First off, these people literally talk to the wind and coax it to do their bidding. They don’t just get to grab the wind willy nilly and command it to do whatever they want. Being a Windwalker, as Messenger calls them, is all about learning the language of the wind and just having a nice convo with it in the hopes that it will want to do what you want it to. I love the idea that the wind has a will of its own, and is actually a character, or characters seeing as how not all winds are the same, and has a choice in the matter of where the wind blows.
What also sets this book apart is that it is an equal opportunity protagonist employer. The story is seen through the eyes of Audra, an experienced Windwalker, and Vane, the boy who is just now discovering his windspeaking abilities, and who Audra has been appointed Guardian over while he gets in touch with his inner wind whisperer.
Messenger has got teenage boys down. She has a nice mix of snark, angst, and body urges that no teenage boy can avoid. I’m always impressed when a writer can create characters of the opposite sex accurately, especially thoughts of the opposite sex, because that’s where I think gender competitiveness really comes from: not knowing what the heck is going on in the other genders’ head. Messenger gets guys’ confusion over girls they like, their desire to prove themselves as a man and an individual, and most importantly of all, guys’ cravings for greasy cheeseburgers. If Messenger ever sees a lull in her career as a writer (which I don’t think she will), she should serve as a gender translator and usher in the age of gender peace! Guys, you might think I’m overreaching here, but read the book, you’ll see what I mean.
Finally, Messenger just really pulls you into this book. You feel the heat of the nasty California desert, you feel the sweat soak your shirt from baking in the sun, you feel the wind breeze, whip, and gust against your skin as Audra and Vane manipulate the winds around them. This book is an experience, not a passive moment where your eyes take in words but nothing really registers. I got so into “Let the Sky Fall” that I tried my darndest to hear words in the wind. So far no luck, and while that my have knocked the wind out of my sails for the time being, I’ll be running like the wind to the nearest bookstore when the sequel comes out.
Accurate and relatable boy protagonist.
Such amazing description you feel like you're in the book.