Written by Shannon Messenger
Published March, 2013 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Elemental, Urban Fantasy
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Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past - except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.
Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian - Vane's guardian - and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.
When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.
I was immediately drawn to Let the Sky Fall from its stellar synopsis and gorgeous cover. While Shannon Messenger’s ideas held some unique and interesting properties, I just couldn’t understand why this book fell for the usual YA ‘traps’ such as a predictable plotline, ‘so-so’ characters and an irritating ‘drawn to eachother’ love story.
Let the Sky Fall held so much potential and I suppose I feel a little disappointed that it didn’t live up to my expectations. With such a high rating for a YA novel that has been out just over a year now, I must admit I jumped the gun in thinking I was going to love this one.
What this book holds is promising – Shannon Messenger has managed to weave a really interesting story in the way of Sylphs/Windwalkers and their history and lore. I really wanted to find out more about their way of life, their society, etcetera and we just didn’t get a lot of that in this book. I felt that it was more focused on Vane finding out his destiny – which is fine – but I just didn’t like him all that much to really care.
I was also bugged by the whole ‘you’re the future king/you have to save us all’ direction the book took. I suppose a series wouldn’t be that interesting if the guy they plucked out of normality was plunged into another sort of normality, but hey – it would at least be refreshing.
I started out really liking Audra. She had all the potential to be an awesome, kick-butt heroine… but somewhere along the way she lost her resolve as she ‘fell in love’ with Vane. I felt that their relationship followed all the practiced movements of YA couples before them and I really wanted something different for them – to match Shannon Messenger’s unique world.
I was able to finish the book, but I felt like I was simply reading to finish – not reading because I couldn’t put the book down. There were parts here and there I enjoyed, but I never really felt committed to the story or its characters.
The plot was so fast-paced, so much so that I had to re-read a couple of paragraphs here and there to really understand what had just happened. Some of the explanations (when Audra would explain the winds) were a little over my head, and I found myself confused at times, so I simply kept on reading. The storyline itself came in bits and pieces (revelations about the past, etc.) so I never really had a clear picture about where or why things were happening.
I’m not sure if it’s simply a ‘westerly’ thing or not – but even after finishing the book I am struggling to come to terms how Vane managed to have a set of killer abs despite being a self-confessed lazy bones who never worked out a day in his life. I mean, I get that a lazy guy who LOVES to eat can still be in shape, but a set of chiseled abs? I can’t quite understand that one. When Audra commented on the state of them I just couldn’t fathom it – hah! It’s weird the things that stick with you.
Despite my issues with the book, I still believe that it could turn out to be quite an interesting series. Book two surely must cover some more of the Sylph world and I’m intrigued to find out more about it. Shannon Messenger can write and definitely has some great ideas, I just felt that she followed the overused template we see a lot of in YA books a little too closely for my liking.
Recommended to: This book has some really great ratings all over the web, so maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did. Pick it up if you’re at all intrigued by the synopsis and the world it promises.