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When Water Burns (Telesa) Paperback – June 11, 2012
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Thank you Lani for letting Simone play a bigger role in this book. He freakin' cracked me up the whole time, lol! The way you described his designs for fashion week sounded sooo cool and I almost wished pictures of it were provided in the book. As soon as you introduced Teuila, right off the bat she reminded me of an angry Leila who just arrived to Samoa. She's had to endure a lot at her young age and I applaud her strength & courage in this book. I look forward to her character evolving in the next book.
When Daniel & Leila took a break, at first I was kinda like what the heck! But at the same time I knew Leila definitely needed it because even though "she thought" should could take on everything and anything by herself. The break was a humbling experience for her and it made Operation Reignite Daniel all the more Awesomely Romantical and I just love how she breaks it down to Daniel her love for him and the reason behind her taulima. The breathtaking scene that Lani provides at SamCo sounds like a dream and one I would like to see come to life.
It was great to see Daniel's character blossom in his own right with his gift of Vasa Loloa. I always felt that even though he was the main male character, he was was kinda in Leila's shadow because she was a fire goddess as she so loved to remind us in the book. But now that he himself is gifted, I would have paid good money to see that FINE man glow & burn blue at their midnight pool! Because of his new gift, thank you for providing background info on not only Salamasina, but Daniel's birth mother Moanasina and her own tragedy to save the life of her son Daniel and his father.
As I was getting close to the end I was nervous about Leila not waking up. But it was really sweet to hear Daniel's confession to her and talk of their future plans. But damn Lani, you got me good in the end there when Leila really woke up woke up!! Then BAM that was the end!! The excerpt you provided for the next book - Bone Bearer, now I can't freakin' wait and I don't know what I'm going to do now that I'm done reading book 2! FANTASTIC job on When Water Burns!! THANK YOU LANI!! Overall- 2 THUMBS WAAAAAAY UP!!!
One of the great storylines in this book is the will they/won't they molten fire dance of desire between Leila and Daniel. It's a great example of a mature and realistic approach to acknowledging and dealing with those overwhelming feelings of new love. Too often fiction assumes that teens have no control or boundaries when it comes to intimacy. It's also refreshing that it's Daniel who has the strong moral code based on his grandparents' traditional Samoan family values.
But When Water Burns is much more than a my-true-love's-a-fire-goddess-which-threatens-my-own-masculinity tale. The Big Bads in book 1 haven't been entirely defeated and a few new ones are introduced. Themes about the need to care for the earth and nature being out of balanced are further explored in a race to recover a lost nuclear device, and while readers hope that Leila and Daniel are destined to be together forever, it's not smooth sailing. As much as she loves Daniel, Leila's gifts might have something else in mind when Keahi paddles his canoe along Samoa's shores, voyaging far from his Hawaiian home.
Lani takes us swimming in the deep end with her explorations of belonging, violence against women, gender inequality, and taking charge of one's own life, but it's all handled with a deftly light touch that doesn't feel forced or preachy. Simone's back and fiercer than ever with a wit and wisdom that keeps the story humming.
Although it's a complete story, readers are going to want to read Telesa: The Covenant Keeper and I am Daniel Tahi, a companion novella before When Water Burns. Good thing the third book, The Bone Bearer is now available. You won't believe what happens next!
Leila has gone through much loss. She has learned a great many things and is putting it all to use in her everyday life. She has matured a lot and now has a great deal of responsibility. She's handling it all with amazing greatness that makes me as a reader very proud.
Daniel is healed up from the fight with Sarona and the covenant sisters. But not without some side effects. He finds out many new things that tell him more about who he is and many answers as to why. He has also matured a great deal and is prepared to take the world head on. Bring it :)
Leila and Daniel will go through a great many scary situations. Some will not turn out the way you expect. But Daniel and Leila complete one another and lend each other strength that's needed to triumph these obstacles. I hope their relationship continues to grow stronger in the next book and they kick evil in the rear.. Permanently!
Hope the next in the series comes out fast. That ending left me balancing on edge and I'm hoping for the best. (I know Lani will not disappoint!)