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Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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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 liked this author's Loom series (The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga Book 1)) so i thought i'd give her YA series a try. I was really disappointed with this. I'm thinking maybe it's her earlier work?
The prose is incredibly repetitive; "Vhalla did this, Vhalla did that, Vhalla thought this, Vhally thought that" etc and the characters! The MC is supposed to be 17 (turns 18 in the book) but she might as well be 12. She's incredibly timid and passive and just really frustrating to read about (no wonder the heroine in the Loom Saga is so aggressive! She occupies the other end of the spectrum personality-wise and is the complete opposite of this girl!).
Maybe i'm just asking too much from a YA book but there were also WAY TOO MANY PLOT HOLES in this story! Some seemed like they could be due to a lack of close editing (for instance, Vhalla mentions that she met her love interest's brother in the beginning but later on the her love interest refers to this meeting as if that was when she met HIM) but a lot were just due to the contrived plot.
I can't really get into it without spoiling the story (so watch out) but what happened at the end of this book was RIDICULOUS. SPOILER ALERT, but Vhalla gets put on trial for saving the prince's life and neither the prince or his brother (who is the 2nd part of a weak attempt at a "love triangle") ever speak up for Vhalla. Instead, they allow her to be beaten and slandered while they wait to see if she's going to be put to death---because obviously, they couldn't possibly do anything about it, right? I mean, it's not like they have any political power or are royalty or anything---Oh yeah that's right... THEY ARE and they definitely could've cleared things up in no time had they just spoken up. But whatever, i guess if you're 16 and under maybe you don't care about crap like that? In that case, go for it.
There are books that take you pleasantly by surprise and this is one of those books. I enjoyed reading it and am truly looking forward to the next book.
This story weaves you around into the magical world and the lives of the crown and the common people who live within. The world is divided between the Royal family, common folks and sorcerers. There is a war going on which I would like more information on (assuming there will be more in book 2). There are people who have magical affinity (regardless of the birth) and they are feared by most. They live in a separate tower which is self sufficient, train there to become better sorcerers. The crown prince, who is the heir to the throne, is one of the most powerful sorcerer as well. This makes him anti social in a way as most people are afraid of him. This book has it all - coming of age, love, friendships, trust, treachery, war...World building is good and not tedious.
Vhalla Yarl, our MC, is an ordinary 17 yr. old girl with ordinary goals. She's a library apprentice who has been living there for most of her life. She LOVES to read and spends every free moment of her life buried in books. While she knows little bit about magic from what she has read she is raised (like most people) to fear magic and magic users. One unexpected event leads to her inadvertently unlocking her dormant magic. Like any normal person, she chooses denial. She is conflicted. She has a VERY hard time accepting that she has magic (a rare one) and we can see the struggle she goes through. SO, she has a choice - to eradicate her magic and continue the life she has known, or embrace it and become the true sorcerer that she is meant to be. I actually got annoyed at her at one point but, thinking again I can see how difficult it must be to accept something you've been raised/conditioned to fear. She does have help from few people and it is nice to see her slowly accepting her new reality with baby steps of course. I really liked how her character grew with each chapter. You could see random moments where she stood her ground cuz she believed in it and did not want to be taken for granted. By the end of the book she is a changed person. It is believable as she really goes through hell and comes out stronger instead of letting it break her.
Crown Prince Aldrik, hello? he's a prince!!! He is our badass, complex, anti-social, dark, HOT, brooding, snarky, heir to the throne sorcerer. He's a badass sorcerer. We don't know a whole lot about him except the glimpses we get from our girl Vhalla or hearsay. He is not an open book. Of course not, that would be way too easy for us readers lol. I did like his character. He claims he is not a good guy. We see the subtle changes in his character throughout the book and towards the end he is honest about it. I really liked how he speaks honestly to Vhalla at the end and it reinforces how he is learning to be a better person.
Prince Baldair, golden boy, ladies man, charming prince. He lives up to his reputation. He is the heartbreak Prince. He is the opposite of his brother. We can see it how. Baldair has an easy way about him and he does not hesitate to use it to his advantage. Vhalla and Baldair had met once while she was a library apprentice. Later on, she meets him again at the palace. Again, we don't know a whole lot about him and everything feels superficial. I could not decide whether I liked him or not yet. From what I read in book 1 there was nothing for me to dislike about Baldair. However, I was suspicious of his motives as to why he was helping Vhalla. He had nothing to gain from what we read and yet, he was there to help every time. So, that makes me suspicious.
Larel, love her so far. She is always there to support Alderik and Vhalla. I would love to find out more about her and her history with Alderik.
Romance is slow and believable. However, at the end of the book there is no declaration. Both characters are not willing to say it first but, you can tell there is definitely VERY strong emotions at play here. As none of them would have done what they did. So yeah, I'm rooting for them to continue. The romance is still on shaky grounds considering there is a huge status issue not to mention, the trust is slowly being earned as friendship strengthens. Oh and of course, evil forces are playing against my two favorite characters.
Highly recommend! This book was everything done right.
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