Let the Sky Fall is the first young adult novel by Shannon Messenger. It's classified as paranormal romance, but feels more like an action light superhero movie.
Vane Weston was only seven when a tornado killed his parents-and he miraculously survived. 10 years later, Vane, now living with adoptive parents, still catches glimpses, both in dreams and reality, of the beautiful girl he saw in the chaos that day. When the girl unexpectedly shows up in his room one night, she introduced herself as Audra. Audra is a sylph, an air element who can control the wind. Vane is also a sylph, as were his birth parents, and Audra is his guardian.
As if that's not enough to deal with, Vane is, according to Audra, currently one of the most important sylphs. His family was the last of the Westerlys, sylphs of the west wind (there are also north, south, and east winds). A sylph named Raiden tracked down the rest of the Westerlys and tried to get them to teach him their language (which would allow him to control all the winds), then killed them when they refused. Vane is now the last living Westerly, and the sylphs' only hope to defeat Raiden. Now, he has seven days to learn the Westerly language and confront Raiden or die trying.
Let the Sky Fall uses a familiar trope , often reserved for superhero movies: Guy finds out he's really some supernatural being (or has superhuman powers), has some baddie after him he has to defeat, and, of course (it can hardly be considered a spoiler), saves the world and gets the girl. Sylphs are rarely used in literature; they did appear in Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock way back in 1712 and Terry Brooks's Magic Kingdom of Landover series in the 1980's. With vampires and werewolves being so overplayed, it's nice to see a new (ish) mythical creature take the spotlight.
Let the Sky Fall is told from the alternating viewpoints of Vane and Audra, both interesting and likable narrators. Even before Vane discovers his true nature, he laments his inability to lead a "normal" life. Not only was he hailed by the media as a miracle child for surviving an event he can't even remember, but every time he tries to so much as kiss a girl, it ends in disaster. Though that's largely due to Audra's intervention-once a sylph kisses someone, they're bonded for life, so she goes to extreme lengths to make sure it doesn't happen to before Vane is ready. Meanwhile, Audra has been punishing herself since the night of the tornado, which also killed her father; having unintentionally revealed their location to Raiden, she blames herself for his death. Her story, and how Vane helps her to stop blaming herself, is the most interesting subplot.
Let the Sky Fall isn't revolutionary or earth shattering, but it will keep readers interested. Fans of superhero movies and paranormal romance should give it a try.
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