Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: August 27th, 2015
Pages: 318
Song I Played While Reading: Faded by Alan Walker
Rating: 3.5 stars

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magical bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to ear the Tower of Sorcercers, 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 sorcerer 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.

I first heard of this from a friend of mine on Goodreads. She had been reading it and one of her updates had been her screaming about how the love interest pushes our main character off a balcony. Naturally, I became insanely curious to see what Air Awakens was about. 
There were moments when I loved this story, and there were moments when I didn't. My conflicted feelings remind me of An Ember in the Ashes, since I felt similar with that. Some scenes drew me in and it was like the characters had jumped off the page, while I stumbled over other scenes, barely able to concentrate since I was either super bored or extremely pissed off. 
It's rare for me to initially dislike a love interest, especially when he's a sarcastic and dangerous bad boy. THAT'S MY THING. But Aldrik... he pushed the boundaries. I was disgusted with his attitude in the beginning: he was narcissistic and rude and heartless and scornful. I was not down for this guy, and was worried that this was going to be one of those horrendous relationships where the guy is a total asshole and the girl just takes it since she thinks she's in love with him. Thankfully it wasn't, and Vhalla turned out to have a little more spine than I originally thought, and Aldrik did a complete 180 with his attitude. Vhalla calls him out (I was cheering so hard for her here) and he storms off like the little prissy boy he is, and then in their next scene he's the perfect gentleman. He grew on me, not only because he ended up being a total sweetheart, but because you could tell he really cared about Vhalla. She may not have realized, but I did. They had a wonderful slow-burning relationship. 
Now, my feelings were a little more complicated with Vhalla. Similar to the storyline, I liked her at moments, and then didn't in others. She could be extremely sarcastic and witty, which were the parts I really liked, but in other times, she acted like an ignorant child (Aldrik called her that at one point and I had to hold back from cackling). She goes through a fantastic character arc, since most of this story revolves around her decision to either embrace her power or not. I like how she worked through it, acknowledging that she had been too quick to judge and ignorant of everything magic related. It really made her stand out, since I admire characters who own up to their mistakes and actually think. They don't rush into things. 
The climax of the story was probably the most difficult part for me to read. I got so frustrated with how Vhalla was acting. Instead of considering how she could use her power to get herself out of the situation she was in, she just stood there and did nothing. She literally did not think at all about using her power. That could have changed the ending in so many ways, though I did like the direction it ended up taking. 
I was pleasantly surprised by Prince Baldair and his role in the story. Not only was he sweet, kind, and understanding, but he complicated the story in a really good way. I can't really describe it, but I like the way he made Vhalla and Aldrik feel about each other. Obviously he made his brother jealous, which always gets me giddy. But it pushed them to realize how they truly felt.  
I really enjoyed the other supporting characters and thought they balanced the story out really well. Each helped Vhalla grow into a strong and independent woman. 
Overall, this was a strong first novel. I'm not sure if I plan on reading the next book, but I definitely am curious to see how it turns out, so we'll see! 

"You're that girl, Vhalla. The one that you just know is special. So much so that it's almost something you feel like you can't touch or you'll break it."

"They were sending her to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear."

"I may be a prince," he said as his lips brushed her ears lightly. "But I would trade it all to be a common man, even if only for tonight." 

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