Books · Reviews

Roar – Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

ringleroar

Hello everyone! I hope the weekend was good to you πŸ˜‰

So this one comes a bit late (I did read it about a week ago) but I still managed to post it on schedule so I’m super happy XD

I hope you guys like it ❀


This review is completely spoiler-free.

roar

  • Title: Roar (Stormheart #1)
  • Author: Cora Carmack
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
  • Page Count: 380

synopsis

Storms have both people and rulers cowering at their feet. They destroy everything in their wake and can only be controlled by Stormling families, gifted in storm magic andΒ  devoted to the protection of their kingdom. Sadly, heir Aurora Pavan has yet to show her own gifts and that puts her kingdom in jeopardy. Her only choice is to marry prince Cassius Locke… Or is it?

 

firstimpressions

I wanted this book so bad from the moment I first lay eyes on it. It was love at first sight: the cover, the synopsis… I wanted it right there and then! So, of course, I devoured it as soon as I got my hands on it.

 

thesweet2

The world building. The magic system. It was amazingly cool and so well thought-out. There was even a certain lingo going on that was all kinds of cute.

The slow but sure emotional development of the heroine. Aurora starts insecure and sheltered (and, some might even say, stupid and annoying) but when she is basically thrown to the wolves to fend for herself, she reveals to have this inner strength and resolve that automatically gained my respect and made me change my mind about her. She started standing up for herself and fighting back, even when it felt hopeless. To say she messes up royally is an overstatement, but it felt real. It felt like someone who’s made of flesh and bone, has feelings and aspirations, and wants to survive and find happiness. It’s refreshing to get a character who goes through phases and shows some actual growth.

The various POVs. I always love to get different perspectives, especially when it comes to fantasy settings. I just think it explains so much better what’s going on and gives you a break from being inside a single character’s mind (which, let’s face it, can get tiring pretty fast). They were all quite distinctive and allowed me to slowly piece everything together.

We get tons of love for the side characters. Really, I was expecting this book to be all about Aurora and her journey and the romance and whatnot, but the author really made sure to make the side characters relevant and intriguing. I always wanted to find out more about them and loved how much interaction there was between them and Aurora. It never felt like they were simply there to fill a role; they had voices of their own, mysterious pasts, desires and fears. True, they could have been developed even more but it was still pretty darn satisfying.

The plot twists. Man, this book had a lot of them. And I’m not just talking about massive ones but also tiny ones that seemed just as powerful in turning things around and shaping your outlook on certain aspects of the story. Thought you had it all figured out? Well, not so fast!

There are tons of action and adventure to keep the reader entertained and interested. It was just one of the best parts of the book and one I got so excited about it’s ridiculous. I’m so glad it was such a big one, too. There are many moments of rest, as well, but those were never boring to me. They either allowed me to bond with the characters (especially the side characters) or figure something out about the plot. Overall, I think it was a healthy balance.

The political intrigue. It was there and it was not forgotten, although it was easy to forget about it when it was taking place far away from the main action. The twists and turns were, for the most part, unexpected and quite clever, bringing a new flavor to an otherwise simplistic storyline.

The romance, while it felt super weird in the beginning, eventually won me over and made me all gooey inside. It was just really adorable! But more on it in “The Bitter” section.

 

thebitter1

The writing was definitely not great, especially in the beginning where we get a bit of an info dump (and the worst scenes in the entire book). Also, it felt like very immature writing at times. So, if you feel discouraged, definitely keep reading because it gets better.

The instalove and love triangle (sort of). Yes, they exist in this book. Yes, it was a bit annoying. I just can’t do the whole “she looked at him, he looked at her, sparks flew, hearts soared” thing (not an actual quote from the book). And I certainly don’t want three pages dedicated to it, even though it’s actually bit more complex than that. I just want to get on with the story.

The overly done physical descriptions. You know those books where we are given an enormous amount of physical detail about the characters (especially those we KNOW will be love interests)? Yeah, this book has that, too. Which drove me crazy. I like to be kept in the dark when it comes to characters’ descriptions, so I can form an image in my mind. But even so, I don’t mind when those descriptions are provided, so long as they’re not exhaustive and sound like they come from a really bad romance novel. I can take hair, eyes and overall physique. But I don’t exactly require a muscle/tendon study. Just, ugh.

Plus, I know I have bad memory, but I can definitely remember what a character looks like from reading it once. I don’t need to have it shoved down my throat five more times in the span of the story, for no reason at all.

There’s also two (kind of) problematic relationships in this. One is definitely abusive (both physically and emotionally) and manipulative. I wanted to rip his eyes out and shake her for letting him treat her that way, no matter how much access I had to his POV. But I quite adored the other one and how the relationship developed overtime. True, it felt super weird in the beginning. I just didn’t know why exactly, but there was just something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It felt a bit exhausting and suffocating, to be honest. Not on purpose or in a vile way, though. Just unintentionally.

I think a certain detail was able to justify his perhaps sometimes excessive (although not abusive) behavior and I could understand it. Just like I could understand the other character’s own behavior, as well. Even though – and let me stress this – abuse is NEVER justifiable. Also, it’s not like she accepted everything that was thrown her way without putting her foot down and stating her conditions (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). She didn’t, and she was definitely not a victim in my book.

If you’re interested in knowing the details (and spoilers), please head over to my bud Frankie Lovely’s essay. She explains it so much better than I ever could (even if I don’t agree 100% with everything in it). And while you’re at it, give the girl a follow because she’s awesome! πŸ™‚

 

finalthoughts2

I loved Roar, despite its many issues. I pretty much devoured it and couldn’t wait to get back to it every chance I got. The beginning was definitely weak and almost made me put the book down. It was truly awful. But you know me, I don’t DNF that easily, so I just kept going. Which ended up being a great decision!

There is a lot going on in Roar: great (main and side) character development, an amazing magic system, great world building, plot twists, political intrigue, action scenes and tons of stuff to keep the reader engrossed throughout. There are drier spells, of course, but I very much enjoyed those as I thought they always added something relevant to the plot and helped me bond with the characters.

The romance might definitely not appeal to everyone. In the end, I thought it was quite sweet and adorable (although not without faults) but I know many will not feel the same way. There is also instalove and hints of a love triangle, so beware.Β 

Bottom line: Roar is one of those books I know are not perfect but don’t really care. I’m not even sorry.

I definitely recommend it to fans of YA fantasy and fellow storm chasers!

Story & Plot:Β 5choco

Writing & Style:Β 3choco

Characters:Β 4choco

Pacing:Β 4choco

Enjoyment:Β 5choco

Final Rating:

4halfchoco-

***

Thank you so much for reading and until next time!

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What did you think of this review? Have you read Roar? οΌˆβ‹†οΌΎοΌοΌΎβ‹†οΌ‰

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51 thoughts on “Roar – Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

  1. Hi Sophie!
    This book was NOT on my radar at all. I’d seen Frankie’s review but didn’t want to spoil myself if I did decide to read it. But what I read didn’t make a case for it to my mind. You’re review though won me over… I am definitely the type to go after well written characters… Also a tough start would be a good thing to go over in a new “still in my mind” feature! Thanks πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dani! I’m so happy to hear I made you change your mind about Roar, means a lot 😊 I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!
      Yeah I’m the same, I usually do my best to avoid reviews or skim them when I haven’t read the book yet (unless they are spoiler free).
      I thought Frankie’s review was really well written and made me even more excited to read this hahaha
      You’re very welcome! Thank you for reading and commenting ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review. Very well stated opinion. As you said there are things that we don’t agree on 100% but I am so glad you enjoyed the book!!!

    Now go back and read the prologue and have your mind blown because I literally just did and realize OMG we meet a certain someone way earlier than I realized we did.

    I CAN’T WAIT FOR BOOK 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! ❀️ I’m so happy you liked it 😊
      And yeah, that’s what matters in the end, the fact that we can fangirl together hahaha
      You know, I actually remembered him from the prologue once I started reading his POV… It just clicked! And I was sooo excited to finally be meeting this character, as he had intrigued me a lot. I had no effing idea who he was or what his role would be in the story. Too bad we didn’t get much of him but I guess it needed to be that way in order to keep it mysterious.
      Me either!! I mean, that cliffhanger pretty much destroyed me… I NEED to know what happens next!
      This is what we get for reading trilogies as soon as they come outβ€¦Β πŸ˜©

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RIGHT!?! Ugh well this book secured me as a pre-order customer for book 2 for sure ❀

