Title: Storm Fall
Author: Tracy Banghart
Publication Date: December 16th 2014
Rating: 5 stars
In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will survive.
Aris Haan gave up everything to join the Atalantan Military: her family, her boyfriend, even her identity. In the end, though, it didn’t matter that she was a war hero. When the all-male Military discovered that she was actually a woman, she was sent home and erased from history.
Now she has a chance to go back to the battlefield—as herself. But as hard as it was to be a soldier in disguise, it’s even more difficult now. The men in her unit undermine her at every turn. The Safaran army has spies everywhere, perhaps even on Aris’s stationpoint. And she’s falling for her mysterious superior officer, Milek. But their relationship is forbidden, just stolen moments between training sessions and missions. There’s no room for love in war.
Then Aris discovers that Safara’s leaders have set their sights on her, Atalanta’s hero. And she must find them before they find her . . .
Note: This eARC was provided by Alloy Entertainment via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The story picks up where it stopped in the previous book and Aris joins the military again. But this time, women are being integrated into the Atlantan Military and the disgruntled men don’t try hide their anger and frustration at having to fight with them. I like how this integration is portrayed realistically. There are characters who try to undermine Aris and other women while there are also characters who accept and support Aris. Considering the amount of controversy surrounding this topic in our world, there is also a considerable amount of media coverage and public attention devoted to this topic in the book.
Aris and Milek’s “forbidden romance” is an another interesting aspect of the book. I like how Aris speaks up for her needs and her self in this relationship instead of being so passive like when she was with Calix. I really like how no matter what happens between them, it doesn’t distract them when they conduct important missions. They have a lot of chemistry and the fact that they can both accept each other (despite their physical and emotional scars) says a lot for their relationship.
Once again, Aris is a brave and self-confident female character. She deftly deals with men trying to undermine her authority and builds up respect for herself. As Aris braves the terrain of enemy territory, wounded or not, she demonstrates just how much of a survivor she is. And despite the nightmares which haunt her, asleep or awake, Aris fights against them determinedly – vanquishing her fears in order to save her own and others lives.
Now for Milek – Aris’s superior officer and lover. I feel like his character is more fleshed out in this book so we really get a chance to explore his character more. In the previous book, there is less focus on him and we don’t get a chance to properly see things from his perspective. In Storm Fall, his emotional turmoil in being forced to choose between his love for Aris and his duty to the Atlantan Military is shown. And no matter what his decision is each time he’s forced to choose, I love how he goes about it whole-heartedly while being fully aware of the repercussions of his actions.
Ward Vadim, Milek’s mother, is also featured in this book and her interactions with Ward Pyralis (her ex-lover) are interesting to read about. There’s also a lot of chemistry between the two of them but unlike Milek and Aris, they continue to hold out on each other!
Dysis is back again, as bold and determined as ever. I was relieved to see that she pulled through for Aris even though she initially only wanted to stay at home and look after her healing brother..I really felt my heart break for her when she meets Daakon..and things go…awry (can’t say without spoiling the book!). All the same, I admired her resilience and ability to focus on others.
Do I recommend this book? Yes! I loved this sequel to Rebel Wing.