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Roar (Stormheart) Hardcover – June 13, 2017
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“I am typically not a fantasy reader, but Roar convinced me to read more. Cora Carmack created a beautiful world and I felt like I was transported to Pavan with her vivid descriptions of the city. I was left wanting more and I can't to find out what happens with the rest of her characters.”―Chelsea Riela, New York Public Library
“In her electrifying YA debut Roar, Cora Carmack creates a stormy fantasy full of adventure featuring a charismatic ensemble cast. Roar introduces YA readers to Cora’s signature talent for balancing authentic characters and a captivating romance, this time set in a striking new world that will sweep readers away.”―Mary Hinson, Irving Public Library and Mary Had A Little Book Blog
About the Author
Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she's thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website coracarmack.com.
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“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it. Believe it, and others will too.”
I loved the idea behind this book. Storms are called Tempests and when you steal its heart, you gain the power to control those storms? LOVE IT. However, in order to steal their hearts, you have to be a Stormling, born with storm magic. Or so Aurora was told..
In the beginning, we find out that Aurora has been promised to Prince Cassius from a neighboring kingdom. Aurora kind of bugged me though. She’s SO quick to get fluttery over Cassius. Only took .2 seconds for her to get all hot and bothered over him. She’s also quick to change her mind though due to an overheard conversation he had with his brother. However, she needs him. Rora has no power over the storms she is duty bound to conquer for her people. While Cassius may be all dark and brooding, he is also very powerful, carrying a dozen Stormhearts on his body that he collected himself.
“I enjoy the way it feels to reach a hand into the dark depths of a storm and rip out its heart.”
One night though, she follows Cassius as he sneaks out of the castle and out to a black market, that she had no idea even existed, that deals in exactly what she is lacking—storm magic. The crazy thing is that people selling it aren’t even Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Rora has found her salvation—a man named Locke that claims to have storm magic, but was born without it. In a desperate attempt to keep her kingdom safe, without marrying Cassius, she disguises herself as a young peasant woman named Roar and joins Locke’s gang of storm hunters.
So let’s talk about the other third of this I’m-sure-soon-to-be love triangle, Locke.
“You are exactly where you are supposed to be. And I am here with you. If you have questions, ask them. If you have fears, shed them. If you have doubts, give them to me and I will crush them beneath my heel. If you need help, I will provide it. And when the time comes that you need someone to trust, I will be that person. I promise.”
Sweet, protective Locke. For some reason, I just didn’t like him as much as I liked Cassius. I want to see so much more of Cassius in the next book. But something about Locke just fell kind of flat for me. Which kind of sucks, because the majority of this book was spent with Rora travelling with his crew and Locke teaching her how to hunt storms.
Again I say though, Aurora bugged me at first. She is an extremely sheltered, naïve princess that is finally starting to see the world that’s been hidden from her for so long. She doesn’t really handle things well, as would be expected. But there’s some growth for her that I was happy about.
THE STORMLORD. The bad guy, the oh-so-wonderful evil in this book. There wasn’t nearly enough of the Stormlord. She teases us with his presence. I needed this book to be at least 200 pages longer just so I could know more.
“It was not enough to destroy them. He would make them want it, beg for it, hope for an end to their torture.”
She teases us, I tell you! Haha
All in all, I liked Roar. It didn’t truly satisfy me like I hoped it would, but I wanted there to be more to the story than there was. I look forward to seeing where the story goes in the next book though.
But then we meet Locke (the real Locke, who's not really a Locke...? yeah, I was admittedly confused at first). Here's where the story took off for me, probably because the world building was so cool. The storm hunters and their world outside of Pavan was really detailed and original, and fit together logically (particularly once its secrets were revealed toward the end of the book). The hunters themselves were also delightful and I really enjoyed their vividly drawn characters and their camaraderie.
Aurora's shoddy plans to join the hunters felt a little undercooked and rushed, but it was also plausible that the character herself simply hadn't thought through all the ramifications of her plan. Once there, her character matured and she grew on me. The focus on her mission and her own personal growth was nicely balanced with her relationship with Locke, which grew organically. I like that the author showed both characters' awkwardness with first love, and well, I'm just a sucker for hand holding. True to its YA classification, the book has no explicit sex, so I wouldn't actually call this Fantasy Romance, even tho the romance is a significant part of the story.
I finally got to the point where I was in love with these characters and I couldn't put the book down, when suddenly... it ended! Argh. I didn't know that so many plot threads would be resolved in a later book, and that was a big disappointment. So, of course, I've pre-ordered the next book and await it eagerly!
All that said, I have one complaint. I found the pacing sluggish. I nearly put the book down but decided I'd invested too much time not to finish. And I'm glad I did, I just wish it had moved faster, allowing the world to be revealed through action.
Pro: I love the world building and magic system. It's awesome how the depth of the world continues to grow as you read. The characters are all people and not two dementional.
Con: I don't like the multiple perspectives in relation to are main character and her love interest. I guess my major issue with the book is it falls prey to" the powerful female that has a overbearing male savior" theme. As unique as the story is, it's disappointing to see this cliché. It would have got a 5 otherwise.
The story line is so original, unique. I can't wait to see where Cora takes us next.
"Because death meant leaving you, and that was unthinkable. Is unthinkable. Feeling this way, the way I do about you, Roar, it's scarier than any storm I've ever faced."
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