        I need more Nova too ❀ (I might be pushing a Cassi-nova ship … but Cassius will have to get himself under control before I will allow him to be shipped with anyone)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha the funny thing is you’re the second person to say that to me in the span of a day XD
          I love Nova! I thought her POV was so interesting, which rarely happens with me because I always want to go back to the main characters. I really want to see more of her in book 2!
          But I don’t see myself shipping Cassius with anyone at this point… There were moments where I thought he’d had a change of heart (like giving Roar the stormheart, that was sweet) and could actually see him maybe getting together with her BUT THEN that ******* proved me wrong over and over by being an absolute ass -_- Oh well.
          I really hope he gets better in book 2 because I find him really interesting. I just would never trust a woman (or another human being, to be honest) in his presence XD

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well we are really JUST beginning to see the underlying reasons for his development and behavior at the end of book 2. It’s obvious that there is some deep seeded issues stemming all that way back into his childhood I’m sure. I am glad that he isn’t “healed” of his issues yet because how unrealistic would that be? Anyway I really hope to see a progression, a pulling away from the person he feels forced to be right now, the stress on his shoulders, and see if he can start to overcome. There are already glimpses where the faΓ§ade flickers in book 1 and it is clear that he has potential to overcome. It’s not too late. But like I said, he has work to do before I will ship him.

            Like

            1. Yeah, I mean, with a father like that, who needs enemies?
              I find Cassius fascinating, even if he’s loathsome. Just like Locke, I can see why he acts the way he does, even if I don’t particularly like it. I can understand him, to an extent. But there really was too little of him in Roar for me to form a deeper connection.
              I surely hope so and I’d love to figure out what his true feelings are towards the people around him (Rora, etc.)
              I think Nova could become a very good ally, just not a love interest. I think he’s grown quite attached to the princess, even if he did his best to hide it and fight it. I don’t believe it was all just an act, part of the plan. So I want to see where that takes him.
              Only Cora will know, though! πŸ˜‰

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Interesting. I actually never saw Cassius as a love interest but I would be interested to see if Cora makes him one. I think when Cassius said that he “required” Rora … it was truly the best word usage of all time. Because he did “require” her and while at the time it looked like it was an insta-love statement … it is obvious looking back how much he meant literally “required” and not because he was so overcome with love.

                I see him a little too focused on what is expected of him and all the lies and trying desperately to control things around him to even HAVE romantic feelings. I think he thinks she is a nice girl and an interesting girl but do I think he is in love with her? No not at all. I feel like we are still as square 1 with Cassius so there is possibility that it could go any way. My number 1 ship for Cassius is freedom. I want to see him become free to be the person he is struggling to hide … there are many times where you can see how much he is struggling with his purpose in this plan of his father. He is not as bad as he is pretending to me.

                I think this book was about Locke and Rora and book 2 will be mostly about Cassius and Nova (not as a couple I mean it will focus more on these characters).

                Like

                1. Yeah I thought so too at first, but I’m not so sure now. I know he needs her and is quite desperate for her (in a tactical sense). I don’t think he’s in love with her either but I believe, deep down, he cares about her. Whenever we got some access to his thoughts, it felt like it. I think his number one concern is definitely what she represents and what she can do for him, but it’s not like he’s made of stone. Maybe, just maybe, some of his facade may actually be sincere.
                  I don’t think either one of them felt instalove; they found each other incredibly attractive and that’s basically it. Also, they were pretty much resigned to their fates; they thought they’d be marrying each other. So they tried to make the best out of it. I thought the instalove came with Locke. He basically took one look at her and bam! There it was. Thankfully, it worked out afterwards but it just didn’t appeal much to me in the beginning.
                  And you’re right, Cassius needs to overcome those issues first and only after be able to focus on anything/anyone else. I wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of him and Nova in the sequel but I doubt the author will sacrifice Roar and Locke’s story for them. I think the next book will be similar to this one when it comes to POVs but again, that’s something I can’t be certain of.

