Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here.
Described as a sci-fi/fantasy, I was extremely excited to read Storm of Arranon. But with glaring mistakes, forced relationships, and plots that too quickly unravel, I’m left feeling more than a little disappointed.
The story is set in the future on two different planets. Korin, where our protagonist Erryn lives, is the world she believes to be her homeland. But when an alien invasion strikes, she discovers that she possesses supernatural abilities that can only be explained by her parentage. Being a child of two worlds, Korin and Arranon, Erryn is the rebels’ secret weapon. Among the fighters, she meets Jaer, a strong and charming leader who could open her heart to an incredible love. Working together to destroy the invaders, can they succeed in time? Can Erryn accept her abilities and rise to the occasion? Or are both of her worlds already doomed?
Going into this novel, I didn’t realize it would be a Young Adult as well, and that really threw me. It’s structured more as YA than sci-fi. From Erryn as a protagonist, to her falling for the strong, silent, brooding leader, parts of the story felt very cliche, as many YAs do. However, there were parts of the story I loved. I thought the fantasy aspect was wonderful. Erryn’s powers are intriguing and exciting, and I wish we had spent more time delving into them. There were a lot of fantastic ideas here that, had the author spent more time with, I think would have really brought the book up a notch.
Erryn herself I felt fell flat. Her relationship with Jaer felt forced and rushed. I think that was arguably Storm of Arranon‘s biggest problem: it was so rushed. The last quarter or so of the book went by far too quickly, feeling very unrealistic. What I thought Sheahan was building to be the plot of the second novel turned out to unfold in only a few chapters, but had she spent the time and played it out, it would have been more interesting and more believable.
The characters have a habit of asking too many questions simultaneously, making the answers confusing and choppy. Some of the villains reveal plans and information to Erryn, answering her many questions, which again felt unrealistic. Sheahan built up the character Faylen,which I was extremely excited for. A man trained nearly from birth as a ruthless killer who possesses a true heart, he had a lot of potential. But by rushing, Sheahan sort of shot herself in the foot with him.
Apart from the characters and the plot, I found many formatting and grammatical errors. Characters names were sometimes misspelled, and particularly near the end there were words and fragments that the author clearly meant to delete, but kept in due to lack of editing and attention to detail. Had more time been spent on this, it would have definitely improved the book.
I think Storm of Arranon had a lot of potential, and it began on quite a high note. But Sheahan should have indulged the readers and delved into the magic of it all, and into the plots that needed to be told, rather than rushing through them. From the other reviews I read, many agree that the highlights of the novel were the fantasy aspects, rather than the romantic ones. Sheahan definitely has something to offer, and the book was an easy and somewhat enjoyable read. For these reasons, I’m giving it 3/5 stars, and the author my benefit of the doubt. I might recommend it YA fans, but I definitely would describe it as YA with sci-fi elements rather than as a straight up sci-fi. Having known that going in, it could have really changed my perspective.
As always, thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Storm of Arranon and other reviews over at Online Book Club, here!