by Shannon Messenger
Read: March 8 - 10, 2013
Published: March 5, 2013 by Simon Pulse
Category: YA Paranormal Romance
The Set-Up: Vane is a normal teen boy described as tall, athletic and attractive, which sounds like a winning combination, except that he has terrible luck with girls. Every time he goes out with one something bad happens, and he has yet to kiss any of them. He lives in the California desert with his adoptive parents. His birth parents died in a massive tornado when he was a child, an even that Vane miraculously survived. The only thing Vane remembers about the storm is a dark-haired girl, who he still sees in his dreams. Sometimes he thinks he gets glimpses of her in real life too.
That dark-haired girl is named Audra. She is a sylph or wind elemental, which means she can walk on the wind, and coax it to follow her commands. She is a guardian and her job is to protect Vane, a role that she takes very seriously, even to the point of sacrificing herself. When Audra makes a mistake while protecting Vane, and reveals his location to their enemies, she must help him remember his heritage, and hope that together they can defeat the warriors coming to destroy them. (partially adapted from Goodreads)
Have you ever see the cover of an upcoming book release, read the synopsis, or one glowing review and thought, "I must have that book in my life now(!!)," because you are totally convinced that you are going to love it? I did that with Let the Sky Fall. I thought the cover was awesome, especially because it was not the standard girl-in-prom-dress look, and from what I could tell, it seemed to fit the theme of the book (it did!). I immediately fell in love with the idea of sylph, or a paranormal society made up of people who could control the wind. I also found out that the book is a dual narrative between Vane and Audra, along with a few other details that made me believe that it was going to be TRIANGLE FREE. Of course that is always a win for me. And you know what, I did love all those things about this story. BUT unfortunately, as hard as I tried to convince myself that I loved this book, my feelings never really made it out of the like range. Unfortunately, I still feel like I'm having trouble articulating why I felt that way, but I've tried to outline below the pros and cons of this book for me.
Let the Sky Fall is a love story with paranormal elements. You need to go into this book expecting it to be primarily a slow building romance, something that I don't mind if it is done well. This book is also labeled as a forbidden romance. However, most of the epic reasons that Audra and Vane couldn't be together were told to us by Audra, so it was easy for me to dismiss them as mostly in her mind. This was also essentially Vane's mindset throughout the book, and I was completely with him in being ready for them to get together so they could move on to the how to make it work part.
Thankfully, one of the best parts of this story is Vane and Audra's perspectives. Sometimes I read a book with dual POVs and I'll forget whose head I'm in if I don't pay attention. Vane and Audra's voices are very distinct. Shannon Messenger did an amazing job at bringing each characters' personality to life through his or her words. I especially loved Vane's voice. He really is your average teenage boy, and he thinks, talks and acts like one (except that he says dang and shoot, instead of the alternatives). Audra is difficult to warm up to at first, but that's because she puts on a tough exterior due to some past events that are still haunting her. At the end of the book, I felt like I knew them both well, and I was proud of the progress the'd made. I would probably have dismissed this story if it wasn't for how much I enjoyed being inside these characters' heads - especially Vane's.
I also really liked the Sylph mythology in this story. I loved the idea that the different families in the wind elemental community play off the characteristics of the four winds North, South, East and West (the people from the North wind being cold warriors, the Southern community having warmer, softer personalities etc.). However, we pretty much learn everything about the sylph from Audra, as Vane and she do not have a lot of direct contact with the community during the course of the story. I would have liked to have met, experienced and traveled to the places Audra talked about. In fact, Vane and Audra existed in a bubble for most of the book. Because this book takes place in the summer and Vane is not in school or working, we got very little of Vane's real life too. The parts of the story where they interacted with Vane's friends, or his parents, or the outside world, were some of my favorite sections. I really liked seeing their relationship in real-time.
Unfortunately, the high stakes, dangerous situation that Audra and Vane were in never really got me excited. Maybe because the pacing was slow, so I never built up the momentum, but the ending battle was as thrilling as I'd hoped it would be. There was also a big reveal near the end, that I though was more eye rolling than surprising. I've gotten a bit tired of that particular plot direction, so I was a disappointed that it was that and not something else.
Thankfully, this story is very much NOT a love triangle. That is obvious both in light of of the two voices written in the novel - when a book has a split perspective between a guy and a girl, it's pretty clear who the couple is going to be - and because of the way that the sylph community bonds in pairs (I will readily admit that I'm always excited when a story goes that route). So I was really disappointed that this book wasn't a perfect win for me. Even so, Let the Sky Fall is the first in a series and it was enough to keep me interested.
