Author: Cora Carmack
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
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.
TW: sexual assault
I don’t know what I expected going into Roar but it wasn’t this. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. How could a book about weather be interesting or exciting? Well let me tell you, Cora Carmack did such a wonderful job telling this story that I was entirely enthralled by it.
Okay so I actually spent a little bit of time reading other reviews of this book on Goodreads just now because I was curious to see if others thought about this book the same way I did with certain aspects of it. I think I am going to lower my rating by 1 star because some things about this story have been brought to the light for me and I completely agree with what a lot of people are saying.
First let’s talk about the things that I truly like, and the main thing is the world building! I love a good book that has detailed and in depth world building. It’s hard for me to read a book when I can’t visualize the surroundings, when I can’t see what they are seeing. Props to Cora for developing such an intriguing setting, I honestly kept reading this book solely because I wanted to see more of Caelira! This brutal world is ravaged by severe and unpredictable storms, from the likes of tornadoes, hurricanes, skyfire, lightning, fog, everything! The fog was absolutely the creepiest, so thick it would swallow you whole and keep you wandering forever trying to escape it 😶
I hope in Rage we are able to see even more of this world and hopefully even more of the storms. The storms hitting seemed so few and far between that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the amount of action though. These people are literally STORM HUNTERS and it just never really felt like they were hunting storms. More like this was another traveling fantasy novel that had storms find them, instead of them finding the storms. Maybe it’s just me but I hate the traveling fantasy novels where nothing happens but them walking for days upon days without any action in between.
“Confusion leads to knowledge for those brave enough to seek it.”
So the main thing I struggled with in this book was the romance. This is why I looked up other reviews, I was curious if others felt the way I did or if it was just me being picky and wishing there was no romance in this story. I think Aurora would have been better off on her own, she was strong and independent and literally ran away from home to avoid marrying someone so I don’t understand why she suddenly had to fall in love with a brooding over protective storm hunter.
So first let’s talk about the absolute dumpster fire of a character Cassius, who thinks things like, … he had a feeling that conquering her would prove more exhilarating than any storm he had ever defeated. Because yes, nothing spells romance quite like trying to conquer someone. Cassius is an absolute garbage human being if he thinks he can win someone over by forcing them like that. Thankfully Roar decides for herself that he is disgusting and vile and that she deserves much better than him.
But then she finds Locke, who is our over protective brooding storm hunter. So with Locke we have sentiments like, … He should let her go. He knew her well enough now to know that manhandling her would only make her fight harder. But he was too distracted by the way her body fit against his own. Her soft hair tickled his neck. Even more startling, she had stopped fighting him completely. HOW IS THIS OKAY? No one would respond well to being manhandled, and the fact he was aroused by this display of her literally giving up is sickening. He is literally blaming her for ‘having soft hair’, like she asked him to be manhandled because sh’e beautiful.
Paragraphs like that one made me stop and think for a minute about what was actually happening here. There are far too may paragraphs similar to that one that could be quoted but I’m just tired of even seeing it. People being mistreated this way and then having it be excused as an alpha male trope is just disheartening and exhausting. I just want to read an awesome fantasy novel about a girl that has power over storms, I think that would be interesting enough without throwing in Cassius and Locke.
Overall I thought it was a good story, the world building was excellent but most of the characters were incredibly one dimensional and the romance killed it for me. I hope Rage explores more of Aurora’s powers and doesn’t rely so heavily on her needing a man.