Friday, April 14, 2017

ARC Review: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

Summary: In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master. (Via Goodreads.com)


Pages: 378

Release Date: June 17th, 2017

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Review

I am extremely thankful that I received an ARC of Roar from Cora Carmack and Tor Teen as an incentive for being a member of the Street Team for Roar. Roar was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2017. Not only has Cora's most recent release been a couple years ago, but Roar is also her YA Fantasy debut. Unfortunately, Roar did not live up to the hype that I had made it out to be. While Roar did feature a brilliant magic system, nothing was that extraordinary about its characters. 

It was rather difficult separating Cora's previous works from Roar. While her typical New Adult contemporaries are most certainly different from YA Fantasy, I still assumed both would feature Cora's uncanny ability to write raw and real characters. In her NA novels, she is able to completely develop characters in one book, but she did very little of that in Roar. Understandably, Roar is the first novel in a series so she cannot use everything she has in-store for these characters; however, the characters of Roar were not unique or compelling like her typical characters are. I also found the romance and friendships lackluster. While Cora threw in a line or two of funny dialogue, nothing separated the characters. They simply existed in the story, they were not leaping off the page at me or following me after I put the book down.

Like Cora's other novels, Roar's writing swept me off my feet. Although the characters were not holding me within the story, the world and the story itself were compelling me to stay and ride the waves of the storms. Cora effortlessly compels her readers to continue flipping the pages until the very last one. Although I did not love the characters of Roar, by no means,  was I unhappy with the book. The story and the world intrigued me and allowed me to enjoy the novel. I had a great time reading the novel; however, it was most certainly not my favorite of the year or of Cora's other novels.

The magic system of Roar was fascinating. The world of Roar, Caelira, is built around storms that ravage the world. Those who can defeat the storms rule the world. As the main character, Roar, uncovers new additions to the fantasy world, it creates a fantastical and brilliant world that is terrifyingly beautiful yet dangerous. I cannot wait to learn more about the world and hopefully see more of the beautiful landscape in the rest of the series. The only critique I have about the world is the inclusion of witches. The abilities of the witches are explained; however, I do not understand how they tie into a world of storms. It was an odd addition that I hope will be explained in the remainder of the series.

While Roar was not as stunning as I had hoped, I am excited to see where the story continues. Roar's sequel will most certainly be going onto my to be read list for 2018. I recommend trying Roar for yourself, especially if your are a fan of YA Fantasy series or of Cora's other novels. My complaints can easily be fixed with another revision of the novel or as more is explained and divulged as the series continues. I will definitely be giving Roar a reread when it is released on June 13th and I hope you do, too. 










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