Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

A Sky Beyond the Storm

Title: A Sky Beyond the Storm

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Performers: Fiona Hardingham, Katharine Lee McEwan, Steve West, Maxwell Caulfield & Nikki Massoud

Length: 17 hr, 9 min

Series: An Ember in the Ashes, Book 4

Publishing Date/Publisher: December 1, 2020 by Listening Library

Format: eAudiobook

Review: This was a highly anticipated read for me. I was extra patient waiting for the audiobook format to become available at my library, because I so enjoy the casting for this series. The cast did an incredible job again, so no complaints there.

I really hyped this book up in my mind after reading A Reaper at the Gates, so I was sorely disappointed when it didn’t quite deliver for me. There were several aspects of this book that I found frustrating:

  • The romance between Elias and Laia just lacked that luster that it had before.
  • Poor fricken Helene. She remains my favorite character in the series, but I did not like the trajectory of her story at all.
  • The origin of Laia’s magic is revealed, but the explanation felt convoluted.
  • I was surprised by how little page time any of the main characters actually had together.

Despite my criticisms, I did enjoy the book and I still loved the series as a whole. Perhaps it wasn’t the conclusion I was hoping for, but I would still recommend it.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

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half star

Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

A Reaper at the Gates

Image result for a reaper at the gates

Title: A Reaper at the Gates

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Page Count: 464

Series: An Ember in the Ashes, Book 3

Publishing Date/Publisher: June 12, 2018 by Razorbill

Format: Hardcover

Review: Sabaa Tahir continues to impress me.  When I read her debut novel, An Ember in the Ashes, I thought it might be a standalone.  I was very happy to later hear that it would be part of a quartet.  The first book was good, but I did not consider it five star good.  However, each book in the series has gotten progressively better, and at this point, she is in the five star rating range for me.

This is a very unique story, and I enjoyed both the setting and the diverse array of characters.  It has elements of mysticism, rebellion, and just the right amount of romance.  I really appreciate the fact that although love is an important part of the story, the story is not built entirely around romantic love.  The relationships between all the various characters drive the plot, but sometimes not in ways you would expect.

This is one of those books series that is very difficult to predict the outcome of.  The author does a very good job of making the reader empathetic towards the harbinger of doom, and in some ways, you futilely hope for a happy ending for him too.

I am VERY excited for the final book in this series, and I eagerly await to find out when it will be released.

Two final thoughts:

I wish I had been able to enjoy this book in audiobook format (the library system I work for had the hard copy available before the eAudiobook format) because the three readers chosen for this series are all UH-MAZE-ING.  I listened to the second book, A Torch Against the Night, in audiobook format and was completely mesmerized.  I almost wish I had held out a little longer to listen to this third book as an eAudiobook, but alas my impatience to get my hands on it won out.

There has been some controversy surrounding the change in cover art that occurred when the third book was published.  I have very little to say about this, aside from the fact that I admire that the author wanted to have her ethnically diverse characters featured on the front.  My only disappointment is that the character of Laia depicted on the cover does not match her physical description in the book.  The woman chosen to illustrate her is beautiful, but I was under the impression that Laia’s character is biracial.  She is described as having dark hair, golden eyes, and golden skin.  Some of her immediate family members, specifically her mother, are described as being blonde haired and blue eyed.  I was hoping to see a biracial character represented on the cover, but we can’t all have what we want.  Oh well!

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

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