Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.
Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.
When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them. (goodreads)
We've had vampires, werewolves, angels, merpeople... and now Let the Sky Fall brings us air elementals, also known as sylphs or windwalkers. What a breath of fresh air! (ahahah gosh I'm so funny) Anyway, I was intrigued enough by the concept to pick this one up, and it definitely does not disappoint.
Messenger has created a detailed and interesting mythology around the sylphs and the different ways they manipulate and communicate with the winds. One of my favourite things was the description of the four different types of wind (northerlies, easterlies... get the drift? ;). They all have unique qualities; for example the Northerly winds are rough and powerful, the southerlies soothing and inviting... Messenger explains it all better than myself though and so beautifully, you can almost feel the breeze on your skin.
The tale is told from two POVs: that of Vane, a boy haunted by dreams of a strange girl and the tornado left him orphaned, and Audra, the sylph who is sworn to protect him. Dual POVs can sometimes be hard to pull off; I've read books where there was so little differentiation between voices I couldn't always remember which was which! In this case though the two voices are very distinct, as Vane comes across very light-hearted and humorous, whilst Audra is serious and lyrical. I also sometimes find male POVs difficult to deal with, as it is hard to hit a good balance between "sounds like a teenage girl" and "OMG BOOBS", but Messenger triumphs in creating a realistic and likeable guy.
Vale is also pretty funny. I enjoyed the humour in this book, and there were quite a few lines which made me smile. As well as Vale's wisecracks, I found Audra's unfamiliarity with basic human concepts like seat belts to be very funny and sweet. In fact, I would have quite liked to see more of this! After all Audra is not human, and she hasn't really had any contact with humans besides following Vale and his family around. I really felt for her on that front, she must have been so lonely.
The plot was fairly slow (though not boring) for the first two thirds, but then it really picks up and gets a lot more exciting. The twist at the end really took me by surprise, but it was completely plausible. The very end was a little bit annoying, but then they tend to be that way when setting things up for a sequel...
There was really only one element of Let the Sky Fall which I actively disliked, and that was the romance. It was very obvious from the beginning, despite the whole "oh you're so annoying" thing they had with each other for the first few chapters. I just never buy it when sparks fly and the characters are instantly in love. Partly because I'm a mean ol' spinster, but also because it really is so unbelievable! I know Vale had been dreaming about her for years already and there may be further explanations coming up, but I still wanted to gag on his sappiness sometimes. Oh and obviously it had to be not only a fated love, but also a starcrossed one... Only not really; I didn't see the reasons they couldn't be together as particularly insurmountable.
I may have heaved a tired sigh when Vale started breaking out the L word, but overall I did really enjoy this book. It was a good read, with some interesting and original world-building and sympathetic characters. I will definitely read the next book, though I am not super-super excited about it. I wavered for quite a while on whether to give Let the Sky Fall a 3 or 4 star rating. This time I'm going to be a little harsh and go with 3. Really I'm not being too mean as its still a good rating for what was an enjoyable tale, but I don't think will stick with me long enough to justify a higher rating.