Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Review: ROAR | Stormheart Series by Cora Carmack

ROARIn a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

2 Stars

Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance

Yes, the cover might be super gorgeous but the inside was a complete let down for me. Unique premise that I honestly was just hoping for more from Carmack. I have heard so many people boost about Carmack’s writing style that I ultimately think I was just oversold on something, perhaps the hype of the novel to which it became very clear within the first couple chapters it wasn’t what I was expecting. Not bad, but not good. 

The first issue I have is that this novel is labeled a couple of genres, specifically Romance and Fantasy. You know me, I am all for a romance especially in the young adult world but when it comes to a duel genre like this for example there needs to be a certain level of balance. This was definitely not a successful example. Roughly majority (if you need a percentage I’d give it at least 80% worth…) of the novel is romance based. Again, generally I do not have an issue with overpowered romance in novels, but this had such a fucking awesome fantasy premise and it was basically non-existent. What irked me more about the romance outweighing the fantasy premise was that when it finally came to build of the fantasy or magic aspect, it was like Carmack said to herself “oh yeah, this is totally a fantasy novel, I’m going to put this plot twist here”, this really only made things worse in my opinion. She was over compensating for her ability to balance between the two genres to keep them alive in the premise. 

In a nutshell, I forgot it even was a fantasy or that it was about storms having hearts and you can totally steal that shit because there’s magic because I thought I was reading a romance. 

Speaking into the romance a little further because obviously it is majority of the novel so its all I got. It is really just insta-love. Again, I understand I am being completely biased because hell I read romance novels like I hooker chargers for hummers, but guess what? It didn’t connect. If I am being honest, my biggest issue with the romance aside from the insta-love involving Aurora is the part where the love interests are dripping with egotistically sexual aggression and possessiveness from both Cassius and Locke perspectives. Cassius more so emulates this caveman persona, both exterior and interior on his lifestyle. Cassius basically wants to conqueror Aurora, not only does he think she is an object but he flat out admits that she is not worthy of him, but he will accept her; like – OK? Because why would I stay…

Then we have the other object of affection, which I predict a type of triangle perhaps later? Wonder how lack luster this will be… But for argumentative purposes, lets dive into Locke. Admittedly I preferred Locke, mostly just the overall chemistry between him and Aurora was more intriguing, but I am still not sold because she basically moves from caveman to alpha male persona. Firstly Locke becomes rather obsessed with Aurora, though he knows her as Roar at this point, thinking of her like his sister he failed to protect it starts feeling slightly unhealthy connection between the two. This obsession turns into somewhat toxic ideal of what a masculine alpha should be when protecting a love interest. Ultimately this develops into the need to control all situations involving Roar from Locke’s perspective because he is hell bent on ‘claiming’ Roar. 

Now on to Aurora, because she is the main character right? I can’t stand her character. Maybe it is her mother or her overall upbringing (which I feel wasn’t explored enough at the beginning) that made her completely inferior as a female lead. Her supporting cast actually outshines her more with every chapter, it is almost as if Aurora is the sideline character. She allows herself to be controlled, she allows herself to be the weaker sex, I hate to say it like that, but I do not feel empowered by Roar in the least bit. Even when she does stand up for herself she still recoils into this shell – again perhaps it is the sheltering of her childhood that may be a plot motive on purpose but I don’t know, none of this was explored this is simply my assumption of what might come with her development, or rather hope she develops into something more. It actually isn’t until close to the very end of the novel does Aurora find some purpose, if that is even what you can call it. 

Ultimately I am left with one dimensional characters with little to no depth to their personalities, basically with zero growth to the novel. All things considered I don’t expect to put the sequel very high on my TBR when it releases. Who knows, I may wait and see what other reviewers thing before giving it a go. Carmack might surprise me yet. 

2 thoughts on “Review: ROAR | Stormheart Series by Cora Carmack”

  1. Yes I 1000% agree with you! Roar was such a let down for me! I kinda want to read the second one because I’m hoping maybe Kora will actually put some fucking fantasy into it the second time around. But you can totally tell she used to be a romance author. Super frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It is definitely not my favorite reads but I definitely want to read some of her other work, maybe she just isn’t good at balancing the genre especially in a YA world… I definitely still want to give two a try, but I don’t know how fast I will get to it once it is released.


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