Let The Sky Fall - Shannon Messenger

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let The Sky Fall - Shannon Messenger
Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past - except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the wrinds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.

Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian - Vane's guardian - and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

My Thoughts:
I had been in a reading slump for weeks and I terribly missed reading Young Adult. I was skimming my book pile when I saw “Let The Sky Fall”, I went out the patio and read. I was so immersed into the story itself that I couldn’t put it away. The story had captured the normality and the paranormal aspect in it that made the story just flowing and I enjoyed every moment of it!

First things first, I fell in love with the cover and the title. Plus the summary won me over! I loved how the cover was parallel to the story. That ‘pose’ of Vane and Audra was really in the book. That sky was part of the book. The unearthly feel was really in the cover and the story made a spot on captivating plot. The story never lost its flow and how it should be focused, also the details were easy to imagine. I already said I was out in the patio while reading it and since my spot was near the plants and trees of my Mom, it was very refreshing while reading this book as this was about ‘winds’. I must confess that I felt like I was a part of the book itself, as the winds were coursing through and around me while I was reading (nothing like the Northerlies though). Then the summary really gave a background about the story, just referring to that a reader already has a clue on what it would be – though the twist and the flow of the story might come with a shock of unexpectedness. Another thing, the book was in dual POV! The essence was not lost, if not it just made more ‘oomph’ since a reader could delve into another character’s mind!

The idea of the book was what made me enticed by the story. The characters were both a part and were winds themselves (this would make more sense if you would read the book). It was like watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, anyone watched that? It was about Aang and to be an avatar, he must master the four elements: wind, water, earth and fire. The story was similar but the focus was only about the ‘wind’ element – no water, earth or fire element. Like Aang, Vane which was the protagonist in the book needed to master the four things too, but in this case the four winds: Northerly, Easterly, Southerly and Westerly; and another similarity was that, Vane was the last Westerly – this type of wind was also the most indignant, as they never taught anyone of the language their winds spoke of. I just pointed the similarity because it made me familiar with the book more and it also showed that it was different in its way. It showed the pressure to master the elements because you were a ‘hope’ to everyone to fight off the tyrants in the story. It made me understand what Vane would be in store for. It was a lot for Vane to be the normal guy, always having awkward dates then shifted to ‘savior’ to beat the powerful Raiden, the villain, in mastering the winds. As I had written awhile ago, there were four winds each with their own language: Northerly, the strongest and most powerful winds (wherein Raiden now resides); Southerly, the calm and warm winds; Easterly, which was like a neutral wind (Audra’s wind); and Westerly, almost-vanished wind and sort of the outcast of the winds (Vane’s heritage); the mastery of the four winds leads to the most desired power a tyrant covets – which Raiden wanted. Vane must master the four winds first to be able to defeat the growing power of Raiden and his soldiers, the Stormers.

The story still had its normality in it but a six year old Vane was called a ‘miracle child’ as he survived a type-five tornado which left him with minor scrap and injuries but left his parents dead. Ten years later, he saw the girl whom he only saw on his dreams, as she was real. In the course of meeting, it was only days before Vane must be able to have his breakthrough (in which the language of the winds would trigger to talk to him). Vane was the last Westerly and was protected by the family of Audra but what happened ten years ago left Vane’s parents and Audra’s father be killed. Audra now had the task to be Vane’s guardian and when time comes help Vane to have his breakthrough and help the Gales to defeat Raiden and revived the stolen kingdom. Vane was the normal seventeen-year-old kid having his summer break, has his own life – adoptive family, best friend, hormonal-and-funny-self and videogames; also, he was handsome – yes, tall-dark (on tan-side, really)-and-handsome plus like imagine teen wolf abs (haha, am I going overboard?). Audra was gorgeous and strong; she lost her guardian father with the same fate as Vane’s parents and left her with a cold-I-blame-you-why-you’re-father-was-killed mother and now with the task to protect Vane and trained to be able to fight. Then the other characters that must be pointed out: Raiden was once a part of the Gales (the ones who protects the groundlings – humans – and controls the winds) but later on rebelled as he deemed they, the sylphs (windwalkers and air-elemental), were powerful and must not need to protect the groundlings, which led him to force the other winds to be subservient to him and teach him the language of the other winds. And the other one, Arella, this one I could not spoil about but it she was an ‘evil mom’ and a two-faced very powerful (put super emphasis on ‘very powerful’ because she really was) sylph. And to be honest, the characters were very air-elemental, inside and wind-form. They could be lost, shallow and empty or they could be invincible and dangerous.

Then my favorite in the book, I love a good book that could portray the paranormal part but with a romance that was not borderline cheesy and this book gave me that. The story revolved as much as Vane’s need to know his past and to master the winds with Audra’s help but also with the romance brewing within them. There was a connection between them – I meant, when they both have their flash backs – then of course because they had been together as the days went by because Audra was training Vane, it was getting stronger. It was not an insta-love, thank goodness, and there was this I’m-trying-not-to-fall-for-you part because Audra was bound by an oath not to. Like star-crossed lovers, weren’t they? However, they were like bound to fall for each other. It was not forced, it was like, Vane just wanted Audra from the first time he met her and dreamed about her; though Audra’s another case but she was feeling something and she was fighting it. Though I couldn’t help but feel that Audra would be the one stronger or they would be much better together (this, we’ll see). Last thing, I love when Audra got a tad jealous, Vane enjoyed it as much as I did. Oh, Vane *shakes head*

On the other hand, I couldn’t point out if this book ended as a cliffhanger or anything. I would like to say the ending was the beginning of something about ‘Vane’ or ‘Audra’ or both. That the ending will be the charge they would need to face what would be in store for them. Nonetheless, I am ecstatic for “Let The Storm Break”, I would have my copy by Friday this week, a little late for my liking but I can’t help but indulge the book as much as possible!

“Let The Storm Break” ranting aside, “Let The Sky Fall” was a promising first book that kept me engrossed throughout the story. It held that potential to be something more and I hope the sequel lives up to the expectation. I had enjoyed the humor, stubbornness, strength, perseverance and of course, romance that it carried. It was, no pun intended, like the wind itself. The book was more than I could give credit to as it really focused on ‘winds’ and how the author connected it with the characters, it made the characters had more personality and more whimsical effect on them. I loved how “Let The Sky Fall” was a mixture of something calming and something reverberating like the winds itself: it can be invincible – both in a good and bad way.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In the wild:

Fan art courtesy of my bookish friend, Nicole Lim of The Twins Read:
This was a gift from my friend dated April 12, 2013 (it will have it's anniversary next month, yay!)

The story continues in:
Let The Storm Break - Shannon Messenger
Whirlwind romance and breathtaking action continues in the sequel to Let the Sky Fall, which Becca Fitzpatrick called “charged and romantic.” 

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

Author Bio:
Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned--among other things--that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She also regularly eats cupcakes for breakfast, sleeps with a bright blue stuffed elephant named Ella, and occasionally gets caught talking to imaginary people. So it was only natural for her to write stories for children. She's the author of the middle grade series, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, and LET THE SKY FALL, a trilogy for young adults. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at shannonmessenger.com.

Author Links:
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-     Jassie

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