A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Let the Sky Fall is the first in Shannon Messenger's fantasy-romance series about beings called air elementals or sylphs. The romance doesn't get very physical, since lead characters Vane and Audra would be bonded for life if they kissed. Besides, they're more preoccupied with saving themselves from the beings who killed his parents and her father a decade before and who tortured and killed many others, including one family that was "torn apart like rag dolls." In a climactic battle, turbulent winds stab an enemy. Audra, a strong character working through a lot of guilt, will especially appeal to girls; the peaceable Vane makes for a good contrast and may inspire interesting discussions about the role of peacemakers in wartime.
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What's the story?
Vane thinks he's just another Southern California kid lazing through a summer, sweating it out in the desert heat and hoping to finally kiss a girl on a blind date. When the big moment finally arrives, a huge gust of cold wind knocks the would-be kissers apart. Enter Audra, an air elemental called a sylph, who's been secretly protecting Vane for the past 10 years -- because he's actually a sylph who's lost his memory and fated to be bound for life to the first person he kisses. Between warding off romantic partners and hiding Vane from the enemies who killed his parents, she's been busy. Vane and Audra finally meet, but, before he has a chance to understand the situation, he has to prepare for a cosmic battle while coping with romantic feelings for Audra.
Is it any good?
After werewolves, vampires, and angels, you can just see the publishers wondering what to do for an encore, and that's the book's only problem: the setup. Despite author Sharon Messenger's heroic efforts to keep readers interested with lush romantic scenery and tense personal struggles, there's a steep learning curve involving four winds and their personalities, the powers of sylphs, and Vane's role in the cosmic drama. Let the Sky Fall has some great characters and an intriguing twist at the end, setting up a sequel that benefits from the first book's world-building.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of fantasy romances. How are mythical and otherworldly creatures such as vampires, werewolves, and angels more romantic than mere mortals? Which are your favorites?
A big moral dilemma, in fiction and in real life, is whether violence is ever justified. What do you think? What might be some examples?
Do you like Let the Sky Fall enough that you think you'll continue with the series? Why, or why not?
- Author: Shannon Messenger
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: March 5, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 416
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love mythology and romantic fantasy
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