"There was something severed and rough about her, something tainted and, yet at the same time those jagged pieces were the makings of something fearsome. She'd wanted to become something the Senate would fear. Why not shatter the sky?"
I loved this story! Air Awakens was great, but Fire Falling knocked my socks off! Why oh why have I waited so long to start this series?! The plot progression was perfection, more action, more magic, and more delicious tension between Vhalla and Aldrik! I liked the inclusion of some new characters, and getting to know some of the originals a little better. I was glad to see Vhalla training and growing into her role. I love how fierce she is becoming! Throw in a few big surprises and devastations and you have the whole package in this wonderful sequel.
I really enjoyed this story! I loved the idea that this shy little librarian had this extremely big and exciting magic just laying in wait inside of her. I was quite surprised just how she really came about accepting that, aka the plunge lol. I mean, wow. That is not likely something I will forget for awhile.
The characters were really interesting. I quite like Vhalla, but I think I liked her most towards the end of the book, mostly because that's when we really got to see just how strong she was.
The Dark Prince...mmmmm.
He was great, also! I thought their letters back and forth in the beginning were really cute. I liked how their connection developed throughout the book, the ups and downs of it. I'm really curious to see how things are between them as the series progresses. There are a few other characters I am not quite yet sure about, whether they be true friends or foes, but I kind of really love that. Makes it that much more of an adventure, not really being sure who to trust!
The fantasy element was super cool here. I love elemental control! Add that in with the political intrigue and a war, and you have yourself an attention grabber. I am super excited to see more of the elemental control parts as the series progresses. I feel like we only scratched on the surface with it in this one, and I look forward to seeing it more in depth in the coming books. All in all I liked this book and I am excited to start Fire Falling soon!
April 26 was an amazing day for me as a book lover. Five books from my favourite authors were released that day, and I was plagued with the question any fangirl would have: Which do I read first? The excitement plagued me in the days prior, and I decided to review all of them in the coming weeks, starting with the one that would haunt me the most if I didn't start it: Water's Wrath, the fourth novel in Elise Kova's Young Adult fantasy romance series, Air Awakens. I reviewed Air Awakens a few weeks ago after falling in love with it, and while I didn't review the following two novels that I devoured shortly after, rest assured they're even more exciting and compelling than their predecessor. Since I signed up for the cover reveal for the final novel, Crystal Crowned, I couldn't help but review Water's Wrath, which is an incredible story of personal growth, forgiveness, and testing the bonds of love. A stellar work of fictions that fans will love, and that will have new readers aching for more. There's so much to talk about with this novel, it's hard to know where to start. Rest assured that I won't delve into major spoilers, though the synopsis below kind of hints at one and this is the fourth book in a five book series, so consider this your minor spoiler alert.
If only you knew how much this gorgeous cover revealed!
Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.
The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.
The story started off with quite a bit of action for main character Vhalla Yarl. She's even stronger than before, working to fight off the Knights determined to destroy her. But, inevitably, she finds herself returning to the kingdom of Solaris, and crossing paths with the prince she thought she could escape. From there, we're taken deeper into the history of the world and its history, most of Vhalla's encounters with Prince Aldrik turning brief until at least the halfway point. But honestly, I liked the history bits. This is a complex world, and all the information became absolutely crucial in the end. If you're an Air Awakens fan and you're reading that, relax! I'm getting to it!
The majority of Water's Wrath was about Vhalla and Aldrik working to repair the damage they did to each other in Earth's End, which still remains my favourite in the series. Their development and growth was amazing. I was very impressed with Aldrik, watching him struggle with his coping mechanisms during some particularly difficult struggles (and good God, were there ever), and watching him open up to a Vhalla in a way we'd never seen before. But that isn't to say that Vhalla hasn't grown either. Considering everything she's been through, it was hard to remember sometimes that she was a young librarian with extraordinary power caught up in a world she didn't understand. But she's amazing, definitely a hidden gem in the YA fantasy world.
All of this sounds awesome– and it is– but this isn't an easy ride. Oh no. Kova knows exactly how to pull at a reader's heartstrings. There was a huge, gut-wrenching twist about 3/4's into the novel that threw me for a loop. From a fan's perspective, it was awful and painful to endure, but for a writer and a reader, it was kind of beautiful. It certainly shook the foundations of key characters, and they became stronger because of it.
