Unleash the Storm by Annette Marie

Steel & Stone, #5


Piper thought she could handle the Sahar, the most powerful magical weapon in existence. She thought she could protect her loved ones and stop a war. She thought she could make a difference.

She was wrong, and her mistakes were paid for in blood.

Leaving her world—and her failures—behind, she retreats to the Underworld with Ash and the other draconians. They forge deep into long abandoned mountains, the first draconians to fly the valleys and passes in centuries—or so they thought. Until now, Ash’s mysterious heritage has been nothing but a name, but his presence does not go unnoticed. A new danger stalks him, one that may be even greater than what they escaped.

Cut off from the power she’d come to rely on and lost in a world where she doesn’t belong, Piper has never felt so hopeless. But she must find her strength, and find it quickly, before she loses Ash to an ancient power he can’t fight, before her home is devastated by the daemon war, and before her mind, body, and soul are consumed by the Sahar’s insidious magic.

“Loss can be like chains holding you in place or a fire pushing you onward. We each choose every day what it will be to us.”

The Steel & Stone series has been a fun ride. I absolutely adored the first book - earning it a five star rating - but like most good things, series have to end. I heard there will be new books eventually, which I'll end out checking out, but unfortunately my interest in the series has lessened a bit the further the books continue.

The fifth and last of a series that started unique but then got a little stereotypical. Sorry to say that the series lost a lot its uniqueness and completely killed humor it had in the first book, but the scope of the world-building grew exponentially and the suspense was amped up for more people than just our small circle.

I like Piper has come into her own on what she is and her potential - gone is the overdone angst worrying she is not good enough (finally) - but even though I knew she was always a tough chick and had the fight and determination in her, here the author brings her into another typical role we see in YA and adult fantasy: a unique flower with unbelievable strength who stands above others. I liked Piper in the first book as a girl trying to find her own place in the world - it is not unlikable that she emerged as a super leader, but that's what is done with so many series now that it just feels redundant and doesn't raise too much excitement in me anymore.

A let-down was the romantic aspect. I won't ruin the end but it's not a HEA nor does it place enough strength on the romance. While it's fine for a book not to do that, to start a series and have romance be one of the very main focuses, and then change that in the last book, is just...odd.

There's a lot of action but for some reason I lost some of my interest. I was tired of Samael by two books ago. I dug the dragon addition but the circle of friends and traveling buddies has grown so large it's hard to stay focused on favorites.

Overall definitely still a story and series worth reading.

   Book Quotes:

“Focus on the now and the next, not the distant future of maybe and if. Even those of the strongest faith can falter when the eyes focus too far in the distance.”