Breath of Air
What the author/publisher says:
Her name was Capri, and she was Air.
She was born with a gift she didn’t understand. A gift so strange, so remarkable that she had kept it secret for as long as she could remember, despising that it made her different when all she wanted was to be normal, to belong. As an orphan, belonging to someone, anyone, would have been an incredible blessing, one she would have given up all that she had just to get a taste of.
But the truth was that she didn’t belong in the orphanage in Virginia, or even in the United States. In fact, she didn’t belong with human beings at all. Because she wasn’t one of them, not really. She was something much more extraordinary.
She could shift the direction of the wind, create billowing clouds out of nothing, and charm birds into dancing on her open palm. She belonged to an elite group of beings, responsible for preserving the balance of nature and the safety of Earth from an underworld that deserved to be feared, and needed to be controlled. And after years of being lost, she had at last been found, and now the truth of how she had ended up so far from home was becoming horribly clear to her.
But there’s someone who doesn’t want her to return; someone who knows Capri was the only witness to an act of heinous treason and violent murder. And when she begins to search her memories for details of the night she was taken from her home, details that will implicate a killer, she finds herself the unwary target of an otherworldly dark force intent on silencing her by any means possible.
What I say:
I didn’t read the synopses when I received this, which is I rarely do anyways. I like going into a book with a blank slate, void of any preconceived thoughts on the story. Plus, who doesn’t like a surprise? When I first started reading the story, I wasn’t thrilled. I’m not a fan of science fiction based stories, mostly because they’re so out there that they couldn’t even possibly be imagined remotely as possible (and, okay… that’s typically the idea). I’m just not a fan of the genre my mind registered the story as.
We have a girl named Capri who was brought up in Richmond, Virginia (so random of a place but hey, it works… I’m assuming that the author chose it for a reason). Capri turns 18 and is no longer a ward of the state (no idea why she wouldn’t have been adoptable, but that wasn’t included in the story… maybe no one wanted a blond haired three year old). She’s sitting in a park with all her worldly possessions in a bag and alone in the world. She has ‘powers’ to manipulate a bird into dance and by happenstance, a man walks by and sees. He automatically recognizes her as one of his ‘people’. Takes her to a tree in the woods and poof! They’re in another world.
Capri was back home, into her father’s arms, and back home after being missing for fifteen years… in Richmond. Capri is an Air Dryad, one of four who control the elements (Capri is wind/Liam water/Blythe fire/Rhiannon earth). There are furies, fates, muses, mother earth, and a menagerie of mythical people. And typically, I roll my eyes and put books down with these sort of things because I do find that often the characters are written in such a juvenile or all encompassing way that I just can’t get into the story. However, these characters were more than just their titles. You got a taste of their personalities, well Blythe and Capri, and the fury Rian.
Not everyone was thrilled with Capri’s return and demons return to the mythical island that floats above the Pacific Ocean (I sure hope it’s magically invisible and isn’t where planes fly). At first, I was almost certain that Liam and Capri would have had something together, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t so. I enjoyed the elements that were brought into the story, but was surprised that about half-way through the swearing ratcheted up a notch from nothing to some. It seemed unnecessary, but whatever! Perhaps the author felt that the words gave the characters more badassitude.
Other than generalizations of the character’s appearances, a good bit was left to the reader’s imagination which I appreciate. I sort of pictured Thea (Mother Earth) like she is in the Santa Claus (with Tim Allen) movie: gentle but firm, tall and willowy light colored black woman wearing a long dress and a crown made of vines and flowers. All in my head. I think the choice in character names was good. I liked Liam and Blythe, Rhiannon was okay, as was Rian, Rourke, and a few others. Capri’s name… I had a hard time not mentally calling her ‘Capri-sun’ (which then made me thirsty), but I will admit that it grew on me. I’d have liked for her to have had a little more spine in the beginning, but was glad to see her progress from beginning to end.
I didn’t see many if any errors, but the copy I was given might have been corrected.
I did find myself swiping my book page to get it to turn, and it took a second for me to realize that the story was over. That was it. It definitely left the reader hanging, which opens up for another book (the hunt for the demon Dante). I didn’t find myself connecting to Capri, but I did enjoy reading her story, and would be open to reading others in this series… despite it not being my go-to.
Breath of Air by Katie Jennings
Publish date: April 9, 2012
Price Point: $9.99 (print), $2.99 (Kindle, Free for Prime Members)