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Valkyrie

Climbing Stories

I love politics & I am a bit of a history buff. I have a weakness for romance & that includes erotic smut! I'm a serious reviewer, but I can read almost anything. A new genre or a deft writer can make a story sing.

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Marie Hall
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Adriana Noir
Own the Wind  - Kristen Ashley Update 6/30/13- 3.5 stars for Shy; he's memorable!

Beware: this is a rather long-winded review. The spoilers aren't that spoil-y at all. They're just more of my ramblings.
DIALOGUE
Natalie: Who talks like that?
Shy: I do.
Yes, Shy, you do talk like that. Like other KA alphas. Let's take, for example, the use of the common descriptive word, "Beauty":
Knight:“Jesus, I’m gonna possess that beauty.” or “Anya, who owns that c***, that body, that beauty?”
Chace:But the rest... just now, baby. Fuck. You gotta know, coupled with the other, that’s beauty that’s off the charts.”
Lahn: “Your golden warrior queen proves again my claiming her beauty heralds The Golden Dynasty!” or “You have rare beauty the like I have never seen but you will be more beautiful heavy with my seed”

Shy:“Beauty, unbelievable,” he growled.

WTF! Do a quick search in your list of KA books, and you'll find the word beauty out the ying-yang.
Tabby even adopts alpha speak, at times, be it from her dad or Shy:"Stop doing this to yourself, realize your beauty, quit treating your body like shit"

Quoting Michelle: "We still have the stilted dialogue and the run on sentences. These have been described as Kristen Ashley trademarks. I’m not buying it," anymore, and as I read it, I find I am past just rolling my eyes at it.

Please, stop lessening character uniqueness with injection of the same dialogue/descriptive words, as if they can't speak any differently, all think exactly the same way or all have the same "type" of skill at expressing themselves.

On a positive note, I have hope because Shy did show instances when he spoke and might not have sounded like the others. He sounded as if there were another Shy inside there, lurking. Or at least, like the Shy that has an interesting backstory.

CHARACTERIZATION
Tabby
I thought her mature quite responsible for her age, yes, but, I also wanted her to be more vivid in my mind. Not like Tyra. Although, after reading Tabby, I realized why Tyra was so much more vivid to me. This is because while the reader does experience Tyra's in-her-head-ism, there is also the element of Tyra speaking her mind, giving us more of a direct view into her, i.e. better dialogue and "active" interaction with Tack and other characters. Similarly, Tabby tries to adopt this as Tyra is her role model. Admirably Tabby tells it straight a couple of times, yet I guess it was sort of dragging while she was also trying to "find" out "who" she is.

The reader is stuck Tabby's head in first person, and she is stuck inside herself. She tries to reason what kind of old lady she wants to be or what kind of biker boy Shy is, and when she is explaining things away, she unnecessarily, and annoyingly, emphasizes, again and again, that she knows all things biker, it was her world because she was birthed in it. Yes, Tabby, we know. We know.

Tabby wasn't fleshed out enough for me. Maybe, I just missed it, though I revisited this story for that express reason, to make sure I didn't! So, I thought KA could have done a "fuckuva" lot more with Tabby. You see, I found that I didn't care one way or another about Tabby's "love" for her fiancée, Jason, so I didn't "feel" Tabby's grief over his death or that he was ever any real contender, against Shy, for her love. And speaking of her love for Shy, I never got any satisfying recognition of it by Tabby, herself. I wanted IT to have always been about Shy. I felt this was needed because she'd directed some important decisions based on her feelings for Shy. Tabby, for about 30% of the book, seemed trippy and a little dense and then she sort of muddled through; then she got a lil' better towards the end

Luckily, Shy takes the reins (or the HEA would have never started at all). Tabby's character is grossly outshined by Shy. For example, when a clichéd line from a song from Les Miserables is not only used to justify Tabby's love for another man, but poorly extended to illustrate her love for Shy(Oh, come on!), I wanted to turn off my kindle. Overkill, much? It wasn't working. At all. Until, fortunately, this was saved by Shy as he drives it home, more believably, “I never dreamed any fuckin’ dream....Didn’t dream it, saw it, waited my time, and then you gave it to me.” [LOL]And so, thank goodness for the character of Shy.