                  Like

  3. An interesting review. Lots of sweet and bitter and I’m undecided because the things that are sweet I love and the things that are bitter, not so much. Adding to my wishlist and thinking about it. Thanks for the insightful review. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊 Yes, there were a lot of less positive things to mention about this book but they didn’t really affect my general opinion and I ended up enjoying it so much! I hope the same happens with you ☺️
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great Review! I totally agree with you on the romance! i was a bit annoyed with the insta-love and Locke’s over protectiveness towards Roar. I loved the side characters Nova and Cassian! I’m hoping they’re going to end up together and I totally ship them! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Locke was really sweet but I think he went overboard a bit at times… However, I cut him some slack because of the sister thing. He’s clearly traumatized and just doesn’t want the same to happen to Roar.
      Hahaha really? I think Cassius is a really interesting character but I don’t think I’d ship him with anyone XD He’s too much of a bully! Maybe we’ll see a different side of him in the sequel πŸ˜‰
      Nova was an awesome surprise ☺️ I really enjoyed her POV and what we learned about her, which rarely happens with side characters! I usually just want to get back to the main action, and that didn’t happen with this book.
      Thank you so much, Raven! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha good to know! Yeah I was really disappointed because I thought it was going to be a disaster (I had really high expectations at the time) but in the end, it grew on me and I ended up really enjoying it 😊
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I hope you love it as much as I did 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic review, Sophie! I’ve recently learned about this one, mostly from it showing up all over Goodreads and then Beth wrote a review! Now I’ve definitely got to put it on my TBR! I love the concept and I always appreciate when characters show actual growth throughout the novel. It sounds like there are quite a few elements that I would really enjoy as well, like plot twists, attention to side characters, action, adventure, romance, politics, and most importantly, world-building! It’s a shame the writing isn’t quite up to standard and the story fell prey to instalove and love triangles (both of which I’m really tired of seeing in YA) but the book still sounds like something I might really enjoy. Very well-thought out review Sophie! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, so glad to hear it! 😊 Oh I’ll want to know what you thought about it soon, then!
      The instalove and love triangle are mostly in the beginning. After that, they fade into the background and you kind of forget they even existed in the first place hahaha That’s why the beginning felt like the weakest part of the story and the hardest to go through, in my opinion. Not only did the writing get better but the overall story too.
      Thank you so much, Azia! ❀ ❀ I look forward to your own review!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s wonderful to hear! As long as the love triangle and insta-love don’t take over the story, then I’m good πŸ˜€ It’s great that the writing and story got better throughout! That means the second book has the potential to be so much more better. Np and thanks! ❀

        Like

    1. Hahaha thank you so much ❀ ❀ And Mandy, don't be! This book is great and totally worth it! You just need to get over the "bad" stuff and then it's pretty awesome!!
      Now, I won't say it's perfect and has no flaws whatsoever, because it does. BUT it didn't diminish my enjoyment in the least and I certainly hope the same happens with you!
      I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! ❀ 😊

      Like

  6. This sounds like a great read 😊 I like it when a novel makes sure the characters are well rounded out, and not pieces of cardboard so to speak. The fantasy aspects of it, sound really cool as well. I don’t think I will be picking this one up very soon ( I still have way too many things to read lolπŸ˜‚ ), but I will keep this one in mind. Great review as always πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is! I thought the storm magic concept was so unique and interesting. I’m not sure if there are other books out there that have used it before but it’s definitely a first for me XD
      I know, I know… You’ve so many already! I forgive you πŸ˜› But I hope you get the chance to try it soon, even if I’m not sure it’ll be something you’ll enjoy… Hmm.
      Thank you so much, Michel! ^^ Always love getting a comment from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That is a mighty!!! review πŸ™‚ You really make me want to read the book because everything sounds great πŸ™‚ I love the small twists, and the side characters (I actually started imagining them even though I don’t even know them yet! πŸ˜€ ), and the world and the magic… yep-yep, you’ve twisted my arm there .. haha… joking aside, Ill be sure to add it to my wishlist! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha yay I’m so happy to hear that, Liz! I’m not sure this will appeal to you but I certainly think it won’t hurt to give it a try 😊 The storm magic concept is really interesting and the plot does get quite complex at one point, which is really nice for a YA book. I loved the characters and how they related to each other. Even if there were some less positive things, overall, it was an amazing read!
      I really hope you enjoy it! And thank you so much for your comment ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have this on hold at the library I’m excited to read it (although I’m last in line to get it!)! I read about the problematic relationship in some other reviews.Hopefully the author can try and resolve that in book 2. I’m also becoming more and more of a fan of multi-povs which I used to dislike so I’m glad to hear this one has some of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a shame! But it kind of shows how popular it has become hahaha Fingers crossed it doesn’t take too long to get to your hands πŸ˜‰
      I wasn’t as bothered by the relationships as some other reviewers seemed to be, but they did make me uncomfortable once or twice. Nothing major, but it kind of got me thinking about it.
      Yeah, let’s hope so! I will certainly be getting the sequel as soon as it comes out πŸ˜›
      Multi POVs are certainly what makes this book all the more enjoyable because you get the bigger picture. I’m getting more and more into them as time goes by, too!
      Thank you so much for reading, Salmah! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The instalove is there but if I’m being honest, the love triangle is more of an idea hahaha The author didn’t quite explore that and I guess after thinking about it, I realized it wasn’t that obvious.
      The book’s really good and I totally recommend it! But I’m sure not everyone will like it πŸ˜›
      Thank you so much! ❀

