Whirlwind romance and breathtaking action continues in the sequel to Let the Sky Fall, which Becca Fitzpatrick called "charged and romantic."
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?
©2014 Shannon Messenger (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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I enjoyed the first book in this series and looked forward to this second book. Author Shannon Messenger does a great job of creating interesting and distinct characters that are a pleasure to read. Of course, the world building may not live up to close scrutiny and the villains are rather one-dimensional; but I can forgive the quirks because this can be quite a fun book to read. Note: I listened to the Audible version and the narrators were excellent.
Story: After the events in the first book, Audra has struck out on her own. What she finds in her journey will be disturbing - there is much more at stake than she realized and Raiden has much more power/viciousness than she could have imagined. Vane, meanwhile, is haunted by Raiden's winds every night, creating terrors that only his once-betrothed, Solana, can prevent. When Vane is forced to confront Audra's mother, and Raiden's machinations become even more deadly, the couple be set up for a fight to the death. For Raiden has upped his game - and it means turning Gales into monsters. The power of the four winds may no longer be enough.
There are some interesting developments this book but the story does falter a bit in the beginning. We have to deal with a lot of soul searching on Vane and Audra's part; Vane as he learns more about his heritage and Audra as she does her travels. At the end it picks up, though, with some interesting battles. But I did find myself bored and distracted for quite a bit in the beginning.
As always, the world building is fascinating and imaginative, making the story an easy read. But really, it is for the characters that I am hooked. I really like how different Vane and Audra are - her single minded determination and his quirky pluck and sarcasm. It makes them a great foil and they never fall out of character. Amusing side characters (like Gus) add to a fun mix.
The villain, Raiden, is rather a cliche mustache twirling evil guy. There are no conflicts or depth to him - just posturing and threats. And Audra's mother could probably be a bit more interesting, too, in her machinations. But hey, it's still a darn fun read and I look forward to the next (last?) in the series.
"Unique and Fun!"
Let the Sky Fall was easily one of my favorite reads from last year and so I was so excited for the next installment – although it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, I loved it! I had forgotten how funny Vane was and how sassy Audra was and it felt good to be back with them. Seriously, I can’t count the number of times that I laughed out loud while listening to this book (thankfully in the comfort of my own home so there weren’t people staring at me like I was crazy).
I did feel like more emphasis was put on Audra’s story than Vane’s and I was totally okay with that. We got to see Vane more in Let the Sky Fall and I thought it was nice that the spotlight was put on Audra – it helped me to understand her better.
This series is so unique and fun and I definitely recommend it to fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
"Scattered and Contrived Second Book"
This was an incredibly disappointing follow-up to such a promising first book.
While I found the establishment of the ‘wind-walkers’ lore incredibly fun in the first book, the expanded world seemed to fall apart here. We were introduced to a huge number of ‘wind-bending’ techniques that defy even in-world logic to the point of ridiculousness.
I couldn’t invest at all when I couldn’t tell whether I’m even supposed to take any of it seriously.
And if I’m not, why should I keep reading?
It certainly won’t be for the characters who became dithering and indecisive here after a refreshingly genuine courtship in book one.
LtSB hyped up the generic drama and took the characters utterly nowhere. Scene after scene of the couple pondering whether the other one loves them as much as they love the other? Talk about cliché.
To be fair, though, they weren’t given much to work with story wise.
Mind spoiler for the first book here but it ends with Audra leaving Vane…for some reason.
Honestly, I didn’t understand her rationale at the time and it became clear here it was simply so they could begin this book separated. The setup, designed just so Audra would have cause to COINCIDENTLY meet a character with critical information, rang insultingly false.
Worse, it happened time and time again through the story – the plot relied on convenient contrivances to keep the story moving right through to a double cross even the characters saw coming.
Predictably, there was no resolution as is the norm for middle books in a trilogy. The problem is, I can’t think of a single reason to continue to the third book.
Usually, I just give a resigned shrug after a so-so second book in a trilogy. I almost always continue onto the final entry out of some masochistic urge to see a series out and I figure anyone who liked the first will read the second regardless of what I say.
I will just tell anyone only lukewarm on the first book, not to bothering continuing and caution anyone hoping for a great new series not to get your hopes up.
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