Emancipation, to him, was the stuff of history books and political speeches, not the reality in which he lived and breathed everyday.
To say that I am shocked would be an understatement. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting upon beginning this book, but I must admit that it surpassed my expectations.
A Flight of Broken Wings is a debut YA thriller/fantasy novel, the first in a series, by Nupur Chowdhury, and it narrates the story of a world in which Aerials (winged immortal beings of energy) and Humans are enemies. I believe it was stated that six hundred years ago, within this world, humanity spearheaded a revolutionary war in which they forced the Aerials from Earth and back to their homeland, called Vaan. However, few stayed behind and, therefore, Hunters were tasked with finding them and killing them.
The setting of this novel is placed within contemporary society and a new threat of the Aerials is looming. Thus, Hunters, like the main character, Ruban Kinoh, must step up to protect the country.
Before I delve into my thoughts on the narrative and the characters, I’ll provide you all with a synopsis of A Flight of Broken Wings which can also be accessed on Goodreads:
Supernatural meets White Collar.
Action, mystery, and bromance!
Saving the world has never been so much fun!!
Six hundred years ago, humanity rose up in revolt against the Aeriels, who were driven from earth and back into their homeland of Vaan after a bloody and glorious war.
Eight years ago, Ruban’s home was destroyed and his family murdered by an Aeriel.
When a new Aeriel threat looms over Ragah, the capital city of Vandram, Ruban Kinoh must do everything in his power to avenge his family’s past and protect the future of his country.
Which is hard enough without being saddled with a pretty and pompous aristocrat, who seems as useless as he is vain. Faced with a conspiracy that might cost humanity its hard-won freedom, and accompanied by the bejeweled and glitter-clad Ashwin Kwan, Ruban begins his journey into a land where the past and the future intertwine
Thoughts on the Narrative
I’ll first begin with the worldbuilding because this novel focuses on the careful formulation and creation of a believable but unique world for the characters. The concept of these worlds and the detail of it all blew my mind quite often, as Chowdhury’s descriptions were incredibly articulate and in-depth. I found this to be such a fantastic peek at the writing ability and talent of the author, as she made these descriptive elements engaging for the readers. I won’t go too much into detail as it will then spoil the novel, so I’ll discuss some overall points!
This novel is much more plot-driven than I am used to, however, most events that occur throughout the careful unfolding of the plot is deliberate but also intends to move the story forward. I did find, though, that at times the writing of events that occur within each chapter, seemed slightly disjointed. As if it was lacking a sort of cohesiveness that perfectly wound it all together. Although this was somewhat minor, it was something that grasped my attention throughout my reading of this novel.
As I said before, the writing was incredibly articulate and detailed. The author’s talents cannot be refuted. However, at times I did find the language itself to be an odd mix. What I mean by this is that there were times where the vocabulary would become incredibly verbose and it really did not need to be. It made the narrative become clunky and dense. This I also felt with aspects of the dialogue between characters. For instance, out-of-place use of ‘my dear’ or ‘my love’ or dialogue that seemed forced or just not a believable conversation between young adults.
Even though the story generally kept me quite engaged, I did find the plot quite predictable. Though it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment, the events leading up to the climax and thus, the closing battle kind of felt too predictable. This then kind of made me feel slightly underwhelmed with the story, not enough to make me bored but enough that I felt a slight disengagement with the narrative.
Thoughts on the Characters
He was Ruban Kinoh, Chief Hunter, South Ragah Division. He was a soldier, an officer of the state of Vandram, a servant to her people. There were interests greater than his own at stake here, and he had a duty to see them through
The main protagonist, Ruban Kinoh, was one of those characters who I did not enjoy particularly. He is described as the ‘Chief Hunter’, the soldier, the man who is tasked with the ultimate job of protection for his country. But he was incredible and extremely frustrating to read. He lacked intelligence, both cognitive and also emotional, that just annoyed me to no end! The major ‘conspiracy’ was something that was so completely obvious, not only to the readers, but also to the characters within this novel, but Ruban was completely and utterly oblivious. I found him to be quite an unlikable character as a result of his significantly superficial characterisation. His motivations for being a Hunter was concentrated on the fact that an Aerial killed his family and destroyed his home. I found Ruban to be blinded by hate and at times, acted selfishly. Though he was also compassionate, I found his character to not be developed enough both at the beginning and throughout the novel. Hopefully, in the future books of the series, Ruban’s character will showcase growth and personality.
The other character I want to touch on, though the cast of characters within this novel is pretty great and diverse too, I want to talk about my precious son Ashwin. Acting as the secondary character, Ashwin was the aristocratic partner shoved onto Ruban and I’m so happy that Ashwin came into my life. He is sunshine personified and I absolutely adored what everything that character brought to the story. He was humorous, intelligent, and witty. I felt that Ashwin’s character was slightly more developed and written better, in comparison to Ruban’s character; which I felt didn’t make the most sense, in terms of the writing and the narrative. Ashwin was a great addition to the cast and was more the ‘brains’ in the partnership.
The only unfortunate thing I can also add is that I wish there was more time spent on developing the side characters. There would be kickass side characters introduced (like Simani or Dawaad) and they got so little page-time and would disappear for chapters! They were so epic and would have been so fantastic.
Overall, a really solid debut novel from Nupur Chowdhury. I look forward to reading her future novels, especially those within this series. I rate this novel a 3 out of 5 stars. I believe that readers who enjoy urban fantasy with a hint of sci-fi also will enjoy this read! I want to also take the time and thank the author herself for gifting A Flight of Broken Wings to me for free, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
That’s it for today, friends! Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,