February 5, 2016

Storming~K. M. Weiland

After reading and falling in love with K. M. Weiland's book, Behold the Dawn, I was hesitant to buy another of her books only because, "What if I don't love it as much?"
Don't get me wrong. I couldn't wait to get my hands on another of her books! But I also knew that the next book I read from her would either cement her as a favorite author....or just the author of a favorite book.

Well.

Guys, I have a new favorite author.


Storming is a book than is rather smashed together with two genres-historical and steampunk. I never had anything to do with steampunk before, and wasn't sure what I'd think of it.
I actually really, really liked it! The feel of this story was just plain fun. Between a bright red bi-plane, a huge, mysterious flying craft hidden in the clouds, and the comfortable, lazy summer days atmosphere of a small town--it was fantastic,

So, to you who may also be put off by the steampunk aspect: please don't! I found it very entertaining and not disturbingly "strange" in the slightest. Unless you dislike anything that's not strictly historical, I would totally recommend it. (And, if you dislike anything that's not strictly historical, I'd still beg you to give this book a try. I think it would surprise you.)

My absolutely favorite character was Walter. WALTER. Oh my my my, I just----squuueee!!


How do I describe how much I adore this little boy who completely stole my heart? Due to an occurrence a few years ago, he doesn't speak. At all. Guilt tears at his little heart, holding him back from thinking himself good at anything. And then-a hero comes into his life. Just as if from out of the pages of a story book, Hitch Hitchcock flies in on his shiny red plane. Walter immediately finds not only a role-model and hero in him-but also a friend. (He also becomes best friends with Hitch's adorable dog, Taos.)

And-and...ugh. Can I say this? I don't want to give away spoilers....

Well, suffice to say Walter IS a hero. His heart is made of pure gold and he is truly heroic in every sense of the word. I love you, Walter!!!

Now remember, Walter doesn't talk. He can't yell or sing. So when he's bubbling over with excitement and happiness he rolls somersaults.
HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS CHILD?

-sigh- I just really want to give Walter a big hug and to tell him he's amazing and that so many people love and appreciate him. There's this moment...this moment when some things go wrong and Walter feels responsible. What happened was entirely NOT his fault, but because someone he liked got hurt trying to protect him....good gravy (as they say in the book ;)). Walter feels simply awful for what happens.

If Hitch saw him like this, he'd know for sure Walter was a coward. He was just a little kid who couldn't stop shaking and wouldn't start talking—and who didn't even fit in quite right at home, much less out here.  He hugged Taos tighter and bit his lip harder. A hero like Hitch wouldn't want to be around him. Might even be ashamed to be seen with him. ~Storming

-cries-

But, thankfully, Hitch (being the wonderful man that he is) realizes how Walter is feeling and he assures him that everyone feels scared sometimes. With just a few words of encouragement and reassurance, he lifts Walter's world back up to shiny, starry heights.

(I have a VERY clear mental picture of Walter looks like...black hair, bright blue eyes...freckles ...simply adorable. But I unfortunately have no photo. Sorry!)

The actor Scott Eastwood is KIND of how I picture Hitch.....
Well, guess it's about time to talk about my second favorite character, Hitch. (or I could go on and on about Walter...) He's the protagonist-and he's a hero. Goodness, I love him.
Hitch is.... how do I even talk about Hitch without giving away a bunch of spoilers? He's an adventurous, cocky pilot. He's fun, he's brave, and he really cares for people. Even when he knows he'd be "better off" by not concerning himself with some issues.

Like the woman who drops out of the sky in front of his plane. (But I'll get to her in a minute.)

Hitch has an ammmaazzzzing character arc. You see, when the story starts, Hitch has pretty much ran away from his past. It wasn't done out of pure selfishness. In fact, you could almost say he did it for his family and friends. But, at the same time, he does love the freedom that life as a barnstorming pilot gives him. And to give that up.....well. How could he give up the life that he loves?

(spoiler spoiler But just maybe he'll find something better than the life of a free-of-care pilot. What if a life formed from reconciliation and love is what he's been looking for all along? end spoilers )

Jael is SUCH a fun heroine. For one thing, she can barely speak English when she falls to earth. She has lived all her life on Schturming, the steampunk "world" of this story. She is feisty and stubborn and can completely handle herself. Ha. Whether it's climbing rooftops, riding on the wings of a bi-plane, or defending herself with a knife...she's got it covered. ;)
I see Jael looking a little like Jenna Coleman

EARL. Let's talk about Earl for a moment. He's hilarious.

