Let the Sky Fall (Sky Fall #1) by Shannon Messenger
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.
Publishes in US: March 5th 2013 by Simon Puls
Genre: YA fantasy
Series? Sky Fall #1
March 4th 2014 by Simon Pulse
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I wanted to read this one because I haven't really read much about the sylphs, the wind walkers and I was intrigued by them as well as the dual perspective girl/guy which I have come to really like. I also love the cover-- the colors and the couple embracing really catches my eye.
Vane is easy to relate to because he (thinks he) is just a normal guy. He has a dry sense of humor and he is a sweet and good guy overall. He of course reacts to Audra like she is a dream at first, because that is where he sees her, night after night. Then things get even more paranormal and I always love that transition into the fantasy world where the main character is clueless and gets thrown in head first. It's also a great and natural way to set up the world because they don't understand anything just like me as the reader. I think that Vane is right in questioning things, but I think that he was too stubborn and reluctant at times, especially when Audra tells him the stakes and he still sulks and doesn't try or cooperate. I think that it is too much to take in and that is why he acts that way, but there were moments where I wish that he would just step up. And then finally we do get to see him do just that. He becomes more man than boy in his taking of the responsibility, in understanding what is at stake and working towards that with Audra's help, and in standing up to his parents and for his feelings. I saw such growth in him, and can't wait to see where the sequel will continue to grow and develop him as he understands more about the paranormal world he is a part of and what he can do.
Audra comes on the scene, and she is awesome because she is strong, dedicated and she has this desire to protect Vane, she looks up to her father who died as an example of how to be strong and also as a motivator to be strong and do the right thing, to make his sacrifice worth it, and also to honor his memory. I love it when a woman is fierce, strong and able to take care of herself in a physical setting. She is trained in what she does and knows how to kick butt and take names. Since that is nothing like me, I love getting swept away with someone who can.
The world building was great. Shannon Messenger, the author, lets us and Vane know things when we need to while still leaving us with questions to be answered later in the story. How Audra interacts with and is a part of the wind is mysterious but so great to read about, unique and it makes sense the way it is presented. The pacing is good and got my attention right away through Vane's quest to kiss a girl--a totally normal, awkward, and sweet moment. Until Audra interrupts, and as we learn, she has done this many times. Then quickly we switch to her pov and get tastes of what the sylph world is like.
I really enjoy how the romance is and develops in this story. Audra and Vane have some instant chemistry and attraction but there isn't any declarations of feelings or love immediately. When they touch there is a static power connection but they each keep it and what they are thinking about the other to themselves, but slowly flirt and feel even more towards the other as they are training and in close quarters with each other. I love the slow build up and burn that comes to this head, this big explosion.
The action is really neat, and I like how there are these commands that they use to get the winds to cooperate and how intricate it all is. It isn't some mindless hack and slash, you have to be smart, quick and crafty. I think that is partially why at the big fight scene I did feel a bit let down or like I missed something. But I loved the ending and wrap up, the questions it answered as well as the problems it posed as far as moving along in this world. I think that Audra has so much guilt from the past and hurt from losing family members as well as her strange and then got even more complicated at the end relationship with her surviving mother.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think there is any chance we are living in a paranormal world and just don't know it?