'Native Winds' was a book that definitely intrigued me, while I'm fairly new to the genre of Steampunk. I'm definitely not new to what I like and this had all the elements of something I should have really, really liked.
There was magic, dragons...I love dragons, I believe I have mentioned this on more than one occasion. Strong female characters, shifters which I use to really like but seem to have drifted away from over the years but lately I find myself drifting back and this is cool I find that my reading taste has changed more than once and I expect it will continue to do so. The use of native folklore to enhance the story. Interestingly enough while historical books aren't always my thing I do love folklore and that of North America's Indigenous peoples contains some of the most amazing stories.
The setting for 'Native Winds' is essentially a steampunk version of the old west and while I've read books that have been set in a Steampunked Victorian era and post-apocalyptic worlds this was a totally new setting so again I was excited for this adventure. So many elements to draw me in and maybe, that was part of the problem...but, truthfully I think not..
So here's what happened nothing or at least that's what it felt like for the first half of the story. By the half-way point I felt like a dog chasing it's tail. It seemed like things were going on a loop with no real progress being made. Try as I might and I did try I just couldn't feel the connection to the story that would draw me in and allow me to lose myself in the characters and the plot as I continued to read.
Trey McAlister is a mage who lost his family when he was very young and was then taken in by a nearby Comanche clan who raised him, this is all pre-story beginning. It's here that he also meets and bonds with Gray Talon, again pre-story, and it's here that some of my problems begin. I wanted to feel that bond. I just never felt any real connection between these two characters. They're suppose to be soul-mates, the love of each others lives and I just didn't feel it. Also let me add here that while there was zero on page sex that was not the problem. I have read stories where all it's taken for me to feel that the author has made that emotional connection between two characters is a kiss, a look shared across the room, some kind of intimate moment that feels like they would never share with anyone else.
Having said this it leads directly to what for me was probably my biggest issue with this story and that's the writing in general which for the most part led me to feel like I was reading something intended for a much younger reading audience than me.
Ok, so let's suffice it to say this book didn't work for me, however, I did give it 2.5 stars so I also want to take a moment and mention the things that I liked (please check paragraphs 1 & 2 to save me being repetitive, thanks) but as well as this I need to mention Copperpot, who was a mechanical construct and the only one that I liked. His part of the story was good and I definitely enjoyed it...mostly and no I'm not giving away anything more than that. Individually I really liked both Trey and Gray Talon, I just didn't feel their connection and I wanted to. Also Gray Talon's abilities were pretty amazing and I do feel like Trey has only begun to show his powers so much potential to be worked with there. The dragons...I would have liked more but again potential. After all this is the beginning of a series so the author needs to save something for future stories and last of all, I just want to give a nod to that cover I really liked it. It very much suites the overall feel of the book...which for me ended up being a 'YA Steampunk' series.
Will I continue with this series? I doubt it. I came, I read and I just didn't connect. So for me that's a wrap...peace out!