    "Doggone it, Hitch!" Earl hollered. "I'm going to have to carve a whole new propeller. I'd like to know how I'm supposed to do that with one arm!"
    "Quit about the plane, will you? Get over here and let me set that arm of yours before it swells up bigger'n Rick's head."   .... (I omitted some lines for brevity's sake)...
    Jael surfaced from the backseat with a couple plaid shirts and an old buck-bow handsaw.
    Earl huffed through his clenched teeth. "Amputation's a little drastic, don't you think?" ~Storming

THIS IS TOTALLY EARL (Walter Brennan)

Now, there are SO many more great characters, of course (J.W., Matthew, Nan, Aurelia, Griff, Lilla, Rick......I could go on), but this is turning into my longest book review ever, so let me hurry this along....

The Big Plot Secret wasn't a secret to me at all. I figured it out after the first or second foreshadow-ment of it. That may mean:
a) I'm way smarter than a think I am
b) The secret wasn't concealed very well
c) The author wanted us to figure it out ahead of time

But, even by knowing ahead of time, it didn't affect my opinion of the book at all. In fact, it only made me anticipate the "big reveal" even more. I cried when "It" was revealed even though I already figured "It" out. It was...sob...so wonderful.


I can't tell you the why's or how's or what's of The Secret (even in *spoilers*) because I don't want to ruin it for you. BUT. Trust me, you want to read this. Please do. Please.

Other note-worthy things are the villain himself, Zlo, Schturming itself, and the moment that Something Big crashed into Something Owned By The Sheriff (another cruel antagonist/villain of the story). That part made me laugh. Such poetic justice. haha

While reading this book, I would just look up and smile or laugh or even cry.

(Who am I kidding, I do that with every book I love!)


If I had to pick something I DISliked about this book (that's such a cruel thing to make me do) I'd guess I'd have to say that the fight scenes toward the end were a little *too* much for me. Like, I don't mind a page or two of a good fight, but then I start to get a wee bit bored when they're both bleeding and bruised and STILL going at it! ;)

Although on that note, I appreciate so much that in K. M. Weiland's books it's not JUST the opponent who gets banged up in the fights. The hero gets just as battered-or more. It's a very refreshing realism. haha

(Although, after the hero has several dislocated joints, a broken nose, and a bleeding knife wound, I start to wonder whether he's a superman. Or are there really guys as amazing as this? ha)

Oh yeah, I remembered another thing. A Certain Character died and...well, I felt like their death wasn't *necessary*. I feel like the story could have been just strong without that death. :(


Inspired by my friend Naomi, who makes GORGEOUS collages for her book reviews (I mean, everything she makes is gorgeous) I tried my hand at it (see above haha) and I like it pretty well. Most of the photos are from Pinterest (including the author's Pinterest boards for Storming heh heh) but the red plane in the corner was a picture of a print on Etsy. Hopefully it's not some copyright issue that I used it in my collage.....?


The book contains a sweet and pure romance, some fight scenes, and some mention of drinking, but it's really quite clean and appropriate. Compared to Behold the Dawn (which contained a few mature issues-but were handled very well and with care)  I would easily hand this book to anyone old enough to enjoy it-anywhere from 13 on up. (Or younger, if you're a voracious reader ;))

Summation of this review? I absolutely adore this book and you should read it too. 

(Not that I'm commanding you to read it....well. Then again, maybe I am. ;))

22 comments

  1. Aww, thanks. I'm glad I inspired you... because that is a gorgeous collage. :-) (The copyright issue... I don't know either. :-P But as long as I don't win any money from it, I don't think I'm doing anything illegal. :-) I HOOOPE.)

    This book looks amazing AND I LOVE THAT THERE'S A WALTER IN IT. :-) (Walter characters = good characters.) To be honest, though, it doesn't look like QUIIIITE my book, though.

    "(And, if you dislike anything that's not strictly historical, I'd still beg you to give this book a try. I think it would surprise you.)"
    OH.
    OKAY.
    I might try. :-D

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Aww, thank you, Naomi! I'm glad you think so. :) Haha, exactly!! I'll just cross my fingers and wait and see....heh heh.

      Very true. Walter was never a favorite name of mine, but now that I've discovered so many wonderful characters with that name, it went on my "future childrens' name list." ;)

      HA! Your "OH. OKAY." made me laugh! I hope you like it if you try it! :D

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    2. Yes, Walter was never my favourite name either. BUT NOW WE JUST WATCHED CRANFORD EPISODE TWO AND THE LITTLE BOY WALTER DIED AND I AM BROKEN.
      What's up with this name?!!!!?!

