Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
Format/Sourced: Hardcover, borrowed from the library
Status: First book in the Sky Fall trilogy
SummarySeventeen-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.
Review:I met Shannon a few weeks ago, and since then, made it my goal to read her book asap. I'm so glad I did. Let the Sky Fall (go ahead and sing the song. I'll wait.) is pretty fantastic. Sexy guy who occasionally goes shirtless plus a totally kickass heroine? Yes, please! I like it because it's very innocent. The romance is there, but it's sweet, not over-the-top, AND there's a lot of great action.
I really like Audra as the female protagonist. She's strong in so many ways, but she's really vulnerable in others. For instance, she has abstained from food and drink for TEN YEARS. I can barely keep myself away from cookies for ten minutes. That kind of willpower is amazing. She's disciplined and keeps herself prepped for anything and everything. And yet...Audra is vulnerable when it comes to her relationships. She frequently jumps to the past, to memories with her father, and although it kills her, she's also deeply affected by her mother's uncaring attitude. Audra also shares this connection with Vane, which neither of them completely understands and of which neither realizes the depth, but it makes both of them more assailable. I like that Audra is broken in some ways because otherwise, she'd be completely inhuman, incapable of feeling. Her vulnarabilities humanize her.
As far as Vane goes, yes, he's kind of a twit at times. He thinks things he shouldn't, particularly when it comes to Audra's manner of dress. However, Vane's actions are all pretty noble. He opens doors for girls, which I know some people think is mysoginistic, but I dig that kind of old-fashioned chivalry. He's honorable, particularly when his dates go bad. And most of all, when the future looks bleak and Vane believes Audra is going to die, he steps up his game for her, because he cares. I don't think Vane ever anticipates being all-powerful, but he knows he has the potential to help in some way, and I find that admirable. I could use some less "I want Audra back in that skimpy little dress," but then, I totally objectified Vane throughout the whole novel, and even requested more shirtless!Vane in the next novel. (Those who are wondering, Shannon says yes)
While paranormal romance is old-hat, I do like Shannon's paranormal story. Wind, guys. Who would ever think of doing a story about WIND? Obviously Shannon did, and she did it well. There are a few stories out there with sylph as characters, but this is 100% unique. I enjoyed learning about the world of the Windwalkers, and I have a distinct feeling there will be even more world-building in Let the Storms Break as I suspect Audra and Vale will most likely join up with some fellow sylph as Vane continues his training. And I really enjoyed all the little poems to call the wind. Very cute and fun, but they totally made sense. Wind itself can be music so I like the sense that wind can respond to audible commands/requests.
I am greatly looking forward to #2. The world of the Windwalkers is pretty fascinating, but Shannon also just wrote a great love story. The connection between Vane and Audra is so palpable that I can't believe they held out as long as they did. It's clear that there's no walking away for either one. ...Aside from Audra's moment at the end of Sky Fall, but it's obvious she will come back, and Vane will wait for her as long as she needs her space. The only question is, how long will *I* have to wait? I have a friend with the ARC for Let the Storms Break, and we'll see how long it takes me to break down and beg her to lend it to me!
About the Author: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.