Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Kindle Edition, 342 pages
Published 27th October 2016 by Silver Wing Press (first published 27th August 2015)
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance
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Synopsis: A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all–the Crown Prince Aldrik–she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
Overview: So many mixed feelings about this book, though I generally enjoyed reading it. I can’t say I’m extremely excited about this series, but I’ll end up reading the second book sooner or later!
What I loved about the book: Sooooo, I’m pretty sure this book makes a lot of people think about Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is kinda nice. The stories are completely different, but there are still some similarities that made me like the book more. Magic still has depth in this book, which is interesting enough, and I love the idea of the Tower and how sorcerers are banded together, taking care after each other. This is what interested me the most and made me want to keep reading the series. I really want to know more about how they work.
The romance between Aldrik and Vhalla was cute (whenever Aldrik wasn’t being weird; read below for what I mean). Their pet names for each other felt natural, and how these names came about was similar to how pet names come about in real life sometimes. You don’t really find this in books, not even those that focus on romance.
The ending was another part that made me want to keep reading. It’s just such a sharp turn of Vhalla’s personality from what you see in at the start. She’s grown so much and that was really exciting!
passage part: The opening of the book. Vhalla’s so endearing in it.
What didn’t work for me: It’s written so inconsistently, especially the pacing. That was just all over the place. Without going into spoilers, sometimes it felt like the author was leading you down a path with the narrative, then suddenly you’re jerked away from it very unpleasantly. I’m not talking about plot twists; my journey in reading Air Awakens was really erratic due to the writing. Even as much as I like the romance between Vhalla and Aldrik, Aldrik’s personality was so inconsistent. I know that there’s a reason why he’s like that, but it’s so poorly put across to readers that I dislike him in those moments.
Highlight to read spoilers: I really, really, really hate the minor characters. For Sareem, one minute he’s so taken and sweet with Vhalla, and as soon as he found out about her magic, he’s running away like a scared little child. Yes, okay, I get that magic is oh-so-evil in their world. But if it’s that bad in his eyes, why did he accept her for it pretty much the next day? Also, Vhalla just forgave him for how he acted so easily too. Sure, maybe she understood that he had a freak-out moment, but she also knew that he was trying to change her for who she was (seemingly against her will). Even then, the conflict between them was never dealt with properly. He’s just suddenly a good friend again. I’m glad he’s not going to be a recurring character anymore.
Roan is an utter bitch. She seemed so nice and gentle at the beginning, but the moment she realised Vhalla did not have feelings for Sareem, Roan just went batshit on Vhalla for it. I mean, what the hell? Completely uncool. And of course Vhalla forgeve her for it too. *insert frustrated noises here* There’s more, but I suppose I’ll decide on her better since she’ll (unfortunately) be in the next book. She’s my least favourite character, even worse than Sareem.
Honestly, I feel like most minor characters are a waste of time.
Also, in continuation with the inconsistent writing, the editing is also just terrible. This is probably the worst paragraph by far:
Vhalla had one special stop planned before she set out on her day. She headed upward into the sweaty din of the kitchens. It was a bustling place of noise and stomach-growling scents. Vhalla did not often have reason to frequent them, but on her birthday she hoped for one exception. Lemons only grew in the far West and on the outer islands, so they were a delicacy in the other regions of the main continent. The kitchens served a small cake with tea or lunches for nobles and royals. White sugar glaze on top, Vhalla coveted the spongy yellow sweet throughout the year. With just the right amount of begging—and luck—she had one palm-sized dessert wrapped in cloth and stashed in her bag for her birthday.
That paragraph made me so angry I had to put down the book and not look at it for a day. Just… *sigh* It’s so disappointing when there’s a good story but it’s so poorly told.
Conclusion: Despite the flaws of this book, it still managed to capture my attention. I think this series has potential and it’s worth going on to the next book. Hopefully, I’ll be able to enjoy it more.