- Series: Stormheart (Book 1)
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen; Reprint edition (June 5, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765386321
- ISBN-13: 978-0765386328
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 248 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Roar: A Stormheart Novel Paperback – June 5, 2018
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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 has done a multitude of things in her life–boring jobs (retail), fun jobs (theatre), stressful jobs (teaching), and dream jobs (writing). Raised in a small Texas town, she now lives in New York City and Texas, and spends her time writing, traveling, and marathoning various television shows on Netflix. Her first book,Losing It, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, and her subsequent books were also hits.
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Carmack's lack of experience in writing YA comes through with Roar. My biggest gripe with the book was the relationship Aurora a.k.a. Roar had with the males she was romantically involved with. It started out being her betrothal, Prince Locke, who seemed very controlling and possessive. Later, it was the Hunter named Locke who Roar fell for. He was also very controlling in his own way. What threw me for a loop was how easily Roar let these men grab and touch her, whether it was a caress or even to stop her from doing something. Both of these men did not know her for long, and yet they felt so comfortable with grabbing her whenever they wanted. I'm a male reader, and if I have a problem with how these relationships were fleshed out, I'm sure Carmack's female readership will probably agree with me too. Roar had no problem with sticking up for herself, so that was a good balance for these kind of men. However, it just really left a bad taste in my mouth. Roar at times felt less like a partner to them and more like an object of possession. A commodity to rule over. Going forward, I hope Carmack could work on this both in the continuation in her series, and with other potential YA books she may write. It may work out for her Adult books, which I haven't read, but for a YA book I feel like it sends the wrong message.
What Carmack lost in her romance building, she makes up for in her creative and intricate story. Her magic system of Stormlings and how they can control storms was phenomenal. I've read one or two series that involve elemental magic, but the idea of storms having hearts and being able to covet them was amazing. Carmack spent a lot of time building her world and I appreciate an author that does this, especially since it was her first time writing a fantasy genre book. I was truly blown away by the depth of her story and I deeply appreciated it's cliffhanger, which perfectly sets up the next installment.
As for Carmack's characters, there is a lot of variety and I truly feel like there's a character for everyone. When an author puts in the work for her secondary characters, it sets your book a part from the rest, and Carmack has done just that. My personal favorite was Novaya. Carmack alters her POV's a few times, some characters' stream of consciousness pop up more regularly than others, but she juggled them well. It wasn't confusing even without chapter breaks to break up the different POV's. Often times when an author tries to do a change of POV within the chapter, it can be chaotic and confusing. Her editing and distinct character voices did not hamper my ability to follow along with the story in the least. Novaya's snippets helped me get through the book. I'll be honest and say that this book definitely dragged at times. I'll speak to why below, but Nova saved it. The things she had to go through due to the decisions made by Roar were heart-breaking. However she stayed strong and loyal to Roar no matter what. I also found her stream of consciousness to be entertaining. She was just as strong as Roar was, without the combative nature. It definitely was refreshing.
*Queue more gripes* Lets just say I'm not fond of the dynamics between Roar and Locke. While he continuously says to Roar verbally and within his streams of consciousness that he doesn't want to control her, I feel like his actions say otherwise. Again, I will bring up how often he touches Roar, and not always in the most loving way. He was way to handsy for my taste. Also, their constant bickering and battle of wills was absolutely exhausting! I love dialogue that can portray characters showing their wits against one another, especially if it's between a romantic duo, however this was too much. It was page, after page, after page, of Roar wanting to do something, Locke not wanting her to do it, and then he either gave in or she did what she wanted. Then it would end with a blow up, and then a possible reconciliation. However, even when they were trying to make up, Roar was consistently combative. I understand her back story and that she has trust issues, but her experiences never felt like enough reason for her to act the way that she did. She felt like a petulant child who you always felt the need to walk on egg-shells around. It was so unbecoming. I wish Carmack could have provided more context and built on the reasonings behind Roar's trust issues, so it would make her combative nature credible.
