Book Review: Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Posted 02/28/2013 by alicemarvels in Paranormal


Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5th 2013
Page Count: 416


sizzling chemistry; heroine hall of famer; unique paranormal world


a bit of a rushed ending

A fascinating and unique world of windwalking sylphs that breathes new life into the well worn paranormal girl meets boy story.

I enjoy reading a wide variety of paranormal YA books, though at this point very few of them can be called original or trailblazing. Let the Sky Fall is a rare breath of fresh air in the genre, featuring a fascinating and unique world of windwalking sylphs that takes the hallmark features of a paranormal girl meets boy story, and makes them feel shiny and invigorated. I’ve encountered air elementals a few times in paranormal fiction, but usually just as side characters, never the main event, and never in such a thrilling, addictive story.

Shannon Messenger is skilled at creating worlds I want to visit. I loved her middle grade fantasy, Keeper of the Lost Cities, so I wasn’t too surprised to be completely swept up in the world of Let the Sky Fall. The Stormers are searching for the last Westerly, Vane Weston, and the Gale Force is doing everything possible to hide and protect him. An orphan with a traumatic past and secret powers who must uncover them before evil arrives to claim him isn’t exactly the most original plot formula in existence, but it was handled with skill by Messenger, and the resulting story was so much fun.


My favorite parts of Let the Sky Fall:

Wind Power


I’m terrified of tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes and basically any out of control weather, and that fear translates into rabid fascination, so reading about carefully wielded wind funnels and killer category 5 tornadoes was thrilling for me. Windwalkers command the four winds in their native tongue. They can hitch a ride on a wind, wield them as weapons, and regain their strength with a purifying, frenzied blast. Add windwalking to the long list of superpowers I’d love to take for a spin.

A wispy wind tickles my fingers. An Easterly—finally, a stroke of luck.

Soft, untraceable murmurs bend the draft to my will, wrapping it around me. When I’m completely entangled in the feathery breeze, I breathe one final command in the Easterly language and surrender to the force of its power.


The word sounds like a hiss, and the wind races away, pulling me along with it.


Audra the Guardian


Audra is a tough, self-possessed windwalker who has sacrificed everything in her life to become a Gale Force guardian. She’s charged with protecting Vane, a task complicated by his wiped memory and lack of powers. Audra does her best to do her job while remaining on the fringes of his life, but in a bind she has to step in and call in a protective wind that reveals their location in the Coachella valley to the Stormers. Hiding painful secrets, Audra has to bring Vane up to speed on who he really is and how to use his powers, and quickly, before the Stormers tear his home apart looking for him. Audra gives off serious Rose Hathaway vibes, seeming at once a confident badass and a vulnerable teen girl, and she has an equally complicated relationship with her mother. I immediately warmed to her voice, and this first impression was strengthened by the end of the book into full on heroine love.


The Last Westerly 


Vane doesn’t remember much about his past or the fateful day of the tornado when he lost his parents, but he remembers Audra, though he’s pretty sure she’s just a dream. So when his dream girl shows up looking even more gorgeous than he imagined and tries to push him into remembering a secret magical past and uncovering his powers, he responds like a normal teenage guy would—with a bit of sarcastic disbelief, but mostly with hormone-driven enthusiasm. Vane is sweet and chivalrous, which seems comical and all the more adorable next to Audra’s strength, and he bravely embraces his destiny to protect his human adoptive family and avenge the death of his sylph parents. I loved his down-to-earth voice and his earnestness. It was impossible to avoid having a crush on him by the end.


Forbidden Romance that Sizzles


Audra and Vane have amazing chemistry, and Audra is literally the girl of Vane’s dreams. She knows she isn’t allowed to kiss Vane, because kissing, or “bonding” is serious business in the world of windwalkers, so their rapidly growing attraction as they work to prepare for the Stormers is definitely a problem. The alternating POV works really well to build romantic tension, as we watch these two train and challenge each other, and we see firsthand how they can’t help but fall for each other.


Word of warning: this book will make you crave In & Out Burger.


If, like me, you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet, you might be tempted to cheat while reading Let the Sky Fall—there is gratuitous Animal Style burger worship. I don’t even like burgers that much, but I love In & Out, and this book made me crave it enough to go back. If you’re a vegetarian you’re (probably) safe.



My biggest problem with the story is that there was pretty tremendous buildup to the final confrontation, and it passed too quickly for my liking. That being said, I was surprised by a pretty major twist, and the hint of much more unfinished business in future books served to further justify all that came before this book’s showdown. I’m sure some people will think the novel is too slow, but the pace totally worked for me. The book’s strength is in engaging characters and romantic buildup, and it takes its time letting the characters wrap their fingers around our emotions. I’m very excited to see what the next book in the series brings!


Watch the trailer:


Shannon’s Pre-order Contest:

There’s still time to enter Shannon’s pre-order contest for Let the Sky Fall. If you pre-order a copy before March 4th, you’ll get a bookplate and bookmark, plus be entered to win a Let the Sky Fall necklace and a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card.





    Yeah! I am glad that this panned out and was a good solid read. I don’t think I have ever read anything about windwalkers before so I am all for something new and different. I know I am terrified of tornadoes and hurricanes and all that, thank god I don’t live in an area that gets hit by these storms. Oh man… In and Out is to die for, but I haven’t had one in over 6 years since I moved from Phoenix, no In and Out in Portland, yet. So I will just crave and crave and not be able to eat one!


    I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!!! I love that this story is unique, I haven’t read too many books that feature sylphs and I really, really like the sound of Audra. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good forbidden romance – all the tension and the FEELS! I’m a little disappointed that after a 400 page buildup the ending is a bit rushed, but other than that this book sound amazing. Fantastic review!


