Reviews: Let the Sky Fall & Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website
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.

Sylphs. Air elementals who can control the wind. It's a topic I don't see often in YA, so when I heard that Sky Fall series would be about them I was intrigued. Luckily, Let the Sky Fall was a great start to the Sky Fall series. Romantic, spellbinding, and adventurous, Let the Sky Fall had me hooked from the first page.

Let the Sky Fall introduces us to two main characters - Vane and Audra. Vane is your ordinary high school boy. He enjoys hanging out with his best friend, loves playing video games, and has the worst luck with girls. There's one exception to his ordinariness though: he's "Vane Weston: the miracle child," the lone survivor in a tornado that killed both of his parents when he was young. Audra is Vane's secret guardian, in charge of keeping him safe and out-of-view. The only problem? She accidentally just alerted the bad guys to Vane's location.

From the start, I loved both Vane and Audra. Vane was slightly immature and reckless, but his charm and wittiness covered it up pretty well. Some of the situations he got himself into (especially those involving dating) had me laughing out loud. It was fun to see his character evolve over the course of the book. When we're first introduced to him, he's average, taking one day at a time, but by the end of the book, he's trying to be the best sylph, no matter how hard it may be. Audra, on the other hand, is serious, brave, and always trying to make up for her past. It's easy to tell that Audra is broken, choosing to hide herself from others then make lasting connections, but that all changed with Vane. Vane brought out the less serious side in Audra, while Audra brought out the more serious side in Vane. It was enjoyable to watch them balance each other out while also fighting the bad guys and falling in love. The romance between them was slightly rushed....I never really buy into the whole "love at first sight" thing but I still enjoyed reading about it. I also loved the addition of Vane's family (his mom and dad were ultimate parent goals! It was cute to see how much they all loved each other) and Vane's best friend Isaac.

One of my favorite parts of Let the Sky Fall was the world building. This was one of my first encounters with sylphs in YA so I was fascinated with learning more about them. Shannon Messenger did a fantastic job of making their world come to life. I absolutely loved her descriptions of the winds and how Audra and Vane controlled them. It really added something special to the book and had me secretly wishing I could do something as cool as that.

The plot in this followed the stereotypical YA fantasy approach....character who thinks they're normal finds out they're not and is now expected to save the world. However, I loved every moment about it. Shannon threw in some great twists and turns, especially at the end. Throughout the entirety of the book, I was constantly wondering what exactly the bad guys had planned, what happened to Vane's parents, and most importantly, why Audra felt so guilty.

Perfect for fans of fantasy, the Sky Fall series is sure to earn an army of fans.

Grade: B+

*warning: spoilers ahead, precede with caution* 

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website
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?

After the eventful, jaw-dropping ending of Let the Sky Fall, I couldn't wait to dive into Let the Storm Break, the second book in the Sky Fall series. Equally as good as its predecessor, Let the Storm Break is a strong follow-up. Full of adventure, drama, and romance, Let the Storm Break had me sacrificing sleep to read more.

Let the Storms Break picks up around the same time Let the Sky Fall ended. Vane has become the new king of the Gale Force, and with his new role comes a surplus of sacrifice and pressure. Meanwhile, after the unsettling revelations from the last book, Audra is on the run, hoping to come about something that will give her peace and the strength to return to Vane.

From the first page, I was happy to be back in Vane and Audra's world. It was interesting to see how much they progressed and in some ways regressed from the first book. In this book, Vane is under an incredible amount of stress. He's worried about being a good king, he misses Audra's guidance and love, and he's torn over sharing the Westerly language. Just like in the first book, his behavior and the situations he gets himself earned some laughs from me; however, parts of me struggled with his character. Sometimes he was just so incredibly immature that I wanted to scream. Whenever people on the Gale Force tried to help him or guide him in any way, he pushed them away. Luckily, as the book progressed, he began to experience growth, and saw that in order to be a good king you have to make your own decisions while also listening to the opinions and advice from others and, more importantly, being not be afraid to ask for help. I couldn't have been more happier. I can't wait to see how he continues to grow in the final book of the trilogy. Now for Audra...just like in the last book, Audra is once again incredibly lost. She spends the majority of this book trying to not only understand the actions of her mother but also become the best person she can be. I felt for Audra's character. I could feel her pain over her mother's ultimate betrayal as well as the helplessness and anger that resulted. At the start of this book, Audra is, quite simply, in a horrible state of mind; however, over the course of this one, she begins to make real progress, and I loved seeing her kick the enemy's butt. Additionally, now that Vane is now fully in the Gale Force, a bunch of new characters were introduced, and I loved learning more about them. My personal favorite? Gus, one of Vane's new guardians. I also loved seeing the return of Vane's parents. It was always hilarious to see them interact with the Gale Force, especially when Vane's mother and the head of the force were fighting over Vane.

The plot continues to build upon what occurred in the previous book. In Let the Storm Break, Vane and Audra are finally put face-to-face with Raiden, the ultimate bad guy, and the build-up to that as well as the battle scene was epic. So much more was revealed about the fight techniques of Raiden as well as the sylph world in general. Additionally, Vane and Audra's star-crossed romance continued in this one, and I enjoyed seeing the progress it made. I have to admit: they are an adorable couple, and I the little little advantages that came from their bond always managed sneak in a good surprise and twist.

In all, Let the Storm Break is an action packed sequel to Let the Sky Fall, and I can't wait to see what Shannon Messenger has in store for us in Let the Wind Rise, the grand finale.

Grade: B+ 

Let the Sky Fall (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble) and Let the Storm Break (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble) are now out! 

Source: ARCs provided by publisher - thanks Simon Pulse! 

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