Author: Cora Carmack

Grade: C+

In this world storms are actually living things and people like Aurora, the crown Princess, are relied upon to use magic to stop them. Unfortunately Aurora didn’t inherit the family magic so she needs to go about things a different way to save her people. What she really needed however was love interests with the ability to respect her personal space.

First is her betrothed Cassius. He’s not in it that much which is too bad because at the end he starts to get really interesting.

This book as a whole doesn’t really get going until the end. It’s definitely sequel baiting.  But back to Cassius… I think I was annoyed for the first time when he picks her up and throws her over his shoulders (it was described weirdly but he definitely picked her up) to carry her up the stairs because her beautiful dress is slowing her down. This was literally moments after they meet.

Okay, well.

Then we get to main love interest Locke who is somehow worse. There’s one scene in which he gets all touchy and in her face as simply a way to show her that she can’t control her emotions. Ugh. Another when she’s trying to put some space between them on a horse after having been injured and he grabs her and pulls her right up against him and goes on about how he likes it and it’s no big deal.

I wanted a storm to eat Locke. Badly.

I know Carmack is a romance writer so I did expect it to be heavy on the romance. But the manhandling was just to much. Occasionally Roar calls Locke out on his bullshit but mostly she goes for it. There’s also a really weird thing with Locke both wanting her and infantilizing her. He calls her a little girl and appoints himself her protector to such an extent that it colored how I saw Roar at times in the book.

Locke and his team basically steal the hearts of storms which lets them control others. The team itself is pretty lightly drawn but I didn’t understand why they let him get away with so much. Roar’s best characterization comes when she’s training with another female. Perhaps because unlike Locke that character is actually training her instead of alternating between thinking about how she needs to go home and be a kitchen maid like some good little girl or how it’s her fault he wants to screw her.

Speaking of Roar like I said I did want to like the character but it was so hard to see her that way since I disliked the romance and Locke so very much. Perhaps losing his POV would have helped? There is one particular scene with a storm that was really heartbreaking and it did a great job to crystalize that world and the “living” storm thing. But it was literally ruined by Locke all over again. Ugh.

Roar running away with the storm chasers made sense from her perspective but she leaves another character to take the fall and pretty much forgets about her so that made me iffy on Roar as well.

This book has potential but it didn’t show up until the end. Cassius has potential, not as a love interest, but he’s barely in it and most of that’s at the end as well. Roar right now is completely overshadowed by my hatred of Locke. Seriously, just typing this up has made me realize how much my dislike of him colored the book. But I get the impression he’s not going anywhere.

Recommend: 50/50 on this one but honestly lean towards NO. At least not right now. Carmack might surprise me in the next book and have Locke get eaten by a storm but otherwise I’d wait and see on this series.



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