Besides being unable to do magic and having to cover it up, Roar was sheltered. She also was building something with her betrothal Prince Locke, but that turned into a horrible betrayal. She barely knew the man and I felt like her emotional "scars" did not feel genuine if you know what I mean. Otherwise, Roar was a little unlikeable for me. And if a reader has issues with the main character, I say something is seriously wrong with your story. Characters have flaws, but I find it hard to overlook them when it comes to Roar.
Roar is a story filled with a unique magical system that spends a great amount of time telling you about it's history and culture. The characters vary and have a depth to them that a reader will appreciate. However, the main protagonist, Roar, has problematic relationships with other men, which are questionable and sometimes troublesome. The constant grabbing of Roar by two potential suitors often triggered domestic abuse and rape undertones. While it's safe to assume those undertones were not Carmack's intention, it severely impedes the epic world-building she has created, and stops the book from getting the best rating possible. Also, the banter between Roar and others, particularly Locke, becomes quite fatiguing. Be prepared to spend page after page engulfed in their arguments, which were often childish. Otherwise, if you can overlook these things, this story has major potential and I look forward to seeing how this story develops in the next installment. Also, be prepared for a MAJOR cliffhanger! Who doesn't love those? =)
Aurora Pavan is heir to the throne of Pavan and she belongs to one of the oldest Stormling families … the family that has been protecting the kingdom with their magic for years. She’s everything the kingdom needs in a queen, intelligent, and brave… but she has no sign of the magic she’ll need to protect those counting on her. So her mother arranges a marriage to a Stormling prince from another kingdom… one who’s dark and broody. He’s obviously hiding something and when he rushes the wedding date, Aurora is determined to get away. A chance meeting with a group of Storm Hunters might be just the people she needs.
First, I have to mention the world-building because Carmack does an amazing job of creating a unique world here. I loved the way she put her own spin on the fantastical elements of this story, everything was unique and intricately planned and plotted from the storm elements to the world of Pavan.
I have to admit though, that the characters are what had me hooked to this story from the very first page! Every single character here has a purpose and a story to tell, and I honestly can’t wait for book two to learn more about each and every one of them. Carmack excels at creating a diverse landscape and sharing the complexities that make each of them different and interesting and doing it in a way that has you invested in what is happening to everyone. Even the storms felt like they had their own stories to tell!
Carmack did a wonderful job of weaving the romance in this story too, and I’m not going to apologize for needing romance in my stories… I need a ship to root for so don’t judge me. I am torn between the two boys in this story! I know the one that everyone will root and cheer for, but I can’t help but have a soft spot for Cassius too – I know he’s got a much deeper background than what we’re led to believe and even though he does some pretty crappy things, I get him… I really do and so I can’t help but want more of his story! But Locke… gah I just love the connection between him and Roar and I love how their relationship develops.
Carmack perfectly balances the magic, the fantastical and the romance in a way that will have readers begging for more. I for one am dying to get my hands on book 2 and if you haven’t yet gotten this on your TBR list, you must! Look no further for your next favorite read in the YA Fantasy genre!
I absolutely loved this story. I've been a reader of Cora's for years. I love her wit and awkward love stories. I love her heat and sexy sports romances. What I didn't know was how she would handle moving to the Fantasy genre, but she did it beautifully.
Aurora is such a strong character and a great example for women. She continues searching for who she is deep down, despite always feeling like she is lacking. I love that she doesn't let these feelings overwhelm her or stand in the way of her doing what she knows is right.
The world building that was done for this book is quite extensive and unique. Carmack was able to do so many things and make the book fun thanks to the special gifts she has given the storm chasers. I was completely enraptured by the storm-chasers and their quest to 'challenge their tempests'.
The romance in the story takes a backseat to the intrigue and the action, but it is still quite swoon-worthy. Locke makes such a great love interest, but Cassius has something that keeps calling out to me. I think he has some redeemable qualities that have yet to be explored. I really hope we get a chance to see more of him in future books.
The entire supporting cast is excellent. The way they work together is very special. They allow Aurora into their inner circle but continually challenge her. They push her and cause her to grow and believe in herself in ways that no one ever has before. They definitely have me re-thinking my #squadgoals.
Basically, I loved it.