Ondine Quartet by Emma Raveling

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Ondine Quartet Collection: Volume 1 by Emma Raveling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is very close to my heart as I have read, cried and laughed with the characters since the first installment which I picked up in 2012, on my Birthday.

Whirl starts with our main character Kendra (an Ondine) whom after the death of her mother is picked up by a stranger to land smack bang in the middle of a community and school which her mother ran away from with her as a baby.

Growing up on the run has hardened Kendra and she rebels trying to stay true to what she has known and whats been instilled in her.

We learn she has a certain destiny to fulfill and the story is a great setup of the series as a whole. The world building feels natural and sucks you in before you know it.

The character development however is the highlight of this series, Emma has an incredible knack for prosaic writing and often times I could not have come up with a better way to describe certain feelings or emotions. Not only that, but the action scenes are absolutely kick ass as well making the whole story balance out.

The lead, Kendra is engaging and one of few I can honestly believe. She stays true to what she is about though she inevitably grows in certain ways which will change her views accordingly.

Love interests are done in a nice way as well. Even though the focus of the book in my opinion is in strength and growth, love does play a decent part. Luckily there is no instalove, but a common growth shared through circumstance and feelings.

I had made up my mind whom I wish her to end up with, though at that stage it was still a big question mark.. In fact it is all up in the air at the end of Whirl, which makes you immediately want to read the follow up.

~“I resented the reference to my super ninja moves as "sneaking around." "Displaying superior stealth" or "using viper-like reflexes" would have been much better”

~“Emotions are powerful sources of energy. They are what makes us alive. They provide proof of our souls.”

Billow is the second installment.
It picks up a little while after the first. We follow Kendra who is struggling to find her place and come to terms with where Whirl ended.

She most definitely is not perfect and her traits are both admirable as well as headbashingly frustrating. More of the elemental magic takes a front and we get sucked in to another side of the Ondine world of politics and family, loss and grieve. At this stage I am also a massive fan of Julian, even though he is not my choice for Kendra, Emma has made me fall in love with another one of her characters effortlessly.

Even though this book is a little dark, the twists and the end leave it on a great note for me. If anything it is even better then the first and left me anxious about the third installment afraid that it could not live up to my expectations.

~ “Viens-tu du ciel profond ou sors-tu de l'abime O Beaute?" A smooth, male voice said.”

~ “The choice is not in what you do. The choice is in the why.”

It took a little over a year for Crest to be released next and I spend that year following Emma's Blog and reading her novella's and alternate POV blog posts.

And surely when I through the Ondine series could not get any better, Raveling manages to amaze me again.

How much can a character from a book resonate and grow through a series..

I re-read the first two again before starting Crest to recall on some of the more detailed aspects and Im so glad I did. Rereading the series has given me the insight to see the flow through the books in a new light.

Kendra is so much stronger, she is still herself and yes she still is stubborn but she also has a lot of revelation in this book. By far the most important ones yet in my opinion. We get taken to a whole new place in the Ondines World, and a game more intricate then previously thought we would encounter. I have rarely seen this in YA books and the moral code is something a person any age can take resonance from.

On that note, we stop on a major cliff hanger. It's okay as some important dangling ends have been rounded up so nicely from the last book that it has not left me with a sour taste in my mouth but with an adoration and respect knowing we will receive a major finale in the the final installment.

~ “In a world of prophecy and war, where so much of my life followed a path laid out by duty and destiny,Tristan had enough strength to give me what no one else could. The one precious thing I needed the most. A choice.”

~ “Just because a hot guy likes you doesn’t mean you owe him anything. You don’t have to like him back and you don’t have to feel bad that you don’t like him back. Being friends is already pretty special because it means you trust him. If he’s worth keeping in your life, he’ll respect your choice either way.”

And then finally another year has passed, and I am lucky enough to get chosen as one of Emma's #eelites!

In January 2015 the final installment Breaker is released!

Finally the anticipation is rewarded.
There is no better feeling that getting ones hands on a a book you have been so passionately waiting for. And I consequently just blanked the world for the next 4 days as I inhaled it. My poor children have been left to daddies devices.

Phew, what a ride that was. I am still reeling from the pace that was set in this incredible finale.

Breaker picks up where we left off and within the first 5% we are faced with some major revelations that we have been speculating on since this wonderful series began.

Not only that, but not much further along and I got swept into an enormous emotional rollercoaster that did not stop until the very end.

However, do not be mistaken, whilst this book has all kinds of heartwring (and a whole lotta ugly crying on my side), it also has a lot of strength and love and of course some kickass action from Kendra and her crew.

Kendra finally faces what she has too and I think Emma has done so on all fronts very cleverly! I loved that we got to delve into some of the other characters a little deeper as well.

I think now that I've had a little to digest this and re-read the ending one more time (yes, I needed to really make my mind believe this was indeed the end of it all) I have finally given it a place.

It is amazing, it is action, it is carnage, it is passion, sadness, heartache.. but then again, what did we expect? Emma has an incredible talent for putting those into words.

If there is any criticism, I would have loved to read more about Kendra and Tristan in the aftermath. Dont be disappointed, you do get a bone thrown but hey what can I say Im a hopeless sucker for a HEA.

~ "And you are absolutely stunning when you're pissed off" He tucked an errant hair behind my ear and stood. "Feel better?"

~ He looked at me, dark silky locks falling forward, naked and beautiful and so much more then anything I could've ever dreamed.

~"Yes. but it doesn't work for a relationship." The gentleness of his tone eased the sting of criticism. "You cant take everything on yourself, silently gritting your teeth and bearing it. Thats not how partnerships work, how any kind of relationship works."

~ Julian leaned back, his body relaxed and at ease."So how does it feel to be Rogue again?"


All in all, I will put this series in my book case, and I will treasure it until my girls (and boy) are old enough and can read it too. There are few series that have captured me throughout the years and only grow in quality. This is most definitely one of them.

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