Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Air and Ash by Alex Lidell - non-spoiler review.

Hi booklovers

I know everybody and their mother - almost everybody - was eagerly awaiting the release of ACOWAR yesterday, but I want to review a different book that also came out yesterday: Air and Ash by Alex Lidell. I received this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my opinion of the book.

Title: Air and Ash
Author: Alex Lidell
Genre: YA,fantasy
Format: e-arc (provided by the author)
Nile Ash - the princess of the kingdom of Ashing - has been at sea since she was 8 years old. But when the ship she was on - the Faithful - sinks she is taken back home. Not content with the next role she has to play she runs off to find a new ship. The only problem is that she will have to start at the bottom of the hierarchy again and work her way up.

-Nile Ash: She is one of the few princesses I've read about that actually isn't content with the new role she has to play. But instead of whining about it, she actually takes matters into her own hand. I loved how decisive she could be, while still remaining a young girl as well. Granted, she did make some stupid decisions every so often, but she did so for the good of the ship and the crew. I also liked how she cared about her Gifted brother Clay and about some of the crew abourd the Aurora.
She is also Gifted and I'm curious to see how her wind-calling will develop.

-Domenic Dana: When we first meet Domenic, he seems to be an ordinary young man who has taken on his father's debt but can't pay it back. But he actually turns out not to be so ordinary SPOILER: because he is the Aurora's first officer. He is a completely different person aboard the ship than he was on the beach when he first met Nile.
I found him to be both intriguing and infuriating at times.

-Catsper: He is a Spade officer who trains young men. He has a rough 'exterior' but he's actually a good man who - once you earn his trust - will help you in any way he can. I liked him very much as a character, sometimes even more than Domenic.

-Captain Rima: This is one of the most infuriating characters I've ever come across in a book. I wanted to strangle him every time he opened his mouth. He is such a biased man who only thinks about his own profits and saving his own hide.

*Plot/worldbuilding/overall rating:
I found this book to be very refreshing. Also, I don't think I've ever read a story set aboard a ship before. I have to admit I found the nautical terms to be a bit confusing at times, but not so much that it hindered my reading.
What I found especially interesting about this story is that woman are allowed aboard a ship and are mostly tolerated and even sometimes appreciated. 

Another very interesting part of the story is the magic system: the ones who can wield magic are called Gifted and are mostly shunned and even conceiled. Where in other sotries magic wielders are either praised or feared, here they are considered as less because their magic causes them harm. Clays has lost his mind since his metal-calling awakened.
Nile suffers from convulsions and nauseousness. I wonder what else she will suffer from and if she'll ever be able to control her wind-calling.

Since most of the story takes place aboard the Aurora, we don't get much worldbuilding except for the nautical terms.

Like I said, I really enjoyed how Nile doesn't meekly follow what her family has planned for her but she tries to stand her ground and follow her own path in life.
Even though we know from the first time we meet Domenic that he'll become Nile's love interest, I like how it's a slow burning love. Admittedly, sometimes it's infuriatingly slow and I wanted to kick their butts so they would get together already. I know it's against navy policy, but it's going to happen anyway!!

I really liked this book and the cliffhanger ending - Alex Lidell sure knows how to write a cliffhanger ending! - has made me very eager for book two.

If you like a kick-ass female character that doesn't whine about the cards that she is dealt with, a brooding male character and a slow burning romance, you should definitely pick this book up.

Bye for now