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Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Let the Sky Fall (Let the Sky Fall 1)

By: Shannon Messenger

Release Date: March 5, 2013

Rating: 3 Stars

Summary: A broken past and a divided future can’t stop the electric connection of two teens in this “charged and romantic” (Becca Fitzpatrick), lush novel.

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.




Review:
Normally I don’t do playlists but this book got the damn Adele song stuck in my head, so why not?

This is the end…
Hold your breath and count to ten…
Feel the earth move and then…

*shakes head and wonders if it’s an incurable condition*

Let the Skyfall
When it crumbles…
We will stand tall…
Face it all, together….
At Skyfall…

Ok, catchy title aside, Let the Sky Fall (the book, not the lyrics) is what I’d call a clash of the highly original and the entirely derivative. On one hand, Shannon Messenger definitely goes all in with the world building, the concept of wind elementals – er sylphs – is a nice diversion from every other paranormal creature ever, but the way Messenger incorporates the wind into her writing and the actual story goes way above and beyond what I expected and really brings the wind powers to life (not realistically obviously, but with a believable depth) – the logline about ‘wind swept prose’ is definitely right on the mark. On the other hand though, I’m sorry but the plot isn’t exactly anything new, a casual summary of this book could apply equally well to any number of different books and movies off the top of my head, so beyond the originality of the wind powers the storyline gave me a definite feeling of been there, done that, even got the t-shirt to prove it.

I know Messenger’s writing, particularly the dual points of view and the very well done incorporation of the wind theme, kind of obscures the actual workings of the plot, but let me give it a shot: Kind of loner boy finds out he’s an orphan, last of his kind, and is the only person standing between a powerful, evil villain and absolute world domination. Unfortunately, this isn’t explained to him for a good deal of the book because of the good ol’ ‘sorry but it’s too complicated for you right now’ excuse until it finally all comes out in an exposition laden ‘chat’, only he doesn’t believe it at first and has to come around. Hot chick (who happens to be a member of a ‘resistance’) is assigned to guard and then train him, and they fall for each other, but it’s a no-no because of some technicality. By the end of the book, they beat the villain’s minions, basically the author saying now read the sequel to see if/when/how they confront the actual villain, who doesn’t even appear. (Obviously there’s more to this than just that but this is a casual summary after all so there you have it.)

So why does the plot sound so familiar and where have I seen it before? Eragon perhaps? Sword of Truth maybe? Basically every single fantasy written in the last fifty years featuring a Chosen One as the protagonist? Yeah, like I said, been there, done that. It’s certainly not a fatal flaw, just a big one though, because otherwise Let the Sky Fall is actually fairly good and enjoyable, once I put the derivative plot aside. Messenger’s creative use of the wind theme, and I don’t just mean crude wind puns, definitely saves this book – she really goes nitty gritty fleshing out how the four winds (although they’re just called Northerlies, Easterlies, etc and not mentioned by name, shame) work with wind farms and weather patterns and air currents and even some mythology based traditional perceptions and everything. Training is usually pretty boring too, but taking the wind myths and weaving them into mini-tornados, flying abilities, and even weapons? – wow.

Finally, characters. From what I got out of the book, Audra is badass, Vane tries too hard. I mean, obviously it takes serious dedication not to eat for years and years just to be closest to your elemental form (and to live in a burned out hovel to boot), but she’s doing it to prove herself after how she fails the first time (hence why Vane’s an orphan), whether to her mother or to herself I don’t know, but she’s definitely the best kind of badass, one doing it not to be tough but because she has something to prove. Vane though, I’ll give his character an A for effort but ehStar Wars references and body odor humor is way more than what most female authors attempting a male point of view will do but he’s not even close to being believable in my book. Besides those two, there’s a distinct (and disappointing) lack of secondary or supporting characters, Vane’s parents and friends are used more like props and don’t feel like actual characters, while Audra’s mother is the kind of unbelievable cold parent that I needed to get to the end to accept.

I think I lost my train of thought somewhere along the refrain ofSkyfall (thanks Adele), but here goes. Let the Sky Fall (*tries not to hum along even though I’m referring to the book*) is interesting but unoriginal – normally, that’s an oxymoron but in this case loved the world building but really wanted to see more, much more, from the plot.


Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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Categories: Mitch's Musings Tags:
  1. March 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    LOL! I can hear you!!!

  1. July 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

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