      Like

  9. Great review, I wasn’t a big fan of the whole insta-love but felt like this book (personally) didn’t really have a love triangle. She instantly dislikes Cassius (which I was thankful for and yet sad over because I love evil characters) so I’m wondering if she’s going to do something to make him redeemable in the next book that makes Aurora like him again?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ashley! ❀
      The instalove, I think, came with Locke, not Cassius. He was the one who took a look at her and became enchanted. Cassius saw a beautiful girl and a prize, and Roar, resigned, saw a good looking (if annoying and mean) husband. Neither of them showed any feelings for the other, except pure lust.
      You're kind of right, it wasn't as blatant a love triangle as we're used to and doesn't actually take place (thus far). So I tweaked my wording a little bit.
      I do think it might happen in book two and I can't say I mind it. I'm a sucker for evil characters, myself XD So while I love Locke and Roar together, it would be interesting to see Cassius thrown in the middle for a bit of angst, and also his progression from "villain". I think he's awesome and a very interesting character so I definitely want to see more of him πŸ™‚ I don’t think Roar will fall for him but I think they could become great allies and maybe even friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome review! Kudos to you for getting through the bad beginning. Not many people do, myself included. I stopped reading a book recently twenty pages in because the writing was so poor!
    It sounds like a good read, despite it’s negative points. I do enjoy reading books where you can witness a character grow through the things that they experience. It gets you so emotionally invested in them! I agree with you on the whole instalove thing, though. I can’t stand it, it’s so cringey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jazz! ❀
      I actually admire your kind sometimes hahaha Because I end up wasting a lot of time with certain books – thankfully, I also get pleasant surprises every now and then πŸ™‚
      I think the main character is a prime example of it: someone who starts off weak but becomes a strong (yet still flawed) person in a slow, believable fashion with tons of missteps along the way.
      I absolutely saw myself in her, especially when I was younger. It made me so glad to relate to a character throughout their journey πŸ™‚
      The instalove is passable, in my opinion. Once you get into the story, it's a very minor, forgettable detail. There's way too much happening for you to care about it hahaha

      Like

  11. Your review make me want to read this book more than just looking at the book by the cover. I admire that you don’t DNF easily.. I need more patience like you so thanks for the heads up on this one. Sounds like the pros are more than the cons so I may add this book to my TBR then πŸ™‚ Excellent review Sophie!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I hope you do so soon, Jasmine!! πŸ˜€
      Hahaha thank you, but sometimes it’s more of a curse than a blessing… I do waste my time by being stubborn but I also get pleasant surprises in equal amount so it’s ok πŸ™‚
      While reading it, the cons didn’t seem to bother me all that much. It was only after reflecting on it for a bit and checking my notes that I realized how many there were! It certainly didn’t feel like it at the time hahaha
      So I will say definitely don’t mind them and just go for it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The pleasant surprises are worth it so sometimes being stubborn isn’t so bad 😊 I’m glad you enjoyed the book! That’s the kind of reading that makes me want to read more 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Fantastic review, Sophie! I’ve heard about this book quite often and also love its cover! I might have even picked it up blindly because of the cover and its allusions to the fantasy genre. But then I heard about how huge the romance side of it is and how the author used to write books that were 100% romance hahaha Sucks to hear that it wasn’t that great in that department for Roar, and I think I’ll probably end up staying away from this for now hahah

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! ^^ Oh yeah, the cover is beautiful… It’s kind of what drew me to it, although I did look up the synopsis afterwards hahaha
      Oh yeah, it’s very romance-heavy. And not always the good kind LOL Not that it overshadows the plot or anything, but it’s always there.
      After learning that about the author it actually started to make sense because there were things in this book that really seemed taken out of a bad romance novel… Not a lot, but some.
      Not to say the author isn’t talented but this is new territory for her so it ought to be a challenge. Overall, I think she did really well, on the fantasy department. I also enjoyed the characters a lot! It was just the relationships that were a bit weird at times.
      I don’t think you’d like this one very much, to be honest XD Maybe the sequel will be more plot-oriented and less character-driven.

      Liked by 1 person

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