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Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 342 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
And god, am I glad I did! This was an excellent set up book! The world building is amazing and I loved the characters; I'm personally pretty picky about the way magic is presented in a story, but I liked this execution pretty well and was engrossed in the overall universe. Now, since this is the first of five books in a fantasy and only goes a bit over 300 pages, of course it suffers from that "build up, set up" syndrome where a lot of the novel has to be dedicated to creating the scenes necessary to allow understanding to occur within the reader at the expense of the story moving along from major plot point to plot point at a quick pace. We're given a lot of scenes where we get to see who Vhalla and Aldrick are, have them interact, see their relationship develop and change, get a feel for what's happening, and I think all this stuff is very important in a fantasy series because if a reader isn't given substance in a book, just the exoskeleton of events like an outline for a history class, they aren't going to want to read the rest because they can't connect with the characters or find reason to care about them and what's happening to them and around them. I hate it when books gloss over the important aspects of story telling (like character development and scene-setting and telling the history) just to get around to specific plot points and scenes that are generally considering the most appealing/engaging. Not every story is just non-stop action and war and bloodshed, so stories that skim everything else just to have as much focus on these things as possible can get so boring. The author certainly could have cut this book down and gotten us straight into the war by the end, but doing so would have cost the reader a lot of worthwhile character development and backstory and set up for what's to come. I'm really glad she didn't though! This book had all the necessary storytelling elements and the author made good decisions at every turn, deciding that readers deserved to get a fully immersive story and not one that was gutted to the bare minimum. The stuff covered in this book enriches the read with details and conversations and inner thoughts and conflicts and developments, which I liked. I feel primed to get into the next part of the story, the next arc.
Which brings me to another quality thing I want to point out: this book doesn't cut itself off in such a way that you feel like book #1 and #2 could be bound together in one book and no one would ever know they were two separate books because they're formulated more like sections of the same continuing book and not individual installations of a longer, larger story. While the transition into book #2 seems like it'll be clean and straightforward, the way book #1 wraps up gives you the sense that this part of the story, this arc, has now concluded and that we're moving on to another arc, another section with new goals and obstacles to address. This book covers Vhalla leaving behind her identity as a normal girl and library apprentice to embrace her identity as a sorceress, which is wrapped up with a scene that showcases her accepting what she is and looking towards what's to come, so I imagine the next book will be about her coming into the role of solider now that she's (metaphorically) killed the girl who worked in a library in order to let the woman who's a sorceress be born. I quite like this format of book writing; it follows that more traditional, satisfying model of writing that has one major conflict resolved, leaving one or more other conflicts to be resolved in the following books in a continuing pattern until the large, final goal is achieved, which is much more fulfilling than reading a volumes/sections format.
What other things were good? Well, outside of the character all being complex and interesting, I found the author to write beautifully and appropriately for a fantasy setting that's far removed from our modern world. The editing job was excellent, my physical copy was error free as far as my scrupulous eye could tell, which definitely makes the $14 price tag easier to swallow. There was nothing problematic about the content (like no blatant shows of sexism or racism or other such things that are normalized/romanticized/deemed okay), which was wonderful because I've read far too many books with problematic content that just repulsed and disgusted me so much because of the way it was used and regarded. This gets a thumbs up from this 21-year old social activist. And we get left with enough stuff unanswered or not closed up that there's a lot to wonder about while continuing along the story. It doesn't come across as a wholly predictable story; I got some feelings about a few things and am churning around some theories and predictions, which is always nice because while a predictable novel can be nice, it can also take away the fun of getting hit with a twist or the unexpected.
Overall, I loved this book and I'm excited to see what happens next! I'm happy I picked up this book. Was finished in about five hours of reading and in a single sitting.
While for the most part the writing was tight enough, there are crucial world building aspects that don't make sense and never get explained. Why does everyone hate sorcerers? I get disliking things you can't actually explain, but a lot of characters have an unexplained level of disgust that doesn't quite click, since the Tower seems to be a moderately respected institution. They need to hire a better PR guy.
Also, what's with everyone and their mother kidnapping Vhalla in the beginning and basically strong-arming her and backing her into a corner? A bit of time to adjust one's thinking hardly seems out of place, and while Aldrik was a little nutty, the Tower master should seriously have known better than to start a potential apprentice off on the wrong foot like that. Also the Bond. No!!! screams every fiber of my being. No Bond!
Which segues into Prince Aldrik. He was awful. I know, I know... he's Tall, Dark and Handsome, and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and maybe just a little bit Tsundere, but there was just... nothing likable about him at all. To be honest, I think I started hating him when reading his ridiculous Phantom notes.... all I could think about was "what a childish, arrogant, self-absorbed little ***!!" and it really grated on me how humble Vhalla was being toward him. Vhalla FINALLY calls him out on it in almost exactly the same words, and it won me over toward her, but there was no saving Aldrik in my mind by then.
Lest this review be all negative, I did manage to finish. It really picked up toward the end - the last scene was even stirring. I might read the next one in the series. But I really just wasn't that excited about this book most of the time.
I did that with Air Awakens…and I’m not sure why because I loved it!
Talk about reading regrets. Should’ve read these sooner. We’re introduced to Vhalla Yarl, a librarian apprentice who is more than just an ordinary girl. She has magic and it’s either accept her fate as a sorcerer or get rid of her power forever.
I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. I can’t say it’s the BEST fantasy I’ve read lately because it’s not, but it was damn good all the same. The writing style was solid, not necessarily a stand-out but easy to follow. Matched with a quick pace that still allowed room for the characters (and reader) to breathe every now and then, I made quick work of Air Awakens. Some places tripped me up with a description here or there that seemed out of place in the scene — like it helped me to visualize something or someone but the placement was odd. There was also a lot of references to someone being Eastern or Western, etc, which felt almost excessive when the same characters were described as such over and over. Though if I’m being perfectly honest, I started overlooking those the more I read, as the story picked up speed.
I really enjoyed Vhalla’s character. She’s on the edge of eighteen and her life has just been turned upside down. Everything she knew is being questioned and she’s forced to handle it alone. Well, relatively alone. This book essentially covers her final decision on whether to keep her magic and train or “eradicate” it completely. She’s a strong heroine but also flawed. Vhalla is so uncertain about her future and about her friends, magic, love. I found myself relating to her so easily and it made the book all the better.
And of course there’s the phantom prince, Aldrik.
I’m curious, where can I find someone like him because he’s wonderful. The brooding secretive prince who doesn’t trust more than a handful of people isn’t the monster he says he is. I started shipping Aldrik and Vhalla hard within their first meeting (and there wasn’t even any ship fodder to go off of). I’m not sure if anything concrete will come of there slow SLOW burn of a romance in the next book but I have my fingers crossed.
This ship MUST SAIL.
Now for the first part of the book, things moved a bit slower. It had to set up a lot of information that I appreciated later, but felt was getting into the info-dump range too. I love this world Kova created so I can’t say I minded TOO much but it did make for a slower story until the action smacks you in the face and everything goes up the creek without a paddle.
I’m actually a bit worried. If the first book was this good, the second could either be FANTASTIC or disappointing. I’m REALLY hoping for the former. Either way, this book needs to be on your radar if they aren’t already. I have a good feeling about this one, y’all.
Most recent customer reviews
The cover art is misleading.Read more
Such a good read. I loved the main characters and story. Excited for this series.
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