13 Sept 2021

Audio #Review: ROAR by Cora Carmack


Author: Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart #1
Source: Downloaded from Audible Plus
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February 4, 2017
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I bought this book upon release in 2017 and then it collected dust on my Kobo shelf. In fact, I forgot I had even purchased it, but I got this through Audible Plus - Audible's new "download these for free" option. This and the sequel were "included" with my membership so I thought I would give it a go.

And I am so glad I did. The worldbuilding was amazing. I loved learning about how the magic worked, how the hunters went searching for storms, and everything about the way that all the magic worked together. I thought it was so well done, given to us at a good pace, and then expanded upon in a way that made sense to us as a reader while moving the plot along as well. That craft of world building is something that not a lot of people can accomplish, let alone do it well.

And I did like the characters as characters. I liked going between the different perspectives to see what was happening within each of the storylines, but I would have liked this to be a 5 person audiobook rather than just one. It made it difficult to always know whose perspective we were in because only one person was speaking.

I thought Aurora (Roar, Roara) was a really interesting main character and I do wish we spent more time in her perspective (it was probably about 60-75%). She is a princess who has to find her own way in the world because she's so afraid of being left behind or used in a way that she doesn't want. I wouldn't say she is naive, but she is sheltered and seeing her grow throughout the novel to be more of her own person was really great.

I do wish we had seen more of the storm hunters crew both before they left and during the hunts. We only really saw one "fight" with the storm and I would have liked more of that. That would have pushed this to be even more than what it was. But learning about witches, the old gods, and the way that everyone worked together to be able to tackle the storms was really interesting.

I hated all the romantic options and thought there was a lot of problematic aspects of the romance that was provided. There are a lot of reviews out there that go into detail about it but it is definitely toxic - a lot of non-consensual kissing, touching, etc. And both men see Aurora as something to be captured and/or conquered. But truthfully, the romance actually didn't feel like a big part to me. Maybe that's the pro of the audio format or maybe I was just too excited about the worldbuilding.

TLDR: I am glad I already have access to the next book but I do wish that the third one was already published (or at least had a release date). I got about 60% of the way through and tried to order book #3 but can't find it available. That's how I feel about this one.

Have you read this book? Are you going to pick up this or the sequel?

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