Shy
Tall, lanky, dark-haired, green-eyed Shy. Oh yeah. I liked Shy's PoV[told in 3rd person]. And, I loved his backstory.

Shy's point of view kept my interest from the start of the story. From his eyes, I saw Tabby go from Tack's beautiful and somewhat wayward daughter to someone Shy wanted. He wanted to be her family. He wanted it to be her by his side. However, due to his misstep with her,he recognized that she was the one he'd let slip away until he saw a second chance. And boy did he grab his second chance, with the quickness

As Shy sees a second chance, his character evolves just as quickly, and though it seemed abrupt, there is the underlying element that gives a sense that he'd changed his ways. Starting from the time Tabby gives him a taste at nineteen, until the time that she is twenty-three. To summarize, in that span of time, Shy has eventually stopped waking to a pile of women covering him and graduated to actually trying out a relationship to a non-sweet butt of Chaos, called Rosalie. In transitioning,Shy becomes a dependable friend to Tabby, with the reasoning that it was all he'd ever be allowed to be.

So, I believed Shy's love for Tabby and ultimately, his not so subtle molding of her once he knew he could "have" her. Tack says to Shy,“She’s mine, but I get she’s yours in a way I don’t have anymore. Respect, but I’m askin’ you to carry the burden and let her breathe easy.” I liked that Shy was worthy of Tack's blessing.

Bottom line, Shy carried the whole story: it's conflict(s), it's resolution(though noticeably helped by Tack), and the bulk of it's surprisingly minimal characterization. Shy's backstory emerged and became Own the Wind's major conflict & resolution, even overshadowing Shy's reckoning with Tack and his brothers. It also brought with it a little of that telltale KA magic that seemed to be was missing for half the book.


I could give this story only 2 stars because:
*it didn't really "nail it"/I wasn't moved

*some loose ends were left, such as a detailed aftermath of what happens to Shy's enemy

*Tabby's wasn't as developed character and she definitely "went flying" (damn, some KA heroines just need wings), and she bites her lips and plays damsel in distress pretty well (that's about the extent to her "showcased" talents, though she was blueprinted to BE way more)

*Tyra and Tack look unrecognizable in some instances (especially their reactions once the secret's out, and Tyra's was incongruous b/c she had a preview of what Tabby felt for Shy.)

*absence of direct scenes of Rider or Cutter being babysat by Shy and Tabby (this could have given us a scrumptious glimpse of what Shy would be like in a family or as a Dad, and Tabby as a sister (& potential mother material)

*Rush's absence in Tabby's life until the end (and then we are given his pointed reaction to Natalie, which pained me with the possibility that Natalie(who is given entirely too much word time) could come back to be someone's HEA (oh hell no!)

*And finally, the absence of KA's voodoo magic of an epilogue (hot damn, this was sorely missed)

However, I'll be generous and give it 3.5 stars because:
•Again, Shy shined through, IMO. Shy could get 4 stars if I had been given more insight of him.
•His brother, Lan, was a sweet addition, which not only emphasized Shy's capacity for love, but gave
us some intrigue about Lan, himself (and Oh, boy, do I want a
Chaos story or a story, period, for Lan [maybe KA should start thinking of adding .5 novellas to her series])
•The raised-eyebrows but somewhat convoluted glimpse that Rush may "agreeably" overthrow Tack as the club's leader (it definitely was inspired by SOA, LOL) which adds to the overall conflict of the series (which is the reason we may not have seen the last of Natalie).
•Elvira's cameo at the end (it was hilarious, while it also added a new dimension to our favorite
secondary character show stealer).
•the editing, which only added the element of "cleaned up" and deletion, NOT the element of what could have been added or revised (hint, hint).
•Lastly, the poignant encounter with the character, Rosalie, who I wish would have had more importance than Natalie. LOL

Own the Wind was a train ride around an amusement park, whose most boasted, powerful rides I saw only glimpses of, heard "oohs and aahs" of their thrill, but didn't get to ride them myself or feel the element of satisfaction (the anticipation coursing through). It was just a pleasant and quiet start to a series whose title suggests the opposite.