A Whisper of Wind is a fun and dynamic Sci-Fi/Fantasy with a lot of adaptations of mythology. I enjoyed the entire story and think it comes across as well balanced. Aaron creates realistic characters that many could relate to, and he shows both natural and fantastical challenges for each character. The end of this book will leave you wanting more than you sadly to turn the last page to realize you have to wait until book two, A Voice of Fire. So let’s get into the usual evaluation.
I’m sure I’ve said this a lot, but the book cover is essential for drawing the reader’s attention, especially on your debut novel. I think that A Whisper of Wind shows the right elements of fantasy in both its simple background and dynamic focus on a single object. Aaron’s sister designed the cover for him and it carries a lot of meaning for the Author. I think that as the readers live the stories of Zalek and Kinara, they will find the beauty in the cover as well. The bright hues of blue are eye-catching while the sword pointed upward foreshadows a tale of warriors and their future battles.
Kinara is a member of the Guardian Force, something you could relate to a governing military force of Alympia. The Guardian Force remains unique through its members’ abilities to use the elements of nature, fire, water, earth, and wind. Their major enemy is the Javelar, a paramilitary army that forces its captives to join the ranks through brutal physical and mental trauma. While Kinara battles the Javelar with her fiancé, a seemingly simple family prepares to welcome home a son from college. But when Kinara shows up at their doorstop in desperate need of help, she doesn’t realize the changes that will come to the Khiings.
I loved the opening with the redacted report, which was a great way to pique my interest and continue past page one. One thing I think Aaron has done well in his debut novel is foreshadowing. Early on and throughout the book, you’ll want to pay attention to all the details between each character to understand what might happen. To go along with that, I didn’t feel like I ever guessed what might happen far in advance. With a natural flow to the storyline, it made the events realistic, if not surprising. There are two things that are the hardest for any novel, knowing how to start and how to end. The opening was good and gave us some good characterization and world-building. Though, I struggled a little with the closing because it felt like something was missing. I can’t say what, but I still felt like it was a good ending. I look forward to reading Aaron’s next book, A Voice of Fire, when he has it ready. I highly recommend this book to any Fantasy lover and hope you can enjoy it as much as I did.
A Little History:
Aaron Scott Wickel reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to review his debut novel, A Whisper of Wind. I’m always happy to review novels from friends and strangers, but something about reviewing a friend’s novel makes it more exciting. Aaron and I went to school together at USU and survived ROTC as best we could. He told me about his idea and his initial progress back in 2014 – 2017, so it’s exciting to see those concepts come to fruition. It’s always my favorite thing to watch people, and especially friends, grow into their dreams.
The Author’s Summary:
Kinara Kitari and her fiancé, Alator, both serve in the Guardian Forces of Alympia, each with different talents and levels of experience. When the unrelenting enemy Javelar attacks, they join their comrades in battle, but the results are devastating to both civilians and fighters. Suddenly Kinara is no longer a bride planning her wedding but a warrior fighting for her place in the ranks.
At the same time, in a small rural town on the planet’s poorest continent, the Khiings family is beginning to plan a celebration for their oldest son’s return from college. Then Kinara, an old family friend, shows up on their doorstep and an unwise choice first puts her life in jeopardy, and not long after makes her the custodian of Zalek, the second Khiings son, who is just beginning to find the source of his own power.
As Zaelek struggles to discover just who and what he is, events no longer allow for a leisurely exploration of his progress but accelerate the process in ways he never could have imagined as he is swept along by forces beyond his control.
Everyone has secrets here and as life devolves into chaos, some are exposed while some remain hidden as everyone must do what they can to survive.
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