Rating – 4
Wow. Like, wow. I didn’t think I could find something completely original, but people who reincarnate as storms? I was proven wrong.
Roar by Cory Carmack is about a young princess named Aurora who has a grave secret that could threaten her throne: she has no storm magic. She’s then betrothed to the ever-powerful and ever-sexy Cassius, a Locke prince who at first seems to be the solution to all of her problems. As she gets to know him, truths are revealed and Aurora is frightened at the thought of spending her future with him. But then she meets a dashing stormhunter who was born without magic, and sees a shred of hope. She might not have magic now, but she could learn to steal it.
A bit of non-spoilery: The book is compelling, impossible to put down. Once you read the prologue, you’re basically guaranteed to at least finish it. There were a few errors (grammar and otherwise) but easy enough to look over since the story is just so good. From start to finish, it’s as if you were thrown in the middle of the plot instead of the beginning, and the pace is relatively fast. I’d recommend Roar to every YA lover, whether or not fantasy is your go-to genre because this is an idea that I have never seen before. It is one of 2017’s must-reads.
CAUTION: EVERYTHING PAST THIS POINT CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!
Okay, I gave it a 4. Why a 4? Why not a 5 if I keep raving about this book?
Well, there are a few reasons.
First, I know I probably shouldn’t but I loved Cassius. He was dark and dynamic, showing different sides of his personality that would’ve otherwise been ignored by Aurora’s POV. Also, I found him unreasonably attractive, despite his classic ‘broody and moody but powerful’ type.
The reason a minor character was my favourite instead of the protagonist was because I found Rora extremely annoying at times, tolerable at others. She was constantly whining and looking down on herself, pretending to be someone she clearly wasn’t. I’m not a fan of the protagonist who keeps secrets to protect everyone else, not when ‘everyone else’ are people who constantly risk their lives for her. Well, not just for her, but you get the point. Roar is mentioned several times as beautiful, intelligent, and strong, but she was busy beating herself up too much for my taste. If I could count the number of times she was described as beautiful or pretty or drop-dead gorgeous, I’d have enough money to buy another copy of this book.
Locke. Oh, Locke – the guy, not the ruined kingdom. I get that he’s hot, because he is, but I had a hard time finding his third angle, the first two being ‘nice guy who is also a strong leader’ and ‘sort of brooding but has a soft spot for the girl’. I wanted to see beyond the words he said and his repeated desire for Roar. When he said he loved her the first time, I went ‘gee, of course you do’ because what else can the main guy do, right? Besides battle storms and verbally spar his teammates, that is. There wasn’t enough of the little moments to really cement the idea that he loved her, that he honestly and ardently loved her. I felt like it was maybe just a bit too soon. Also, I felt like he didn’t deserve Roar. He deserved better, if I’m being honest. She was lying to him the whole time, and I can’t get over the fact that she said she loved him but still lied to him.
When Nova burned the note she was meant to give to the queen, I knew she made a mistake. Queen Aphra was a strong and ruthless woman, judging by the few pages we actually saw her, but she was still a mother. She loved Aurora, especially since her daughter was the last family she had. I’m betting that she’s going to die before Rora – sorry, Roar – returns, assuming she’s not already dead. Apologies for being very blunt.
There wasn’t enough of the minor characters. Roar had the potential to be a really really good book if there was more elaboration and we got to see the other characters more. I love it when authors somehow give the super minor characters a bit of colour, like Taven and Cassimir had the potential to. The King of Locke was the regular ‘bad guy’ type, and everyone else was just so…plain.
The part I hated the most was the ending. I’m pretty certain that the climax is when Roar reaches her hand into that poor thunderstorm and kills it, but everything after that was a bit…flat? It didn’t feel like an ending, more like the author ran out of time and just went *smashes the keyboard*. I was beyond disbelief when the story ended there, even though a part of me just accepted it as a cliffie. It was too abrupt, too sudden without any real ending besides Roar’s moment of realization that Locke was destroyed and her hot fiancé wanted her throne because he no longer had one. Everything was paced almost perfectly up until the last fifty pages or so. I didn’t like that. At all.
Those are the only reasons I can think of to not give this book full marks. The plot was driven, fast-paced, and action-packed: the three qualities I want in a high-fantasy novel. I liked the snippets we saw at the beginning of every chapter – or end, I suppose – because they provided an insight that sometimes just can’t be given through a character’s own musings. As I’ve mentioned before, the idea that someone dies and comes back as a storm was the first of its kind (that I’ve ever seen). Stormhearts and Stormlords and Stormlings and just the storms in general never ceased to amaze me. I loved the idea and I think it was thought out pretty well.
OH, THE STORMLORD. Can we talk about how Roar is now a Stormlady? Far better title than Princess of Pavan, I think. Stormlady of Pavan has a very nice ring to it. I am predicting that she loses her first encounter with the mysterious Stormlord, especially since the guy has way more experience and absolutely no mercy. Locke is gonna be upset when he finds out she’s princess, Duke is gonna be like ‘I knew it’, and Roar is gonna have a very entertaining confrontation with Cassius. Oh, Cassius. I hope they work it out and work together in the next book.
I liked Jinx. Her powers were cool. Her sass was cool. Her cheerfulness was cool. She’s just cool in general.
I don’t have a favourite part, sadly, but I find myself reading Rora’s first encounter with Cassius over and over again. I don’t think she gives him enough credit. Like, yes, sure, he kind of injures her but only because she moved. He clearly doesn’t love her, he’s more obsessed and possessive, but he cares for her, enough to damn his father and screw the consequences. I hope we get to see a lot more of him in the next book, and more of his freakish storm-wielding powers since it was so cool. Powerful and broody and unreasonably attractive with a side of possessive and sass? Sign me up.
I’m also hoping that Nova gets to reveal her powers to Rora, who is probably one of the only people in the world who wouldn’t immediately burn her at the stake. Her fire powers are pretty damn awesome, in my biased opinion. (My fave protagonist of all time is the heir of ash and fire, after all.)
There are a few things I’m forgetting, but I think that covers the gist of it. I loved the plot and I loved the originality, but I wasn’t keen on the main character or the ending.
Again, my rating is a 4 (out of 5). I hope you guys liked my review, and don’t hesitate to share your own thoughts down below. I’d love to hear them!