Written by: Shannon Messenger
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.
Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.
When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.
First off, hello!! This is my very first actual review post, hooray! I did post a few before this, but all were reviews I had written on Goodreads that I wanted to have here as well. So this is my first actual, for-real, first review on There were books involved… which is very exciting. I’ve been thinking about starting a book blog for a LONG time, and am super excited to finally be doing it. So hello! :D
Second, I am EXTREMELY excited that my Official First Review gets to be for Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall. I preordered this quite some time ago, because the premise sounded like something that’s right up my alley – YA paranormal romance with sylphs and tornadoes. I am fascinated by tornadoes, so combining them with my favorite genre sounded like a recipe for my perfect book. Now, having read the book, I can say that tornadoes don’t make very many appearances in the traditional sense, other than being a part of Vane’s and Audra’s past (his parents and Audra’s father were killed in the same tornado). But the sylph thing was obviously a main part of the book; sylphs have always sounded fascinating to me, but they are seriously underrepresented in YA lit–or at least, I haven’t seen much of them. (Is there something I’m missing??)
Anyway, what we had was a recipe for a GREAT book, and it turned out beautifully.
The chapters were written in Vane’s and Audra’s alternating perspectives, and this is one reason I loved LTSF. A lot of the time, alternating perspectives end up sounding too much like each other, especially when the book is all narrated in the first person. But Audra and Vane each had completely distinct voices, and I don’t think I ever had a problem telling them apart, even when I didn’t glance at the character designation at the beginning of the chapters. Vane is sarcastic and really funny; I laughed out loud more than once at his lines. Audra is extremely serious most of the time: Her actions, and her outlook on life, are dictated by the guilt she places on herself for what happened to hers and Vane’s parents. So both characters’ voices are the result by very different pasts, and it completely shows through in their narration.
Another thing I loved was the sylph mythology that’s being built. Some of it confused me a little at first, when Audra would be narrating and say things without explanation. But most of that was just a slow reveal; the details start to fill in as Audra explains things to Vane about his heritage, abilities, and what happened to their parents and why. Most of first 2/3rds of the book is taken up by Audra training Vane so he’s prepared when the warriors come after them – it’s a sort of slow built-up to the ending. But I didn’t mind the pacing, since it allowed for the cool explanations of sylphs and their abilities.
Obviously, another thing that made the slow pacing totally worth it was the relationship between Vane and Audra. Vane is already head over heels for Audra when he first sets eyes on her, because he’s been dreaming about her since the tornado. But even though she’s been Vane’s unseen guardian ever since, and might-possibly-maybe have feelings for him, Audra is determined not to let herself fall for Vane. I was pretty sure that she’d end up with him in the end, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the tension. ;) Audra’s personality and history gave her completely legitimate reasons to put a wall between herself and Vane, and I really enjoyed her slow growth and change of perspective.
And all of that leads to a very climactic ending. I thought it would be a pretty straightforward end-game — the warriors find them, they fight, Vane and Audra beat the odds and survive — but there were plenty of surprises that I was NOT expecting at all.
And now I’m dying to find out what happens next. 2014 is WAY too long a wait for the sequel. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get this book now, and endure the wait with the rest of us. ;)