I had high expectations of this book going in. The cover alone is so attractive that if the book had been less than stellar, it would have been a huge letdown.
It was not a letdown by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it was an entirely new take on an entirely new mythological creature. I loved it. I loved, loved, loved this book. Loved it.
The characters: Vane is adorable. He is real, flawed, both afraid and incredibly brave. I think what I liked the best about him was that he never stopped being a real boy/man while being entirely outdone by a girl. He still managed to protect her and hold his own in their relationship. And he was very funny.
Audra is wonderfully believable as a driven, guilt-ridden heroine. Her dedication to her purpose while falling in love with the target was so well done. When she finally lets Vane into her heart, the results are gratifying.
It was well-paced with just the right amount of tension. I found myself saying "oh for crying out loud, just kiss her already!" The buildup was great and the payoff even better. And while I yelled "I knew it!" near the end, I have to say that the story was anything but predictable. The plot twists were fabulous. The action was so good because I'd never heard of it before. The battles were done with the manipulation of air, and I just haven't read or heard of that being done. It was innovative and new.
The only reason I gave this book 4.5 stars rather than give was simply this: too many cliches. Some of the dialogue was just too overdone. And I swear if I have to read "I let out the breath I'd been holding" one more time, I'm going to throw my iPod across the room. Is this a requirement for authors now, that they have to have that particular phrase in their story?
The narration on audio was so good. I cannot say enough about Nick Podehl. Kristen Leigh was also good, but Nick Podehl is one of my favourite male voice actors. I wish more books offered a male narrator giving the male protagonist's voice. It just made the book even better.
I can't wait for the sequel. This book definitely lived up to the hype, and how refreshing is that?