Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fire Falling by Elise Kova

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Fire Falling is the second book in the Air Awakens Series.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

DNF at 53% and skimmed to the end, because that was my Christmas present to me.

Despite its promising premise, Air Awakens fell flat for me, there was little of it that I liked besides the similarities to ATLA and it had been a pain to read through it all.

However, I read numerous reviews claiming Fire Falling as a fabulous book, much better than its predecessor and my damned curiosity got the best of me. After all, I had really liked the premise of the series, could it be that it was in Fire Falling that we finally see it to its full potential?


I couldn’t even manage to complete this sequel and I chose instead to skim until the end to see if something interesting happened. It didn’t.

Fire Falling begins soon after the end of the first book with Vhalla marching to war as property of the Solaris Empire. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be back in Vhalla’s selfish head but I was, however, curious. If well she didn’t went through any sort of character development in the first instalment, something to be expected of a character who has her world turned upside down, there was the promise of change in the last paragraph of the novel.

I was really looking forward to that, so imagine my surprise when I start reading… and Vhalla is even worse! I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but it happened. Despite her inner monologue of being a new person with dead friends and what else, Vhalla turns into a desperate, whining creature obsessed with the Prince.

You can’t do that, you can’t promise decent character development at the end of a book and then regress Vhalla back to her fricken infancy! Her entire purpose in this novel is to cry, feel bad about Sareem’s death (a character she gave to figs about when he was alive), feel bad about the Prince who is ignoring her (even though being with her would put both of their lives in great danger), that useless love triangle (rectangle??) and crying again.

I don’t know why Sareem’s death was made into such a big deal, considering how we barely knew the guy. That was a major flaw in the story, the author wanted to create this traumatic event that would change Vhalla and so she chose to kill her friend, the problem was she didn’t spend any time grounding Sareem as a character. In fact if we go back we see that he only has four scenes, six if we are pushing it and during all that time Vhalla treated him like dirt, not even paying attention to him when he spoke. Yet I’m somehow supposed to believe that his death was something that marked her? If the character doesn’t care, then the reader won’t care either.

That was it, Vhalla doesn’t want to do anything war related even though it may KILL her. Her obsession with Aldrik truly baffled me. I didn’t buy it in the first book, but now? For the love of God, I’m pretty sure this girl can’t take a dump without angsting over her precious Aldrik. Her entire thoughts consisted of “Aldrik, Aldrik, Aldrik, My Prince! My Prince! My Prince!” and I just sat there, thinking WHY? Why is she so obsessed with him? Why am I supposed to care about that half-thought of “romantic relationship” with no chemistry or logic?

The real thing Vhalla is in dire need of is a hug… by a force jacket and sit in a room with cushioned walls.

Aldrik was the same, still boring, still “brooding” and the sun still shone out of his ass. Everything that happened to Vhalla, was in fact a plot to show his skills/feelings/bullshit. The story is still orientated so that, despite Vhalla being the main character, nothing is about her but rather her bland love interest.

Larel… oh my sweet Larel! You had so much potential but the writing made you into a Refrigerator Woman, only there to serve a purpose to the main characters and no plot of your own. Back in Air Awakens we knew that her only purpose was to heal Vhalla’s wounds, clean her vomit and make Vhalla jealous due to her relationship with the Prince (though Vhalla is so obsessed she couldn’t believe they were just friends).

In FF she becomes a toy, going as far as to say that she would go to war with Vhalla and die for her… for a girl she has talked to five times, tops. Sounds legit.

 I was looking forward to seeing more of this world, considering how little we got at first and the entire novel would be about heading to war. This would be a fantastic opportunity to expand the world-building! And yet we spent all of that time with a dreaded love triangle that makes no sense, since Vhalla has no doubts who she’s obsessed with-I mean, loves.

The editing was still lackluster. There weren’t so many horrible errors like in the first one, but there were still plenty and it was certainly not up to publishing level.

Clearly, this series just isn’t for me.

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