    Great review.
    I’m hoorified of tornadoes.
    But ya wanna know something crazy?
    I kinda miss hurricanes.
    I’m from Florida originally and they have a weird snow day kind of nostalgia for me.
    Weird I know.


    I don’t think I have ever read a book with sylphs. I love starcrossed romances and original twists are always good in my book. You mentioned rushing the ending and it feels similar to Unearthly bby Cynthia Hand which I finished last night. It took so much time to build up to that one point and then it all felt a bit rushed for me when it actually reached it’s highest point of tension. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t feel organic. I’ve seen so many great reviews for Let the Sky Fall though and your review just makes me feel excited. I don’t think I have an ecopy of this so maybe I should seek it out and try to read it sometime soon:) Thank you so much for your thoughts!


    Oh I was curious before, but now I really want to read this book. Windwalkers! What a great idea. I’m with you, not a fan of the harsh winds, but have always been curious how it would feel to fly in storms like that. Oh interesting!


    It sounds like even though the ending felt a little rushed and maybe fell a little flat, overall it was a good read. I don’t know why but for whatever reason I love the cover!

    I think this is one that I would really enjoy too. Great review!


    I really have admired this cover. Now I’m excited about what’s inside too. Sounds interesting — I like that there’s a unique premise. And, I hate wind too….


    This one sounds amazing! I enjoyed Messenger’s first novel and am really looking forward to something new and fresh from her. The romance aspect sounds great and I kind of want to learn how to windwalk. Is there a class for that at the Y?


    The book sounds really good. I remember I saw the cover around but I never really read any reviews of it!! thanks for sharing your thoughts


    New visitor here! I love the way you do your reviews with the Pros and Cons and Bottom Line and all the pics! I’m really looking forward to reading this one, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. It definitely sounds like a new unique take on elemental powers and I do love a nice slow romantic buildup!

    Great review!


    I just love that Audra reminded you of Rose. I know I’ll like her too, it would be impossible for me not to. I am terrified of strange weather, wind especially. (I live by the sea, we have some pretty nasty weather here occasionally.)
    I love that Audra is the one assigned to protect Vane and not the other way around and I especially like that they have such sizzling chemistry between them. Lately I’ve read a few books that looked rgeat on the outside, but there was simply no chemistry to speak of. This will be a nice change.
    Thank you for the fantastic and detailed review!


    I’m so excited for the release of this book. I mean look at that gorgeous cover!
    I haven’t read a good paranormal book in a long time, so I’m glad to hear that this one is budding with originality and has a strong world builiding. Just the fact that you mentioned Audra reminded you of Rose makes me want to read it right away. Vane looks like another interesting character. It’s too bad that the ending was rather lacking because it seems like this book was near perfect!
    Fabulous review, Lauren!


    I am soooo glad that we do not have tornadoes or anything like that. Freaky scary stuff!
    It sounds…well good enough


    I have picked this one up twice and while I definitely am not hating it, it just hasn’t pulled me in. I’m not sure why I’m struggling so much. But it’s not the only book I have set aside. I have had a hard time focusing on most of the books I pick up. Your review has me thinking that it’s probably just me and hopefully when I pick it up again it will go smoother and I will like it more. Thanks for your encouraging review!


    I’m sad to hear this has a rushed ending, but I think the storm chaser in me would love this story! I, too, have a morbid fascination with natural disasters, and your beautiful review has me convinced this is a book for me! Thank you so much for sharing! Hope you have a beautiful weekend 🙂


    Being from The Plains & having a house hit by a tornado, I’m both terrified and drawn to this book. Beautiful review leaving me wanting to come steal your copy ;D love me a moral dilemma blocking romance. More! More! More!


    Okay, you just ramped up my enthusiasm for this book big time. Because windwalking sylphs? Sounds sooo cool! I have yet to read anything by this author, but I am excited to give her writing a try because you’ve made it clear to me that she is very skilled, despite some minor flaws. And luckily (or unluckily?) for me, there are no In N’ Out Burger places where I live, so that won’t be an issue for me, haha.


    Yay! I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one so much. I’ll definitely be getting myself a copy on Tuesday–I’m so excited. And funny, I’m just like you with tornadoes–I’m absolutely and utterly terrified of them, yet reading about them fills me with some sort of sick thrill. Looking forward to experiencing the tornado aspects to Let the Sky Fall! Also, Audra sounds freaking badass.


    I am SO afraid of tornadoes, yet I love weather related disaster plots. Makes no sense, but this looks like it would be a great book for me.


    I am dying to get my hands on this book! It’s one of those that I saw and immediately said I MUST READ THAT. And I keep hearing great things, so I’m even more exited. The wind/sylph mythology sounds pretty fascinating, and I love that the girl is the kick-butt protector. I’m also a sucker for forbidden romance (and no love triangles!). Hopefully, I can read this one soon.


    I love the cover of this book and I’ve had this on my wishlist since I hear about it, so I am glad it was mostly good. Incidentally, I love the way you write your reviews. Since I haven’t read this yet, I scanned quite a bit, but I really like your format and I will have to come back when you have reviewed some books I’v already read or haven’t heard about.


    I’ve been really curious about the book’s premise ever since I laid my eyes on the beautiful cover. I’m glad that it adds a different spin to the usual special girl/boy meets ordinary boy/girl storyline. I’m looking forward to picking this one up!


    I enjoy reading a post that will make people think.
    Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!


    I just read and reviewed this myself and found that this book was amazing. I think I ended up enjoying it a bit more than you did but even though the build up to the end you found was too fast I thought it was all just so perfectly paced. I was suprised at just how invested I myself felt with Audra’s and Vane’s relationship before they had even shared their first kiss! Thanks for your honest thoughts though 🙂

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

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