Rating: 3/5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Magic, New Adult
I really should stop buying books for their cover.
Although, to be fair, the premise sounded like my cup of tea, and it should have been. It was, mostly. But I feel like I'm slowly (and steadily) turning into a grumpy, bitter old lady who complains about anything and everything and cannot be satisfied, unless her 72 cats do something adorable.
Don't get me wrong, Roar was not a bad book. The concept of magical lands ruled by storms was brilliant, and the execution was skillful; after all, Cora Carmack is a romance author, and this was her first attempt at fantasy. The most astonishing thing is that she succeeded in the fantasy element, but failed in romance and character depth.
“Whether it be thunderstorm, hurricane, or some storm on which we have not yet laid eyes, one truth remains - challenge a tempest, survive it and you become its master.”
The lands of Caelira are tormented by all kinds of storms, which wreak havoc and destruction in their path. The only salvation for the people of Caelira are the Stormlings, gifted with the power to control the forces of nature and thus becoming something equivalent to Gods. Aurora is the heir of the Pavan throne, the one charged with the protection of her country from the tempests, but the problem is that she has not manifested any magic. The only way to keep her throne and save her people is to marry another Stormling and hide her inadequacy, until she meets a group of storm hunters who can harnest storms even though they were not born into magic. And reveal to Aurora another way to be of use, and to truly discover herself.
“With that done, she took a deep breath and said her final good-bye.
To Pavan. And to Aurora.
From this point on, she could only be Roar.”
While reading Roar it was obvious that Cora Carmack had poured her soul into this project. She elaborately crafted the kingdoms of Caelira, the wondrous and terrifying storms that ravaged cities and wastelands alike, and the strong aspect of adventure in her story made Roar a novel you couldn't put down. Even though at times the world-building could be confusing, and I'd appreciate more details to disperse the fog that clouded my brain, the occasional confusion did not deter me from keep reading, and losing myself in her rich world. Featuring a villain whose identity is yet to be revealed, but his cruelty and bloodlust are unprecedented, a ruthless prince fighting for a throne that is not his, and a bunch of badass storm-hunters, it was a highly addictive ride that had the potential for greatness.
If it weren't for Aurora.
She's your typical special snowflake, the embodiment of perfection, beauty, sweetness, strength, compassion, determination and-
You're rolling your eyes, aren't you? So am I. Everyone fell in love with her and turned all possesive caveman after one look, she stole the breath away from ambitious princes and seasoned hunters alike, making the latest category endanger their long-term partners, distracting them in fights for their life, because she's such an aetherial and pure being. Aurora wavered between self-pity and the fiery need to prove her value and acquire power, leading her to smart decisions like demanding to participate in stormfights without an ounce of magic and zero former experience, because she knows she can do it.
And let's not forget the dreadful combination of insta-lust and insta-love(s). In the span of twenty-four hours she trusted her fiance with her heart (something that has to do with her raging hormones, if you ask me), he broke her heart and then she met another dazzingly handsome young man that made her feel alive and burn etc etc. Now, as you can tell, there were two love interests. I wouldn't go as far as to label it a love triangle, because she had two to three scenes with the first one whereas she spent most of the book with the second, but their reactions to her were similar (and ridiculous); they see her - they want to conquer her - to protect her - to hell with the world.
The romance was overly sweet and sappy, it gave you diabetes. The interactions between the love birds were rather childish (I'm surprised there wasn't involved any ponytail pulling) and while there were descriptions of tension and angst, you could not feel them. I still root for the other guy (the 'bad' guy), at least he's not turned into a pile of goo (yet).
“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.”
I may have mixed feelings towards Roar, but I will definitely continue this series. If you're searching for your next guilty pleasure rejoice, you just found it!