I also think this series has the potential to be really great going forward, especially as Audra and Vane's worlds expand and they have to figure out how they fit together - and separately - within them. I'm hoping that I will get more excited about their relationship when they have to face the reality of it outside of the bubble they create in this story - which is thankfully shattered at the end of the book. They definitely have lots to deal with in the future, and I am ready for the next part of their story.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low
This book sounds fantastic, and yes, the cover is GORGEOUS! I'm very pleased to hear that this book does not have a love triangle. though I'm disappointed by the fact that the climax wasn't very exciting. However, I'm still probably going to give this book a try! Lovely review, Lauren! Thanks so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
I hope you end up loving this one, Sophia! I know several people who have.Delete
I have this, and am going to try to get to it soon!ReplyDelete
Jen @ YA Romantics
I am very interested in your response when/if you read this one.Delete
Bah...I feel like I get SO excited about Shannon Messenger's ideas, and then really don't like how they play out. It was that way for Keeper of the Lost Cities, and this seems to me as if it would be the same. I love the idea of the Sylph, but I really dislike dual narratives, and as you stated, it just seems slow and unexciting. I'll probably skip this one (and all of her books) in the future. Thanks for the review, Lauren! I was curious about this one.ReplyDelete
Okay this is really good to know, Heidi. And you're exactly right in describing the way that I felt about it. Great concept, but didn't pan out as good as I expected. I actually like dual narrative, and that wasn't really my problem here. Though now that I think about it, the book could have worked as well (or maybe even better) if it was only from Vane's POV. In any case, yeah I'm not sure you'd love this book.Delete
The whole sylph mythology aspect does sound fascinating. That's too bad that you didn't enjoy this story quite as much as you had hoped, though, Lauren! I'll be interested in reading some other reviews before I decide if the book's for me, I think.ReplyDelete
The mythology is one of the coolest parts of the book, and I hope it's explored even more in the next one. I was definitely sad that I didn't like this book more, but I hope that you end up liking it if you choose to read it. I've definitely read several more positive reviews.Delete
Aww I'm sorry this was just a like & not a love for you, but I totally understand your points. :-)ReplyDelete
I agree that the pacing was rather slow, and I have a feeling a lot of people will be bothered by that. I think I was more focused on the romantic tension than the buildup to danger, so it didn't bother me as much. But I was still disappointed with the hasty climax. That said, I still really love Audra and Vane's voices, and their world, and I feel like their future stories have so much potential. I can't wait to see what happens next.
And yes, SO happy there is no love triangle. I REALLY hope she doesn't try to wring some romantic drama out of that royal chick in book two. That will take the enjoyment level way down for me. Amazing review, Lauren!
I'm sorry too. :(. As I said, I really wanted to love this one more. Also you're exactly right. Their voices and the world building were both fantastic. I hope the next one is even more exciting. Ugh. I agree with your thought on the other girl. I mean the way they bond in pairs, I don't see how a triangle could be introduced without changing a fundamental aspect of the world? It seems like there's enough tension that could come with Vane and Audra trying to find their places in each others worlds. Plus they've just kissed once, so lots more romantic building to do!Delete
I've had this one my TBR list for a while and this books on hold for me at the Library! The cover is just absolutely gorgeaus and the plot seems intriguing enough. I love how this book isn't a love traingle too (hopefully in the next book one isn't thrown in there) because lately love triangles have been just too boring for me. The ending always disapoints me! This one sounds pretty entertaining and while the climax wasn't all that high I'm still going to be giving this one a shot!ReplyDelete
Lily, I hope you do really like this book. Many other people have! I agree, the end of the love triangle is ALWAYS the worst. If it's still dragging on after the second book, I know the last one will be torture. I'm holding out hope for Clockwork Princess, though! I'll look for your review when you read it.Delete
I was SO excited for this so when I got the book I got to reading it right away and I actually ended up DNFing it. I still keep thinking I will try again but you know how how that goes... I'm not sure what the deal is, I guess it just never really pulled me in. I'm over a quarter of the way in and I just felt bleh about it. Since it didn't blow you away than I'm not really feeling the urge to pick it up again. Not yet anyway....ReplyDelete
I know how you feel, Candace. I felt like it SHOULD have hooked me more, but it just never did. I'm not sure you will like it more if you keep going. I never felt much momentum and the end didn't really wow me. But I'm hoping it will get better in book 2, so my reading this one will be worth it!Delete
OH this is so disappointing because this is a book I've had my eye on FOREVER because of the cover. And then to find out it has sylph in it - HELLO book that I could potentially love!!! But the fact that it didn't click with you just sends alarms up to me.ReplyDelete
Since you mentioned that you are still a little interested, I'll probably see what your thoughts on the next book pan out to be, and cross my fingers that they are great with great sylph stuff in them and another great cover. I love dual narratives, don't mind a triangle (even though there doesn't seem to be one here) but the SYLPH being a new and fresh mythology that hasn't been over-explored is what kind of had me at hello. I'll let you do the footwork and let me know what you think!
Gosh, this one certainly is pretty though.
The cover is BEAUTIFUL. And PERFECT for this book. Even the red coloring of the background matches the Californian desert atmosphere. These are very different than the sylph in Incarnate, so I think I don't really understand what those mythological creatures are. but I know they move in the wind. Yes the mythology is really cool, and you might really like this one. Many people have. But at this point I do plan to read book 2 and will let you know.Delete
I think I am one of the only people who just don't get into elemental paranormal stuff (weather stuff included.) I mean it's a bit unfair since I have never actually read one, but for some reason they just don't ever grab my attention enough to try. Sylphs remind me of faeries and The Spiderwick chronicles (which I love) but this book's description never did a thing for me. So, I'll be passing this one over I think:)ReplyDelete
I did enjoy your review however, and appreciate your arguments and thoughts:)
I didn't know that about you, Heather. I'm surprised you haven't read ONE book that feature elementals. They are everywhere and cover many different paranormal beings. Actually in Vampire Academy they are elementals, so you HAVE read one. But it's a bit different from this type. Regardless, I don't think this would be a Heather book. Too slow and not enough Action ;).Delete
I really enjoyed this! It was my first elemental too, so I wasn't sure how I would like it. I loved that there was no love triangle!!!ReplyDelete