LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger
[note color=”#f3d9bf”]LET THE SKY FALL (Let The Sky Fall, #1)
Author: Shannon Messenger
Rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Recommended Reading: 13+
THE GIST: Let The Sky Fall fell a little short for me, but it’s quite clever and imaginative. Not my go-to book if you’re looking for an emotional journey since I had trouble connecting with the characters, but it wasn’t bad—it was just sort of ‘meh’ for me. I may have charted too far out of my element with this one, so while it’s not my fancy, it might be yours.
[frame align=”left”]SYNOPSIS: 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.[/frame]
BREAKDOWN: This one’s tough to review because I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other for it. I want to blame the genre and say it just wasn’t my taste, BUT I’ve read outside my preferred genres and enjoyed them just fine if the characters were solid, fleshed out, and lovable, and the romance is passionate and believable. So where does that leave me with this book? It leaves me un-invested because it missed the mark on both counts.
The story is set in current times, but there are secret beings called Air Elementals that walk among humans. Vane and Audra have a past, but Vane doesn’t remember it. All he’s left with are his dreams of her each night, dreams in which she ages at the same rate he does, so they always seem the same age. So when she shows up one day and he realizes she’s real, she’s literally the girl of his dreams.
Cool, right? Not really. Because he doesn’t know a thing about her except that she’s “hot.” Like really hot. Almost as if the author is trying so hard to capture the male voice, she thinks the only thing he’s capable of feeling is hormonal attraction to Audra’s hotness. And honestly, Messenger, the author, did a great job of creating a male voice that sounded young, masculine, and authentic. Problem was, he wasn’t likable. He was whiney, lazy, and insecure, which I found to be extremely emasculating. On the flip side, Audra was cold and duty-bound. In many ways, I wish the characters had been flipped and Vane’s character was the girl and Audra’s was the boy. That might have made their roles more sympathetic, more identifiable.
The beginning felt underdeveloped, and I didn’t have much sense of anything before all of this sudden stuff is just happening. I wanted a better footing before taking a journey. Which leads me to my next problem, which was the dual POV. The chapters are short and alternate between Vane’s POV and Audra’s. It’s jolting each time the POV changes because it feels too soon, and it keeps me from really connecting with either character. Their personalities also made it hard to connect, but maybe that’s just me. I don’t like wimpy male leads.
As for the story itself, I have to say, it’s very well-imagined, thought out, and smart. I enjoyed the subtle nuances like the “songs” and languages of the wind. The author clearly put a lot of due diligence into it, and I can’t fault her a bit for her story. I just couldn’t get into it because I didn’t care for the characters. I would recommend Let The Sky Fall for younger readers, but maybe not so much for adults who just like to read YA. So, keeping in mind the characters and the romance weren’t strong enough for me, and this isn’t a genre I normally get into, the book was more or less good. It’s set up for a sequel in a way that’s less than satisfying, but definitely intended to hook the reader. I’m not sure I’ll bother, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.