ARC Review: LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger

I received this book for free from Simon Pulse. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger
Let the Storm Break
Sky Fall #2

Written by: Shannon Messenger
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date: March 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Let the Sky Fall


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?

MyThoughts_v2

This series is so much fun. It actually reminds me a little of the vibe I get from reading Percy Jackson (though those are MG and this is definitely YA, with less silliness and more seriousness). But it’s got that light quality to it, which I just love. And Let the Storm Break is a very solid sequel to Let the Sky Fall! (Fun fact: Let the Sky Fall was actually my very first review here at There Were Books Involved, nearly a year ago! Awwwwwwwww.)

The Characters

Without fail, all the main characters in this series come across as really vibrant, and they all stay true to themselves even as they grow and are further developed. They’re all enjoyable and genuine — well, I mean, the bad guys are obviously bad, but the MC’s are great! — and they seem to be written from a very honest place, and I enjoy that rare simplicity. They’re not over-the-top or overly dramatic, they’re not forced… I love them.

Audra and Vane are, of course, back in this sequel. And they are just as awesome as ever. I like how Messenger flips the trope of the guy being the powerful one protecting the girl from her new Special Powers/Destiny/Whatever. This time it’s Audra who is super badass. And Vane isn’t even that great at his powers yet. He’s got some special skills that are unique to him, but he’s not miraculously awesome at them, he’s learning at a pace that’s believable, which I seriously appreciate.

Audra is believably strong without being cold or unfeeling. She’s always struck me as a character who has a lot more warmth than she lets on; but she isn’t one of those badass female leads who sacrifices emotion for stoicism and rigidity. She’s got just as much heart as anyone else in the books, AND she is strong and dedicated to her missions. We see that balance even more in Let the Storm Break, her coming out of her shell and standing up for her and Vane’s relationship, and I really loved seeing that.

Vane has a lot going on in this book. It’s kind of hard to talk about him without giving anything away, but as I mentioned earlier — he’s still growing into his new-found Sylph abilities, which he still doesn’t have a great grasp on yet. And yet he stands up for himself, he wants to fight, and he wants to grow, no matter how hard it is. He’s also trying to balance his Sylph self (lol, “sylph self”…) with his past — specifically, his human life. I loved seeing how dedicated he is to protecting his adoptive parents (who are not absent from the proceedings, yay!). And as the book goes on and Vane’s responsibilities become more important, it was awesome to see him take charge and step up to his new duties.

There’s also a couple new characters introduced in Let the Storm Break. Well, one we’ve heard of, but not met yet — Serena — and then other is new. Serena is… not my favorite character? She’s really really hung up on Vane, and it got a bit annoying to me. On the other hand, Gus (the new character) is flipping awesome. I love him and his snarky self to pieces, and he plays a really big and sometimes emotional role in the book. Gahhhh, I love him.

The Plot

I can’t say much without giving things away, but of course Raiden is still the main threat to Vane and Audra and the Sylphs in general, and he’s back with a vengeance — and some pretty scary new tricks up his sleeve.

There was one plotty thing that happened to Audra, which kind of annoyed me. It sort of came out of nowhere and didn’t seem to add anything much to the plot, except further proof for how awful Raiden can be. I’m sure we’ll hear more about the character that was introduced in that section, but he seemed random, and his presence just felt like a convenience to me, so that certain plotty things could be held up in order for other plotty things to happen… Wow it’s hard to be non-spoilery with this one! Sorry for the vagueness. But his appearance just seemed like an obvious convenience, is all. Still, not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

But additionally, the action in this book is killer, and a huge step up from the first book. Let the Sky Fall was good, and I loved that ending, but Let the Storm Break reaches some pretty intense and epic-level action scenes, and I was glued to the pages.

The Worldbuilding

One of my favorite thing about Let the Storm Break, other than Vane and Audra, is learning more about the sylphs, getting to meet more of them, and seeing them use their powers more. I feel like I learned a lot about things in this book, without it ever feeling like I was drowning in info-overload. There’s still a lot of unanswered questions, but there’s no confusion. And I have a much better grasp on the Sylphs and the Sylph-community, the Gale Force, and all the key players now. Which just makes me so much more excited/nervous to see where things go in the last book!

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger

  1. Great review! I really enjoyed reading this book too, for pretty much the same reasons as you did. This was such a good sequel to Let the Sky Fall and I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought so. (Don’t worry about the vagueness, by the way. Your review is way more detailed than mine.)
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