Sunday, August 3, 2014

Water Shaper (World Aflame #3) by Jon Messenger Review

Hello readers! Today I have another review for you guys. A "new" to me Paranormal series that is promising and sure to be up come of your alleys! This book is part of a series, however I will not be covering this as a series review. I posted my review last week of book one. You can find that review by clicking here. The the other day I did my review of book two. You can find that review by clicking here. I had a feeling that my thoughts on the series would drastically change after book one, and I was correct, so in this instance I wanted each book reviewed separately. Also, I just found out that the series isn't complete and there will be at least one more book (I hope to have more info on that topic soon). Today on the chopping block is Water Shaper, book three in the World Aflame series by Jon Messenger. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a little bit about the book and our author.

                                  THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,

                                  THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,

                                  THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,

                                  THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.

Xander Sirocco now has the power of the Wind Elemental at his disposal, but it may be too little too late. 

The Fire Caste has begun its conquest of the planet, and many of the largest cities already burn. Xander, Sean, and Jessica know what needs to be done—they must find the Water and Earth Elementals to have any chance of defeating the Fire Elemental. The first to be located is the Water Elemental. With her power, they could at least slow the advance of the Fire Warriors. If she would only believe in their mission as much as they do… 

While Xander struggles to convince the Water Elemental that their mission is just, Sammy fights an unexpected battle of her own. With her body now possessed by the Fire Elemental, she’s little more than an observer as it uses her to destroy Los Angeles. Sammy can still exert her will on occasion, but it’s exhausting. When the Elemental sends the deadly General Abraxas after Xander, she wonders if she’ll be able to influence her body’s actions enough to save the life of the man she loves.

Can I just add before we go on that the covers for this entire series are absolutely phenomenal. Seriously. Kudos to the cover author because they are fantastic. Wow! 

Jon Messenger

Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through multiple combat and humanitarian deployments. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.

Find Jon Messenger

My Thoughts:

Okay, to anyone who read my review of Wind Warrior, you will remember that it definitely wasn't my favorite book ever, but I did highly praise Messenger's ability to craft this new paranormal world. My biggest complain was that the branding of the book was a little off. I highly criticized the fact that it's marketed as an NA when it is definitely not an NA in any aspect other than the age of the character. Unfortunately that is my biggest complaint for books two and three as well. HOWEVER I am not going to get that again here, why? Because book three was pretty freaking awesome. Seriously.

Let me start with my few negatives before I jump into what I liked about this book. I don't have anything to say that wouldn't be redundant from earlier complains so let's just act like I pasted those here. The biggest negative I had about this adventure in the World Aflame series is that I will have to say it was a little slow in parts. Compared to the past two novels where it was "action, action, action" this one was more "feelings, feelings, and a little action". Sure there is a whole lot of tension and buildup and then some stuff eventually happens, but this book was way more mental than physical. Which can be a good thing, it just didn't really appeal to me.

I really liked the story of Wilkes and his plight to save his family from London, but I really think it took away from Xander's overall story. In the end you see where it actually played a huge part, but for over 150 pages I just kept thinking "cooommmmeeee ooooonnnn" because it got to be a little boring for me. I know Xander can't use his powers for everything, but considering he is the Wind Elemental now AND (minor spoiler) an enhanced Water Warrior, you'd think he'd do a little more fighting/flying/etc and a little less hiding in department stores and trying not to raise attention. Like I said, I understand why it had to be that way, but overall I really think the story could have used a little more action.

You know what else this story could have used? More Sammy! Ahh! This isn't Messenger's fault, because Sammy is... indisposed at the moment, but I really cannot wait to read more about her story in future books. She is by far my favorite character in this series. Also, I don't exactly know what is going on with Sean and Jessica, but I think I like it. Go Sean! They did get on my nerves a little bit in this story as well. I understand wanting to keep your friends safe and whatnot, but honestly now for 3 books I have just gotten the feeling that Sean and Jessica cause more problems than they fix. If I were Xander, they would have been left on Wind Elemental island back in book two with Xander's aunts and uncles.

Onto the positives. Pretty much everything else! The story of Xander's journey to meet the Water Elemental was probably my favorite part of the story. The Water Elemental is definitely an interesting character. She really wasn't what I was expecting which was nice. Like I said in one of the other reviews, I really like Messenger's world that he has created with the Elementals and their stories. It reminds me of KA Tucker's Causal Enchantment series and her characters The Fates, which were my favorite characters! I think this could definitely lead to something really awesome in the end. I can almost envision a prequel story of the four Elementals and their creation of Earth. I'd love to read about the transition between Earth to Water and then Water to Wind  way back when! How interesting that would be!

Earlier I said that all the emotions in the novel were one of the negatives, but in a way it is also a big positive. I wrote in one of my other reviews that Xander didn't seem to be taking his mission very seriously, but in this book for the first time I can really see Xander "growing up". I'm really starting to read him as a Warrior and not a useless college kid like I did before. I wish I liked him before now!

On the topic of the Fire Elemental/Sammy's story, I loved reading it. Seriously. The Fire Elemental and General Abraxas are seriously some ruthless villains and I love reading a good villain. I am very excited to read about the final face-off between Xander and the Fire Elemental!

Unfortunately I can't think of too much else to say because anything I say about book 3 is going to be one huge series spoiler and I've done my best to stop any of that business! So. You'll just have to read it for yourself!

Authors often speak of what they call the "sophomore slump" that occurs when writing their second book in a series. Basically saying that it's their hardest and least favorite book to write, but I may be a little strange about this. More times than not in a series, the second book is my favorite. I don't know why that is, but I just looked over some stuff and it's a pretty common trait for me to like the second book the most! This series so far hasn't proven to be an exception to that rule Book 2 is still, by far my favorite of the series! While Water Shaper delivered and still has me begging for me, I still think there is much work to be done in Xander's story. I can only hope that the next books comes soon so we can continue our journey. I know I'm not the author and have no say, but I kind of hope that book four is the end of the series. I think it's gone on for long enough and, unless something huge changes in book 4, I think we could probably wrap this series up in another 300 pages. On the topic of the next book(s) in the series, I was able to contact Messenger via Twitter and here is what he had to say:

That really excites me! I hope he writes fast! Okay, rounding this out. All-in-all I am giving Water Shaper a 4-Star review! I am anxiously awaiting Earth God so be sure to come back and check out my review for that whenever it becomes available!

Where can you get yours?
Click the links below to get your copy of Water Shaper today!

Want to check out my reviews of the other books in this series? Click the graphic below to be taken to the Jon Messenger page of this blog!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Jon Messenger's Water Shaper, book three of his World Aflame series! I have to admit that I am rather bummed out that I don't have book four to read! I can only hope we will have it soon! Mr. Messenger has said (see above tweet) that he's got ideas for the next couple of books, I only hope they come soon! Kudos to you Jon Messenger for giving us such an awesome series thus far! Until next time, Happy Reading!

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