Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: Storming

Storming by K. M. Weiland

Recommended For: Ages 13 to Adult

Rating: PG-13 (violence)

In the high-flying, heady world of 1920s aviation, brash pilot Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock’s life does a barrel roll when a young woman in an old-fashioned ball gown falls from the clouds smack in front of his biplane. As fearless as she is peculiar, Jael immediately proves she’s game for just about anything, including wing-walking in his struggling airshow. In return for her help, she demands a ride back home . . . to the sky. Hitch thinks she’s nuts—until he steers his plane into the midst of a bizarre storm and nearly crashes into a strange airship like none he’s ever run afoul of, an airship with the power to control the weather. Caught between a corrupt sheriff and dangerous new enemies from above, Hitch must take his last chance to gain forgiveness from his estranged family, deliver Jael safely home before she flies off with his freewheeling heart, and save his Nebraska hometown from storm-wielding sky pirates. Cocky, funny, and full of heart, Storming is a jaunty historical adventure / dieselpunk mash-up that combines rip-roaring steampunk adventure and small-town charm with the thrill of futuristic possibilities.

I've followed K.M. Weiland's writing help blog for a really long time, so when my sister bought this book, I jumped at the chance to read it. I had so many other books to read I didn't get past the beginning for a while, but when I made myself sit down and read it, I loved it and finished it in a day. I moved down to our basement halfway through the book because it was thundering so loud the windows were shaking. This isn't my normal genre at all, but I enjoyed it just the same.

Writing: 5/5
K.M. Weiland certainly practices what she talks about on her writing blog. This book had deep and engaging POVs, a backstory that is told to the reader just as the story demands it... I could go on for a lot longer, but I shouldn't. I did guess the big plot twist very early on, but I've read so many stories, it's incredibly hard to fool me in plot twists. I can remember it happening recently once, and I've read I don't know how many books with plot twists I've read.

Setting: 5/5
I've never been to Nebraska, and certainly never in the 1920s, but since Nebraska is the author's home, I would assume she got it pretty accurate. Despite the obvious advanced technology in the airship, everything seemed historically accurate. The descriptions were really good, too.

Plot: 5/5
Exciting and well-structured! The plot points are right where they should be and they're big and epic as they should be. It's an intriguing concept that has an intriguing plot that never falls flat.

Character Development: 5/5
Even the best story rules-wise can fall completely flat without great characters and a heart. This book has both. Not only are the characters true to life, they're likable characters a reader can easily connect with and root for. Hitch, Walter, and Jael were my favorites, although I really liked the two feuding brothers and Walter's aunt. It broke my heart when SPOILER Hitch's brother refused to forgive him even after repeated attempts on Hitch's part to apologize. END SPOILER 

This is one book you don't want to miss. It has heart, charm, and characters with a ready wit. If you like action, adventure, historical fiction, steampunk, dieselpunk, or Jules Verne novels, you will love this book. Go buy it and read it now!

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