Rebel Skies by Ann Sei Lin
Read before: No
Ownership: It came in a Book Box Club but it had caught my eye before.
One of the things that caught my eye about this book is that it was described as having Studio Ghibli vibes, and honestly that made me curious. I love Ghibli films and therefore it was inevitable that I would want to read it.
Our story follows Kurara who has very vague memories of her past and can’t seem to remember much beyond a certain point after a traumatic event. But she lives as a servant and her joy is to interact with her best friend. So when it appears her little party trick of producing origami creatures that come to life has caught the attention of people outside her small world, things turn interesting.
I loved the worldbuilding in this book, and I can confirm it has delightful Ghibli vibes though it was most certainly missing more food talk to fully make the Ghibli mark (joking, but I would not have complained if there was more food talk). The interesting magic of turning origami into live creatures that require some kind of soul and figuring how to control them while being aware of things was interesting, and even more to consider that people use it for battle and defense, or that big origami creatures can be terrifying and therefore destroy skyships.
The world being set into odd factions with different approaches to life, like living in a flying ship, or never leaving a palace or maybe being the Princess, was also interesting and I wanted to know more, plus there seems to be a lot more implied about Kurara and where she truly comes home that we only find out near the end of the book and that we still dont know much about.
It was a quick read and easy to get into, even if there is a lot to navigate wiht the world and as a Ghibli film does, this book assumes you are an onlooker that is in some way part of this world. It welcomes you and somewhat explains things if they appear to be too odd for the world, or the character but otherwise it just gets on witht he story which was nice to read.
Overall, recommended as a lovely book with cosy vibes, a fierce interesting magic and Ghibli influences.