2.5 out of 5 hearts
I was attracted to this book because main character was male and the author was female. For some weird reasons, I find women authors that write from a male perspective fascinating, especially if it is a well written book.
Vane Weston is a typical seventeen year old, except for two things: he has not kissed a girl yet and he survived a category 5 tornado when he was little. The tornado killed his biological parents. He lives with the guilt that he can not remember anything before or during the tornado, not even a glimmer of his beloved parents. Now, he lives with his adoptive parents in the hottest place in the U.S. However, a consistent dream of a dark haired girl is another remnant of the after effects of the tornado. Vane doesn't know who she is, but he dreams of her every night and yearns to meet her. While on a date with a Canadian girl, he sees her - the girl of his dreams. He ditches his date and runs after her, hoping to catch up to her but she his no where to be found. While on another date with this Canadian, a sudden burst of wind stops him from kissing her. The wind blast was produced by the girl of his dreams and he gets the chance to finally meet her.
The girl of his dreams is Audra, an air elemental and Vane's guardian. She has sworn to protect him at all costs, even with her own life, because his is the last living Westerly - a sylph that can control the West winds. In trying to stop the kiss, she accidentally calls to the wind and gives away their location to be tracked down by a vicious gang of sylphs that are controlled by an evil sylph. This evil sylph can command the three winds and needs to learn the language of the fourth wind - West winds - to gain absolute power. He has killed every other Westerly as he tried to torture them into teaching him the language of the West winds, including Vane's parents. Vane is his last key to the West winds. And thanks to Audra's impulse, he is able to track him down and this puts Vane's freedom in grave danger.
As I was writing up this review, my rating for it dropped from an original rating of 3.5 for a few reasons. In regards to the writing, I realized that although Vane was male, the way his character was written was very feminine. I think it is very difficult for a person to write from the POV of the opposite sex. I think Messenger made a good attempt but if you were to substitute the male pronouns for female ones, it would be a seamless transition and that is not a good thing. Since I am working on my own novel, I was doing some research yesterday and I read a few articles of clichés to avoid in writing. Here were some of the main ones that are all over this book: veiling your message in a dream, the fact that the hero was the "chosen one", and broadcasting an upcoming plot twist.
Let me dig further into that last cliché and the one factor that made my rating for it dwindle. Messenger literally set up the end. She told you when the bad guys were coming to prepare you for the upcoming fight. It was irreversible and gave away the ending. The climax itself wasn't original either so broadcasting it made it worse. There was one character at the end that did a bit of a 180, but it would've been more effective if she combined this with the climatic scenes.
So there you have it. It was a great idea but the writing could've made it better. However, it is the first of the series so maybe the next one will make up for this one.
Hardcover, First Edition, 416 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse
ISBN 144245041X (ISBN13: 9781442450417)
Edition language: English