Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Reviews: Double Review (Storm of Arranon Books One and Two)

Sunday Reviews Week 6

Dual Review:
Storm of Arranon
Fire and Ice

Storm of Arranon follows Erynn, a military student on the planet of Korin and the daughter of one of Korin's most famous generals. Her entire life, she has been forced to hide a major secret about her past as well as her mysterious powers that she herself does not even understand. When treachery rears its head in the political powers on Korin, she suddenly finds herself swept into a war in which Korin, and its sister planet of Arranon, are threatened by annihilation. Revelations about Erynn's life comes to light and she soon learns that she has a mysterious connection to Arranon. She finds she may be the key to saving both planets, finding love along the way.

When reading this, I found it hard to believe that it was R.E. Sheahan's debut novel in that her writing style screams of seasoned pro. The balance between detail, story, and characterization is impeccably executed. Nearly all of the characters are deep and complex and grow throughout the story. Though the main villain in the novel does not really share the same level of characterization as the other key players(I'm leaving out the name in case of spoilers), you gain an understanding of him based on the overall story of his people.

When reading Storm of Arranon, the world was brought vividly to life in my mind by the author's wonderfully realized sense of the world(s) they have created. You can tell that an extreme amount of care went into developing Arranon and Korin, whether from the description of species native to the planets, the unique environments, or from the inhabited towns/cities. R.E.Sheahan has invested a level of world building that in no way feels forced or unnatural.

Storm of Arranon is a wonderful sci-fi adventure full of fun, action, and even a little romance. I could see this book making a wonderful movie! Though I hated to see the book end, I was happy to see it left open for further volumes in the series while still wrapping up in a satisfying way. I look forward to the continuation of Erynn's story.

Also, I obviously have to like this one for there being a planet named Korin . . . for obvious reasons :).


Fire and Ice is the action-packed sequel to R.E. Sheahan's Storm of Arranon.  The story picks up right where the first book left off.  Right off the bat, Fire and Ice introduces us to an evil presence, Dhoran, who once threatened the planet of Arranon.  By inhabiting an unwilling host, Dhoran has returned to once again build up an army and conquer Arranon, an action that could disrupt the balance between Arranon and its sister planet, Korin, threatening all existence on both worlds.

Erynn Yager is back in Fire and Ice, now an Interceptor pilot on the planet of Arranon.  She finds herself drawn to eliminating the threat of the return of Dhoran, the once defeated sovereign of Arranon's underworld.  Erynn is much stronger from her experiences from Storm of Arranon, coming across as braver and more self-confident than when we first met her.  Of course, her history of self-doubt still creeps up, adding a sense of realism to her character.

Jaer, leader of the Anbas and Erynn's love interest, also returns, his past coming back to haunt him in ways that threaten to tear him and Erynn apart.

There are a host of new characters and creatures introduced in Fire and Ice, from the timid Nev(a doctor, or byan as they are called on Arranon), to my personal favorite, Cace, a boy suffering from illness who has dreams of one day flying an Interceptor like Erynn. During the book's first half, you constantly question who Dhoran has possessed, and how he plans to achieve his goal, lending a strong sense of suspense to the story.

After setting up the wonderfully detailed and inventive planet of Arranon in the first book, Sheahan is given free rein to jump into the action.  From the first chapter, there is rarely a dull moment or any stagnation in the plot flow.  The characters continue to be mostly well-developed and the cold world of Arranon is vividly painted for the reader.

As with Storm of Arranon, Fire and Ice continues to hint at grander things to come.  I have to admit that the ending felt a little anti-climactic to me given the build-up throughout the book, but it was still very satisfying and apt for the story.  Again, it seems to be paving the way for something more epic later in the series.

Fire and Ice can be enjoyed whether you have read Storm of Arranon or not, but I recommend starting at the beginning to truly appreciate the story.  And now to wait for the next entry in the Storm of Arranon series!


Both Storm of Arranon and Fire and Ice can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Find out more about R.E. Sheahan at her: