Okay, so the cover art for this book is startlingly gorgeous. Major props to the artist and to the publishing company and for everyone involved in making this so visually breathtaking.
To address the startlingly obvious elephant in the room there are more than a few comparisons that cane be made between the female protagonist Aurora and Daenerys from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Beyond the cover art female depiction being very similar, Aurora herself is part of a family of storm controllers/seekers. For those familiar with Daenerys (probably more recognizable from her on-screen adaptation of the HBO series Game of Thrones), one of her surnames is “Stormborn”. An argument could be made to draw parallels as well between the two characters from the beginning betrothal she doesn’t really want, the respective brothers being hotheads (even though Aurora’s brother is introduced through his past actions affecting the present versus Danny dealing with her alive brother and his bullying) to the court intrigues and scheming…I’m sure many other comparisons can be made (independent headstrong women who break out of the mold created for them by others etc) but I will also point out that strong female characters are going to be similar because writers aren’t reinventing the wheel (even though they may sometimes like to try to break it).
So, with that out of the way, let’s dive into what THIS story is all about:
Aurora doesn’t have the same inborn storm gathering power the rest of her family does. She can’t grab the “hearts” of the storms (which are depicted as different gems sparking of power) like the rest of her line. Basically, she doesn’t have any magic of her own.
Aurora is to be married to a prince from another kingdom, Cassius, who is introduced as being dark, handsome and more than a little seductive…yet he is also described as looking like a villain. (Which I have always found to be humorous in our society. The depiction of those with “sharp edges” who wear black attire to be villainous or edgy being seen as “evil” or “mysterious”. Black is slimming. Why judge people so based on looks? Regardless, that is truly a much broader topic than I feel like really delving into here!)
Cassius happens to be the younger brother in his family with his older competitive brother being the next-in-line heir. Their family seems to encourage the rivalry of the brothers as making them stronger and better people. Debatable.
Aurora sneaks out of the castle with the help of her childhood friend and follows Cassius to a darker side of the marketplace. She soon learns that everything she thought she knew about storm magic was wrong…and this knowledge sets her on a quest to join up with a crew that will lead her further to the truth.
Her “trainer”, Locke, is reminded of his fallen sister with the bravery and general attitude she displays. He doesn’t know she is a princess but ironically winds up giving her that nickname. Trying to dissuade him from calling her that, she tells him her name is “Roar”. (Which is also the title and I figured it would be a play on her name somehow.) Roar finds her courage and strength as she trains how to storm chase.
The way that storm chasing is explained as the storm being like a living being and causing a sort of “madness” to take people over was an inventive twist that made the read a true delight.
The romance developing between Locke and Roar was intriguing as well. Light romance here, not heavy, but definitely not the whole story. For those that don’t care for the mushy stories, this tale shouldn’t make you shy away, yes it does have that “will they/won’t they” bit to it, however the adventure is there along with female empowerment.
5.0% “Cassius” <—-Interesting character name for a male.
21.0% “I had a feeling the title would be a play on her name somehow!”
42.0% “I love this line: “If she were a storm, she could destroy him, and he would never lift a finger to protect himself.”
62.0% “Bits of this remind me of The Throne of Glass series…”
72.0% “Dude…she is probably a storm BRINGER…not catcher! I bet so, I bet so!!!”
90.0% “Ooohhh! I called it, I called it!!!”
I was wondering why Roars hair was described as dark and then the cover shows a woman with silver/white hair…that gets explained. This book hit its stride and at the 90% mark really strongly hit the ground running. My book notes may have given away a few things, but I can not WAIT for the sequel to this series. It is gearing up to be one hell of an exciting storm!
Genre: Teens & YA
Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge (Tor Teen)