Storm Fall (Rebel Wing, #2) by Tracy Banghart
Release Date: December 16, 2014
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 . . .
***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Alloy Entertainment
I’ve been a huge fan of Tracy Banghart’s Rebel Wing series since before it was called that. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Shattered Veil (now Rebel Wing) when it was first released. I fell in love with this elaborate world made of fierce women, worn torn cities ravaged by manipulation and sadistic leaders, and heady romance. Sometimes a sequel can fall flat, especially after such a brilliant start but Storm Fall brought elements to the story that were only blossoming in Rebel Wing and laid the foundation for even more action, devastation and sacrifice to come. I finished reading about 30 minutes ago and I’m already yearning for the next book.
- Aris is a powerful, courageous character. She stands up for herself and her fellow female officers against adversity and harassment. She has an unwavering moral compass but perhaps what is most compelling and inspiring is her regard for human life. Everyone is precious and deserves a chance to breathe the beauty of the world, to laugh and love even when everything is crashing down in a flurry of gunfire, smoke, and torture. Each time Aris hits the sky, dancing through the air in her wingjet it’s an exhilarating, freeing experience. Her passion, her thirst to save the injured, to save the world from the darkness of corrupt political leaders is a battle much bigger than her but she doesn’t question her path. Aris risks everything for a brighter, peaceful tomorrow and understands that bloodshed in a necessary, traumatic part of that process. The way she remains in control as enemy fire is raining down on her is remarkable. Aris has come so far from who she was in Rebel Wing, her convictions and protectiveness reign supreme and though she’s conflicted when it comes to her heart, Aris always puts Atalanta’s cause above her own.
- The suspense is killer. There’s a constant foreboding and sickening danger on each mission. There’s no guarantees of life or saving, everything is precarious and even the main characters may fall prey to a wayward gun or precise target. Tracy Banghart doesn’t sugarcoat war. She presents it as bleak, debilitating and made of decisions that are so heart wrenching and hard you’ll question your humanity. Death can come in the blink of an eye or at the hands of vile torturers. Civilian casualties, POWs, and refugees are all depicted with a stark reality. Banghart gives a face and side to both warring nations, highlighting the grey area between good and evil and the fallacy with charging an entire country for the fault of a small group/dictator.
- The ending. So many feels erupted in an explosion of terror and elation. The ecstatic tension between characters, the terrifying news of what’s to come, and the staggering loss is overwhelming but in a stunning, deeply satisfying way.
- Recon and battle scenes are vibrant, action-packed and detailed. It’s almost like playing Call of Duty as the scenes unfold.
- Milek. I thought I loved him before but now, I realize that was respect and a teensy bit of infatuation. This Milek is worthy of the top spot on my book boyfriend list. His hard exterior, the sharp tones, the way he hold himself with such power and strength. So sexy. His confidence and authority are staggering. He’s in control and gives orders like nobody’s business. Yet, he has a playful side. The disciplinary action was hilarious. He wavers between gruff formality and this endearing charm when he lowers his guard. The way he is with Aris…sigh. He worships her. He sees her for exactly who she is, a take charge, incredibly powerful woman who fights through her fears and throws punches. He doesn’t tell her to be anything she’s not, he simply looks on and falls, hanging on her every word, movement, action. It’s a hot, urgent love that will leave you breathless and eager for more of them.
- Dysis is back and as lively as ever. The girl is reckless, violent, and acts first but she is definitely a force to be reckoned with and the best friend Aris could ever ask for. Her sections were moving. Seeing her internal conflicts, her pain, and the agony, the bittersweet agony is heartbreaking.
- Calix is a surprise. He’s had moments of epiphany and understanding that have effectively helped him become an amazing man. The boy who got lost in rules and expectations is gone and in his place is someone willing to put everything on the line for a chance at an apology. He steps up and miraculously doesn’t crumble but excels.
- A broader look at the militaristic events and agreements between the other countries would have been invaluable. The discussion of aid is brief and the reader can’t form a full picture of the state of the world. It looks as though the war is between two forces and the effects of this carnage are small when in reality, everything is in a delicate balance of give and take, safety and sacrifice for each nation.
- Galena’s sections were too short for my liking. The huge reunion at the end left so much unsaid and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I was out for blood after the nauseating and twisted events in book one.
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