reviTitle: Air Awakens (Air Awakens #1)
Author: Elise Kova
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: August 27th, 2015
Kindle Edition: 377 Pages
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
“I want a place you hardly dare to even whisper. I want the bravery to not only read, but to do. I want a man, not a library boy. A man who is tall and witty and knows more about the world than you would ever dare dream.”
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was in a huge reading slump when I picked up Air Awakens. I expected that I would get about five chapters into it and lose interest. After all, that is exactly what happened with the five books I picked up before it. I tried everything from Alternate History to Paranormal. Nothing stuck. It’s not that the books were bad. I just couldn’t get into them. I was absolutely sure that Air Awakens was going to be the next book on my ever growing DNF list.
I am happy to announce that I was wrong. Air Awakens sucked me in from the very beginning and refused to let go. After devouring the book in one sitting, I immediately purchased the next two books in the series, Fire Falling and Earth’s End. I just couldn’t get enough of this fun and easy fantasy series. Honestly, I still can’t. Water’s Wrath cannot come out fast enough.
That said, Air Awakens is far from perfect.
Yeah, I know that I just raved about how they saved me from the dreaded reading drought of 2016. That means this review is glowing, right? Unfortunately, no. These Fantasy-lite Romances are tons of fun on the surface, but digging deeper reveals more than a couple of issues.
While the book is a quick and easy read, the pacing in the first half of the book is awkward and clumsy. Weeks fly by in two sentences while minutes take pages. This causes the book to drag until the author finds her rhythm about halfway through.
The Solaris Empire will feel very familiar to fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In fact, I found myself filling in the holes left in the world with information from that series. I will say that the world building issues do seem to be getting better as more books come out, but I still have a list of questions that have yet to be answered. If you liked detailed settings, maybe skip this series.
Vhalla is your stereotypical YA heroine. She’s a nobody that hides in the shadows reading her books until suddenly, and without warning, she finds out that she is extremely special. Like, Last Airbender special. When I say that, I mean it literally. She’s the first person in a century that has possessed the ability to use wind magic. Making her the Last Windwalker. The special snow flake syndrome doesn’t stop there. Nope, she catches the eye of Crown Prince Aldrik (who reminds me of Prince Zuko from Avatar), the broody and erratic sorcerer who has never really loved anyone, until Vhalla.
The secondary characters almost always fall flat. They are often one dimensional, from Larel, the mentor turned confidant, to Sareem, the undeveloped and intolerant third piece of the required love triangle. The only supporting character that caught my eye was Baldair, Prince Aldrik’s golden younger brother. My attachment to him could be that I felt he was one of the better developed characters as the series progressed, or it could be that I can’t get enough of tall, blonde, and handsome. Either way, I can’t get enough Baldair.
On the upside, I found the romance scenes in this book to be pretty steamy. I didn’t exactly approve of the romance itself, though. I found Aldrik to be pretty unstable. In the interest of keeping this review as spoiler free as possible I will not go into extreme detail, but I will say that if I had been Vhalla, I wouldn’t have allowed that man anywhere near me, Crown Prince or not. Baldair, on the other hand… Well, he’s a different story.
In the end, I still devoured the series in less than three days. So, in spite of all of the problems, I will read Water’s Wrath on release day. If you like a steamy romance, or wish there had been more Avatar, or are just looking for some quick and easy Fantasy to take your mind off of life, give this a try. It’s not highbrow lit, but it sure is fun.
Recommended for: Readers who enjoyed the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra.