Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Silver Wings Press
Publication Date: August 27, 2015
Goodreads Rating: 4.66
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.
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About Elise Kova:
Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.
Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com, for news and extras about her books!
This is one of those reviews that is difficult to write. How do I express my thoughts about this story without just gushing over everything and spoil stuff because I’m too excited to hold back? I shall try, but sorry if I don’t succeed.
I discovered Air Awakens on Goodreads when I spotted the beautiful cover. Being a big fan of cover art in that style, I had to click and find out more about this book. I didn’t know then that the story behind the cover would be equally as beautiful.
The summary hooked me, after all it had three big selling points for me:
- A library apprentice-This book has a main character that loves to read!
- A prince- Well hello my Disney loving side. Who doesn’t like a good story with a prince?
- Magic- As a fantasy reader, I love a story about magic!
Before I even started reading what this story was about I was already needing it! Getting the info from the summary just help add to my anticipation. Going into the story, I didn’t know what to expect. Elise Kova is a debut author so I had no idea how her writing style would be. I’m glad to say, within the first few pages I was in love with the way she made the story flow. With the combination of her writing style and interesting plot, this story was a fun ride from start to finish!
Before I keep rambling and end up giving away important information that could spoil the story let me just highlight a few points that I really enjoyed. This is a lot harder than it should be mainly because I loved EVERYTHING about this book!
What I liked:
- The Characters- If you asked me to pick a favorite character, I would change my mind over and over. Every character has such strong personalities, that even if they were only there for a short scene you tend to remember them. The main characters are so bright and well developed, that getting to spend time with them was one of the main reasons I enjoyed the story. Vhalla is a good combination of being both strong and insecure. She loves books, which is something I relate to on a personal level, and has an inquisitive nature, but she also tends to doubt herself. I like this about her, because she doesn’t just run into a situation without question. It also makes it easier to relate with her on a personal level. We have all had that moment when we don’t know what to do or thought that we are not good enough. And then you have the other main character, Prince Aldrik…*swoon* I really don’t know what else to say about him, except that I can’t decide if I want to kiss him or slap him. He is one of those characters I like, but at times I could just get so mad at him. But he is such an interesting character as well. There are many more I could list, but I think it would be better for you to read and find out about them! I love all the characters, well almost all…there is this one, but I’ll talk about that later.
- The way we get the information we need – It’s quite easy in a fantasy book to overload the reader with a huge amount of information at one time. The authors don’t do this on purpose, we need the information to understand the story. The way Elise gives the readers information was a unique way to me. Instead of just giving paragraphs of magic history and pages of the whats and hows, she gave us Vhalla. Starting off the story Vhalla knows nothing of the world of magic. So when she begins to be part of that world, she starts asking questions, and we get to share in her adventure. To get information she gets a snarky and fun pen-pal to help guide her. Getting information by their letters was such a fun and great way to not only learn about the world Elise created, but also watch characters interact.
- Pacing of the story- Just to warn you before you start this story, don’t get comfortable at any point. As soon as I started reading, I ended up on a ride! Elise was able to keep the pace of the story interesting. Basically, it was a rollercoaster of emotions. You start off high, and when you think it is almost going to slow down, you hit a loop or a turn and back on the wild ride you go. Not once while reading this did I start to think the story was getting in a lull, or wishing something exciting would happen. Once I got a few chapters in, I didn’t want to stop!
- The magic system – I know magic is a common component for a fantasy story, but I like the kind that was used in Air Awakens. You get sorcerers, but they don’t use just any magic, they use elements. Each sorcerer’s powers come from either Air, Water, Fire, or Earth. My love for this kind of power is in large part thanks to my childhood of watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. (Which I had thought of immediately when I read the summary, but just in case y’all are curious, this is completely different!) I know this may not be the first book that has used this magic system, but I personally don’t know of many that do. So I enjoyed the uniqueness of being able to control and use certain elements. I wish I could, that would be awesome!
- Not knowing what to think – This may sound like a weird point to mention. While reading Air Awakens, I found myself in the situation of not knowing what to think during parts. Do we trust the helping Prince, or should we be on guard about him? Do you want Vhalla to say yes to her old life or say yes to her new life? Is this person a friend or foe? There are so many points throughout the story that your emotions get tugged in different directions. You are constantly on your toes, because you are not sure of what could happen. We have only gotten glimpses at certain characters or situations, but we have yet to get the full picture. So while reading, my emotions were all over the place! AND I LOVED IT!
Sadly, with the good there can also be some bad. Thankfully, I honestly don’t have anything really big I didn’t like about this story. The points I’m about to list is not necessarily something “bad” it is just points I want to make note of.
What I didn’t like:
- Egmun – All stories need a good villain, well let me introduce you to Egmun. A simple way of summing up his character in a simple sentence: The Umbridge of Air Awakens. (Please excuse my Harry Potter fangirl moment) If you can read this story and end up liking Egmun, you deserve a very large reward. While reading this book, I had the enjoyment of being able to chat with Elise and I made sure she knew how much I didn’t like him with one little quote, “for all that is good in books, please tell me Egmun dies.” She never did answer this, so I’m still holding on to hope for this to happen in future books!
- The little amount of magic – If this was a stand alone I would find this as much more of problem, but since this is the first book in a series it’s not really that bad. I wish we got to see a little more magic being used, but I’m pretty happy with what we did get. Each moment that we got to experience the magic, it was special and important, which I really enjoyed. With the way the story ended, I have a feeling the next few books will be a little more magic heavy. I just wanted to point out that if you are going into this book thinking you’ll get a book full of magic from page one, you are reading the wrong book. But then again, the writing in this story is magic enough so maybe you are getting what you want.
I want to keep typing, but I literally can’t think of what else to add without spoiling those that have yet to read! Overall I found this to be an exciting story. Not only was it fun to read, the story has stuck with me and I keep finding myself thinking about it! I know there is going to be more to the series and I’m seriously excited! If the plot doesn’t interest you, the characters will find their way into your mind and heart! This is one of those stories that slowly pulls you in and wraps you in the magic of it’s words. If you are looking for a new series to read, I HIGHLY recommend this one!
I give this 5 hearts out of 5!
Elise was nice enough to do a guest post on our Musings feature, so if you would like to read that you can find it here!
If you want to see the cover for book 2 and some more information about both books, click here to read my Fire Falling Cover Reveal post!
Will you be reading this one? If you have read it, what did you think?