What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Let the Storm Break is the second in the Sky Fall fantasy-romance series about air elementals or sylphs. Although protagonists Vane and Audra already are said to be "bonded" for life, they don't do much more than kiss and sleep in the same bed -- with the door open and one of them above the covers. The struggle against evil intensifies in this sequel as Raiden, head of the Stormers who killed Vane's parents 10 years earlier, gets serious about finding Vane, killing and manipulating dozens of good sylphs to get to him. Mindlessly whirling killing machines take out parts of Southern California and seriously injure the main characters, who fear they will be captured and tortured. As in Book 1, Let the Storm Break offers much food for thought on violence. For example, are there times when it's necessary? How can violent acts change who you are?
What's the story?
Following the events of Let the Sky Fall, Vane Weston has trouble sleeping. He's worried about Audra, to whom he's bonded for life: She's taken off, giving herself some space to get over her mother Arella's callous betrayal, and he senses that something's gone wrong. Worse, Raiden, evil head of the Stormers, is turning Vane's dreams into horrible nightmares. Sleep-deprived or not, Vane still needs to train with his new guardians and get ready for a standoff with Raiden. Raiden, in turn, is after Vane, whom he thinks is the last to know the language of the West wind -- not knowing that Vane and Audra's fateful kiss passed the knowledge to her as well. Now they're both in danger: Raiden's been abducting their guardians, and he has a devilish new weapon, one that could threaten not only the sylphs but countless humans as well.
Is it any good?
LET THE STORM BREAK follows the standard formula of romance-heavy fantasy trilogies. Love blossoms in Book 1: Let the Sky Fall brings Audra and Vane together in a kiss that's supposed to bond them for life. Then in Book 2 the doubts emerge, usually with a love-triangle twist (think teams Edward and Jacob). What if he/she doesn't really love me? Who is this other guy/chick and does he/she like the other person better? Can I compete with him/her? Enter hot and somewhat desperate-seeming Solana; Vane was supposed to bond with her and rule the kingdom. Let the Storm Break follows the formula pretty well, but Solana doesn't seem like much of a threat -- Vane's all about Audra, even if his mom likes Solana better. And the parts with the meddling mom add awkwardness and slow the story down. Shouldn't everyone be getting ready for battle while mom is fussing about Vane keeping his bedroom door open? It's time for Vane, future king of the sylphs, to move out of his human-adoptive parents' house.
In Let the Storm Break the big enemy -- Raiden -- finally shows up. It's pretty clear a win against him will be costly. Author Shannon Messenger doesn't fall into the sequel slow-down sinkhole here: The end battle feels pretty climactic. But it's easy to lose track of details in fast-paced scenes, where characters are situated in a battle, or even how on earth they could be having full conversations while flying through the gusty air. Still, readers who've fallen for Vane and Audra will breeze through this sequel and its twister of an ending and be ready for the next installment.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about sequels and series. What do you like about reading a series? Were you satisfied with the way Book 2 continued the story?
Does the Sky Fall series make you rethink your beliefs about the ethics of using violence? How?
Do you think the Southern California desert is a good setting for the story? How does it complement the plot and characters in Let the Storm Break?