. Anya surprises you. Fritzi is the type of girl you definitely want on your side. And for the characters you meet in the prison, Dr. Halliburton was both deliciously evil and smack worthy. There were times I was hoping she got the picture and times I hope she would just jump off a bridge. Seriously, she’s a well written character. They ALL are well written.
The story is a strong one. The reader is thrusted into the quick paced world and Cyr doesn’t let you slow down. It’s one of the those books you will be yelling at out loud. I did that. I laughed, I squealed, and I yelled angrily. An author who can make me aubily say something and make people around me stare in confusion, is an author worth reading.
This book has it all. There is romance, action, politics, and the horrors of what a country can do to their own people if not checked correctly.
I love the dash of history placed in there too with the Seattle underground. I used to live in Bremerton and I would go to Seattle almost every weekend. I did take a tour of the underground and there are places that no one has even seen since it was closed up. I love Seattle so much, I was even inspired to do something with the underground. I didn’t write the story, but I’m glad someone incorporated it in their own work. I felt like I was in the Seattle of 2076.
In all, I love LOVE LOVE this book. Seriously, it’s that big. READ.
About Amanda Cyr:
Amanda Cyr is a tea-loving freelance journalist, viral content curator, and debut novelist. She studied creative writing at Seattle University, where she developed all sorts of opinions before becoming a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. She is currently represented by Kimberley Cameron of the Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency.
Growing up, Amanda moved around a lot. She began writing to make the transitions easier and make up for her lack of friends in middle school. An awesome professor in Medford, Oregon tried to convince her to pursue writing professionally, but Amanda was deadest on a law career. It wasn’t until an unpleasant professor in Seattle, Washington told her she was a terrible writer that Amanda really committed to the idea of getting published, mostly just to spite her professor.
When Amanda’s not hunched over a laptop she enjoys sleeping, video games, Netflix binges, and wrestling with her two polar bear dogs. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she spends her days hissing at the sun and missing Seattle. Her least favorite things include the mispronunciation of her name, screaming children, and California.