And then, there was the ending. I said before that the beginning of Water's Wrath was action-packed, and it was. But the ending... WOW. I wonder how I looked when I was on the bus– my jaw literally dropping, my eyes wide, biting my nails and my gaze flickering over each line to get to the next word to see what would happen next. Brain nearly exploding when I got to the major, devastating event in the final battle.
But that explosive, amazing scene wasn't the only thing that rocked me to my core. Nope, the very last scene at the very end of the book did that. Another gut-wrencher, it was horrifying and sets the stage for what will be a truly tremendous trial for Vhalla, Aldrik, Fritz, Jax, and all the rest. Just when I was reeling from the devastation of everything those beloved characters endured (and trust me, things get bad), there was a single moment that had me almost jumping into the air and pumping my fist.
I'm a writer. I know that to close out a series, you have to end in a massive, explosive way. I expect nothing less from Crystal Crowned on its release in July. Water's Wrath was the perfect novel to set that climactic stage, to repair what was broken and create the alliances that will change the foundations of everything we know about this fantasy world. I recommend this series to all fantasy and romance lovers. It's highly underrated, and I'm so happy it was recommended to me. I can't wait to see how it ends.
Long live Solaris.
Welcome again to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly blog tour where authors post 8-10 sentences from their work in progress/new or upcoming release. In last week's snippet from Storm Born, we got a taste of Ava's mindset after the trauma she suffered during the Centennial. She's ready to fall back into the routine of her job as a waitress, as some new trouble walks into her diner...
He was tall and muscular without being blocky. He stood like a warrior, his perfect blue eyes tracing over the tables like he thought they might attack. Thick black hair brushed the shoulders of his rugged leather motorcycle jacket. High cheekbones and sharp lips gave him a regal appearance. He looked like a prince trying to disguise himself as a biker.
I gotta say– the look suited him.
Mystery Man’s eyes stopped their assessment and locked on me. My heart skipped a beat once, then again when he gently smiled. The smile didn’t reach his eyes, but damn, was it ever sexy.
“May I sit?” he asked.
It’s been a century since the last Centennial Storm, the calamitous phenomenon that covered the world in disasters– tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, tsunamis, and dust storms– caused not by nature, but by alien creatures from another realm. The Stormkind.
Ava Reid tries not to think about that night, when she was caught in a hurricane and brought face to face with one of the Stormkind, the man with a dagger, and the agony she felt when he stabbed her with a crystal blade. Yet as she and the rest of Florida’s citizens begin to rebuild their lives, Ava can’t help but notice strange things happening around her. Things she seems to be causing. The gusts of wind and sudden floods attract the attentions of a mysterious stranger who leaves her clues, and the deadlier men following her.
It isn’t long before Ava is swept up into a wild conspiracy, led by a secret society that knows the truth about the Stormkind– and what their enemies have planned for the world she loves. If she wishes to protect her friends and her family, Ava must harness her strange new abilities and become part of the Stormkind society. Because if she loses control, there will be no force strong enough to stop her…
Pre-order it here:
Yes, only 9 more days until my latest standalone novel is released. I've gotten early feedback from some reviewers and it's been overwhelmingly positive, which is definitely a confidence booster. The next couple weeks are going to be really exciting. Not only will be Storm Born released, but a bunch of my pre-ordered books will be making their way to my digital library, one of them being Water's Wrath, the fourth book in the Air Awakens series, which coincides with the cover reveal I did earlier this week for the final book! That was a really fun experience and I'm happy I did it.
But there's one other thing I'm overly happy about... Storm of the Gods, the first novel in my upcoming Greek mythology/urban fantasy series Areios Brothers, has its Beta readers! I'm going to send out the copies in the next couple days, and will hopefully get some easy, positive feedback. I've got not problem dumping more hours into editing for this project, but I'm sure every author wishes the first "final" draft was the only one they had to do.
I'm also going to finally be working on the plots for my other urban fantasy series, Agents of Limbo. I'm hoping to get lucky with one or both of those series, but if not, at least I can do simultaneous releases and keep a couple projects going at the same time. The more words, the better you do, right?
Anyway, I'm thrilled to finally have a three day weekend, even though I've got plans for each day and it will zoom by way too quickly. Which means I need to get back to work now. Be sure to stop by the other Weekend Writing Warriors blogs and leave the other authors some love. Until next time, cheers!