Book: Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Date Published: August 27th, 2015
Date Started: February 28th, 2017
Date Finished: March 9th, 2017
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
Well, it happened again. I’m the black sheep on a popular book. I was excited to read this book because so many people have loved it and it has a 4+ rating on goodreads. But after reading this book, I found so many problems and it didn’t hook me as much as I had hoped.
Where to start?
From the get go, I found the world building to be seriously lacking. It would have been helpful if there were a map included with this book since there are references to places like “The North.” I had no idea what this really referred to, and it felt like you were just supposed to know this information. Which, obviously I didn’t. I also didn’t like the fact that 95% of this book takes place inside of the castle. It made the story feel closed off and lacking. I wanted to know about the world the characters were living in. How did each person’s power work? How did people live with them day to day? There were just so many details left out and questions unanswered.
Lack of Flow.
On top of the world building being lackluster, I also found that the story could have flowed much better. After the climax of the story happens, it almost feels like a much different story. You’re plunged into a different setting without any real transition. It would have made sense if there would have been more hints earlier into the story that something vile and sinister was happening. If there had been more hints, then the character development would have been much better as well. Which brings me to my next point.
The main reason why I didn’t like this book was because of the men in this book. I found the way the main character interacts with the male characters to be unhealthy. I’m going to reveal some spoilers here, fyi. I’m just going to give a few examples of the ones that really stood out and made me shake my head.
Example #1: Prince Aldrik leads Vhalla to a roof and pushes her off. She places her trust in him, and he literally pushes her off of a roof. And we’re supposed to ship these two together? When they finally had the discussion about it, the excuses and the reason why he did it weren’t satisfactory to me and felt too convenient.
Example #2: This passage had me furious.
A firm hand closed around her wrist.
“Don’t worry,” the prince cooed softly. “I know you’re not like that, and I would never force a woman into anything she didn’t want and ask for.”
Her arm relaxed as he held her in place. His command over her was different than his brother’s. Where Aldrik could transfix her with a single look, Prince Baldair captured her with gentle words and soft touches.
I’m sorry, soft touches? He grabbed her wrist with a firm hand. Thats not a soft touch to me, and I find it quite alarming that the main character easily dismisses it as such.
Example #3: There is another instance where Vhalla has experience some physical abuse and finds objections to being physically touched out of fear. This is understandable. Shes bruised and battered, not to mention the emotional damage that she has experienced. So when the prince reaches out to touch her, and she says no, but he does it anyway and states “You foolish girl,” he murmured. “As anything could make me not want to touch you.” Her saying no should make him not want to touch her. These three examples alone made me cringe, and I wish this book promoted healthier relationships.
Honestly, I really don’t have any interest in reading the rest of this series. I just didn’t like the writing and found so many characters and interactions to be problematic.