Within the first chapter of this book, I knew was going to love it. The narration was beautiful, the characters are great, the feelings are so ANGST! I like how the author doesn't try to necessarily hide things from the reader. She hides them from the characters, which makes the readers more invested in the growth of Vane and Audra.
Audra...such a gorgeous, fleshed-out, realistic, amazingly bad-ass character. She was believable, she was hurt, she was awesome. You feel bad for her, right at the get-go, and sometimes you just want to smack her over the head and yell, "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!" But of course, that's the whole premise of her personal crisis and character growth.
I loved Vane as well, but his feelings for Audra were just a little too superficial for me. I mean yes, we get it that you think she's hot. But stop objectifying her! He does talk about her personality, but at the end of the day it comes down to how gorgeous she is, blah blah blah, and that he wants to desperately kiss her. And then when he finds out that he can't kiss anyone without, like, permantently bonding to her, then he doesn't believe it (but he believes everything else Audra says to him). I guess love is just clouding his better judgement. And he says "freaking" too much.
I like how the crisis is set up right at the beginning with Audra making a mistake and trying to fix it by preparing Vane for when the Stormers (bad guys) come. Shannon Messenger is good about developing the rest of the story and the characters at the same time. The book isn't necessarily fast-paced, but it's not slow either. It's at a really great middle-ground where the author takes the take to build the world of the sylphs, or Windwalkers, while working out Vane and Audra's connection with one another. Both characters are ridiculously good-looking, of course, but I'll let it slide, seeing as the characters aren't really human.
Audra's flashbacks are really heart-wrenching too. They probably make the book for me, because you can see what kind of person she was before she was broken by what happened to her, and you can see the kind of person Vane was as well. The author is also really great at doling these out in small amounts, stretching them across the book so that the reader is slowly piecing everything together, which moves the story along really well.
The one thing that I absolutely hated was the Canadian stereotypes in the first couple of chapters. Vane goes on a date with a Canadian girl. At first I was excited. I was like, REPRESENT! But then it just went downhill the first time he made fun of her for saying "aboot." I mean, come on, Canadians don't say "about" any different than Americans. Second, we don't say "eh" all the time, or at all, but this book makes it seem like we say it every other sentence. Puh-lease. The only people I know who say it that often are Bob and Doug Mackenzie, and they're doing it in parody. There's so much more to Canadian culture than snow, hockey, beavers, and our oh-so recognizeable vocabulary. Please, American authors, at least try to move past the stereotypes. It's getting old.
Beyond that, the book was amazing. The climax was incredible, the setting was perfect, and I can't wait to read the next book and see where Shannon Messenger takes the story. What worked for me, actually, was that this book could function as a stand-alone. Not everything is resolved, but I think it could work. But I'm till glad that she's writing more, because I'm definitely invested in this story and these characters.show more
by Janita Van Dyk