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    3. Naomi,
      I knooooooooww. That was so sad. :( Is this your first time watching Cranford?

      I don't know....it seems like every character named Walter is SO SWEET and yet kind of "cursed"....sob.
      (At least this Walter didn't die. I'd be SO heartbroken!)

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    4. No, it's my third time watching. :-)

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    5. Oh, okay. :) Isn't it such a sweet movie?? I love both the Cranford movies, although I think I may prefer Return to Cranford.

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  2. Okay, Natalie, I've got to hand it to you, you really know how to write a review! This was excellent!!! And now I REALLY need to write out an official book list, because I've got all these recommendations floating around in my head and it's starting to confuse me. I need to get organized...and start reading!

    By the way, I like how you included a few snippets from the book itself. It was nice to get a little feel for the author's style of writing. Also, I like that you included pictures of how you imagine the characters to look. That really helps in making the story come alive. :)

    Thanks for the review, Natalie! :D

    ~Miss March

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    1. Miss March,
      Aww, thank you!! That makes me so happy that you think so!
      Haha, I know! That's pretty much why I joined goodreads-it makes organizing your to-be-read shelf so much easier! :D

      Thank you! I felt the same way. Reviews with pictures and snippets are definitely more fun than those (most of those) without. :)

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  3. I've entered to win this book on goodreads so many times, haha. With this review, I'll keep on trying ;)

    Seriously, though, steampunk has always been attractive to me, but I've never really found many good steampunk books. (I always end up being disappointed with them :/ ) I'm really glad you liked this one- now I'll definitely push it higher on my to-read list :)

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    1. Hayden,
      Haha! I hope you can win a copy!

      Oh, I really hope you like it, then! No that I've seen a little of the genre, I would certainly like to read more steampunk books. Please review it if you do read it-I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

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  4. Aw, you just made my day. Thank you so much for such an awesome review (and an awesome Benedict Cumberbatch gif). I think you just became my Favorite Person of the Week. And you know, I can totally see Scott Eastwood as Hitch.

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    1. K. M. Weiland,
      Oh my, thank you SO much! Your comment just made MY day! :D I'm so incredibly happy that you liked the review and all that went with it. :) Thank you again!!

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  5. Awwwwwwww . . . I just want to give Walter a big hug. Like you :-) I've never even read the book, and I still love him. Just from what you said.

    I'm a little bit confused, though--does this story take place in our world, actually? Or is it in a different world? Or is it a mix between the two (you know, travelling back and forth?)

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    1. Jessica, Yay!! I'm glad my review made you love him! :D He's just the best.

      Well, the story is set in Nebraska and it's all "normal". The only fantasy aspect is the steampunk ship, Schturming, which was said to have been created in the 1800's and been aloft in the sky since then. Does that make more sense?

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    2. I see! That makes sense; it's sort of a mix of fantasy and non-fantasy elements, then?

      Delete
  6. I love your collage! I like to make things like that too :) This book looks interesting!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rosie! I hope you like the book if you ever try it. :)

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  7. Natalie,
    The only one of K.M. Weiland's books I've read so far is Behold the Dawn. (Well, and Outlining Your Novel which is really good too, but quite different obviously. :))

    Let me love you! - I think/say that quite often about book/movie characters. :) I hope that doesn't sound too strange, but when you're sitting there seeing the character get their heart broken or whatnot you just wish you could give them a comforting hug!

    There's a Big Secret? How exciting because I just love Big Secrets. :) I can never decide though if I enjoy figuring them out as I'm reading or getting the Big Shock when it's revealed.

    I hold myself commanded, because this story sounds SO cute! And the detail you put into all the photos is exquisite!

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    1. Eowyn,
      Other than Behold the Dawn and Storming, the only other book I've read from her is her Structuring Your Novel book. It was SO good, and I really would love to read Outlining Your Novel as well. :)

      Oh, not strange at all! I feel that way very often with characters. Especially, as you said when they are having their heart broken. :( I just want to help them!!

      Heehee, I feel the same way! I hope you like this secret if you read the book....it's a pretty wonderful one. ;)

      Thank you so much! :D

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  8. I WANNA READ IT.

    A lot.

    Awesome review, Natalie! And the collage you made for it is awesome, just sayin'. :)

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  9. Awww, thanks so much! YES YOU SHOULD. :D

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