Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Genre: Fantasy
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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.

Flipping open the book, she diligently started reading at the first page. Vhalla did not count a book as read unless one's eyes fell upon the very first word of the first page and the very last word of the last.

Some books catch your attention immediately. It's like I read the first sentence and I know I'm going to love the book. Other times, it's a slow build and I've nearly reached the end before I realize that I've fallen in love with the book.

This story starts off well, not wasting any time with getting the plot moving. It's like 'okay, you already know Vhalla discovers her sorcery. Let's not waste several dozen pages showing you what her life is like before it. Let's just get to the meat of the story.'

But, truthfully, it wasn't until page 35 that I knew I was going to love this book.

Vhalla is a main character that I actually quite like. She's got this backbone of steel that I didn't expect when I first met her. And she loves books. Seriously, is there a quicker way to a readers heart? The only slight problem I had with her is that she's the tinniest bit indecisive - there was a couple of points in the book where I got a little put out with her for going with the flow so much

And the 'sorcerer prince'…I pretty much adored immediately. He's abrasive and sharp to people as a whole and he keeps to himself to such a degree that people make up some pretty unflattering stories about him. He's stubborn and refuses to let anyone see his true emotions. In short, exactly the kind of characters I love. (Besides, he reminds me more than a little of the main guy in the story I'm currently writing.)

The other characters were all interesting. Not to say I liked them all - or liked them all by the end of the book - but they were all curious people and this is no easy feat considering the entire story is narrated by Vhalla.

The plot was the weakest point in the story. We spend a lot of the book merely building the characters so when you're hit by the 'wham' in the last fifty or so pages that you really care about these people. And I did. There wasn't a single person in this book that I was indifferent to. (Of course, there were a few that I couldn't quite figure out, but I have the feeling that will be the review for the next book.)

This is certainly not a book for those that like plot driven stories, but the characters carry the story no problem.

I also have to make mention of the world building. I love it! It's fun and interesting but…it reminds me so strongly of Avatar the Last Airbender that I would be shocked to learn that Elise was not a fan. (Heck, even Aldrik reminds me of Zuko. Which would explain a lot.)

On a final note, I'm not sure if the series is building to a romance or not. I kind of think it is, but there's a very solid friendship that's going to be the base of this - which I love. Also, if you know me and my total weakness for fantasy/romance books, you'll know I'll be totally on board if the friendship turns to romance.