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Publisher's Summary

When the Stormriders attack, Ary’s people have little chance.

Can he find a way to defeat them?

At 19, Ary has spent 10 years mourning his father’s death. The aftermath of the attack still haunts him. Now, on the eve of the draft, he faces his greatest fear: being sent to become a marine. 

He knows the cost of war. 

All he wants is to marry Charlene, whom he has loved since they were kids. Building a farm and starting a family sounds perfect. There’s just one problem; his best friend, Vel, adores her, too. He’d give anything for peace. 

But wanting the Stormriders to stop attacking isn’t going to make it happen. 

For love, for his people, and especially for the life he wants, Ary makes a decision that will change everything. 

The adventure begins. 

You’ll love this beautifully creative dark fantasy, because James Reid knows how to create characters and worlds you’ll grow to adore.

©2018 JMD Reid (P)2020 JMD Reid

What listeners say about Above the Storm

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

too much

this book started off weird trying to wrap my head around creatures and humans. some parts are crazy, weird, nasty but I pressed on with hope it would get better. IT did. Not the best but not the worst.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

So Much Love Triangle

So much awesome and one big negative. I do not like love triangles and this story is like 75% love triangle. It was a bit tough at times to push through and finish the story because I really wanted to revel in all the good stuff but this love triangle just would not resolve. In fact, by the end of book, the triangle isn’t fully resolved and that makes me really hesitant to continue the series.

So let’s talk about some of the good stuff. The world building is fantastic! There’s these sky islands where riding ostriches to work is the norm. There’s a couple different flavors of magic, all weather related. I also love that humans aren’t the only sentient species nor are they the ones in charge. There’s this avian species that seem to be in charge of the bureaucracy and the religious aspects of this society. A lizard species is also mentioned but we don’t get to learn much about them. Toss in some forbidden magic, some actual deities, and these storm raiders, and you have the base for a very exciting tale.

Unfortunately that love triangle gets going early on and remains the main plot driver for the entire book, all 17+ hours of it. It really brought the story down because it made our main characters seem really hormonal and a little dumb. Also, it put Chaylene (aka Lena) in the position of Romantic Interest which greatly diminished her character. She could be doing a lot more, but nope, has to be stuck in this love triangle. (Just an FYI – the Audible description has Chaylene as Charlene, but if I heard right, I do think her name really is Chaylene).

These sky islands don’t have much metal so they use bone swords and such. I thought this was pretty interesting and a fun exploration of what a society would look like without metal. However, there is this one dream plaguing our Chosen One (Ary aka Barys) that involves a plea to break the chains. For some reason, the word ‘chain’ is unknown to the sky islanders. I found this very odd. Like how are they making their clothes or big sailing ships? Even if they don’t have metal chains, there’s plenty of other use for ‘chains’ like in crafting clothing (crocheting, knitting, etc.). So it’s an interesting aspect but could use a little more thought to make it fully believable.

The main characters (Ary, Lena, and Vel) are likable when they aren’t being love-sick fools. I also like the support characters who are admittedly one-dimensional right now, but do a good job of filling out the story. Lena was drafted into the Navy and Ary signed up to be with her. Vel was also drafted. All three have their reasons or fears of being part of the military. Lena’s parents were of two different cultures and Skyland always made fun of Lena for being darkskinned. Now in the Navy, there’s people of multiple ethnicities so Lena is starting to learn to like herself more. However, she and most of the other ladies are mostly love interests or bad mothers (lots of parent issues being worked out by these young people).

Over all, 3/5 stars. I would have given it higher rating if the love triangle was absent or just a small part of the story. However, I would have given it a much lower score if the love triangle wasn’t supported by all this awesomeness.

The Narration: Zachary Johnson did a great job with this story. He had unique voices for all the characters and his ladies sounded like ladies. I especially applaud his ability to smoothly pronounce the complicated and odd avian names. He also put a lot of emotion into the story, capturing what these young, impressionable, hormonal teens are going through. His pacing was spot on, he sounded interested in the story, and there were no tech issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own.

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Dark Fantasy Adventure

Above the Storm is a fantastic story! Well written and wonderfully narrated. The worldbuilding was beautiful, from the landscape of the skylands floating above the storm below to the myths of the storm Goddess to the unique constellations in the night sky. The magic system of major and minor blessings of things like wind and lightning combine with crude gemstone technology to make things like ships that fly and guns that shoot lightning. Reid’s descriptions brought things I’d never imagined into my mind.

And so many wonderful characters. The main character, Ari, struggles with childhood traumas that changed his life and finds himself enlisted in the Navy against his own better judgement. The storm rages within him as he is plagued by nightmares. He fights to control his raging temper and hold things together as his life unravels around him. Chaylene had her own problems in childhood and they draw strength for each other but she makes some foolish choices and pays a hefty price. Vel, ever the ladie’s man, pushes everyone to the brink. And all the supporting characters were so well rounded they felt like dear friends by the end. The final battle was so epic and the last chapter left the story wide open for the next adventure. I’m really looking forward to reading more of what happens next with Ari and the crew of the Dauntless.

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Above the Best!

I got this book for free, but the thoughts are mine!

This is a beautifully written epic fantasy book! There! It has ALL i look for, a good start, good characters, and lovely lovely Zachary Johnson. I never heard of JMD Reid before, but i see a bright bright future for this AMAZING author! I cant praise this book enough!

World-building is very importent for me, and WOW JMD Reid does that in max. I cant WAIT, to get into book 2 in this series, and i can see that this gets to be my favorite series of ALL time. HARD recomend!

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The Jetsons -- Epic Fantasy

Beautifully woven story. It's a slower burn, long epic. The pacing is really well done. It follows the main character, a lightning struck young man who's partially unstable with a love triangle over a woman. It isn't your typical love triangle though, it's two people, with a third being jealous he didn't have a chance. Jealously, revenge, world building, action. This is like an epic fantasy version of The Jetsons. That's right, I said it. They all live in the sky, and have to deal with pirates attacking in the storms. They ride ostriches rather than horses, and all the slang matches. Compelling page turner, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this series continues.

The audio book narration was well-done.

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  • Peachesnbeal
  • 01-02-21

Delightful Twist

I love the premise for this series! I like a few of the characters. The back and forth is a little deterring, but not overly done. The narration is phenomenal! I can't wait for the rest of this series to be put into audio. I may have to just read them! I need to know where this goes.
#breakthechains

1 person found this helpful