Member Reviews

Talasyn grew up during the Hurricane Wars and became a soldier, defending her nation from the Night Emperor. She has spent years hiding the deadly secret that light magic flows through her.

Prince Alaric, the heir to the Night Emperor has shadow magic and is working to destroy all threats to his nation when he discovers Talasyn and her secret magic. He tries to kill her, but instead their opposing magics collide into a magnificent and never before seen force.

Talasyn and Alaric are on opposing sides, but a threat is coming that could destroy everyone, and the magic they create together may be the only way stop it.

The world building in this book was impressive. It did take me a bit to figure that out along with the magic system, but once I got it, I was engrossed. I loved Talasyn’s stubborn streak and strong willed character. She’s feisty and not afraid to speak her mind. Alaric’s personality was broody and kind of expected, but it worked for him. The slow burn was so slow and it was fantastic. This book was a great romantasy read!

Thank you to Harper Voyager and NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Thea Guanzon weaves beautiful, poetic words to create an original fantasy romance drawing inspiration from Southeast Asia where two opposing factions are not the only threats to each other and differences must be cast aside to save the world as we know it.

+ Enemies to Lovers
+ Marriage of Convenience
+ Angst
+ Intricate Magic System
+ War

The beginning drops us immediately into a long lasting war where stakes are high and casualties take the characters we’re just coming to meet and care about. The Night Empire is sweeping unmatched across the land and devouring all who oppose them, but the Prince’s shadow magic soon meets its equal.

Guanzon doesn’t craft just fully fleshed out multidimensional characters, but the world itself that’s around them. Her imagery is vivid enough to paint a picture even for those like me with Aphantasia. The lands are unique and expensive and the politics complex. The magic system blends together both magic and technology in a unique and interesting way unlike any I have seen before. I did reread after getting a physical copy with a map, and that did make it easier to follow along if the initial high fantasy style setup and world building seemed daunting.

Talasyn’s journey of self discovery and coming into her powers and their capabilities was met with powerful scenes and emotional moments. Her father was a standout character whose on page moments left me misty eyed.

The slow burn between Alaric and Talasyn is an agonizing smolder filled with chemistry and angst. I loved each character on their own, but their contrast of day and night bound together by a marriage of convenience where he is the one that falls first had me screaming. It was as if Guanzon had brought all of my favorite tropes into one gorgeously bound book. The witty banter had me giggling like a school girl and left my copy with an obscene amount of highlights.

The Hurricane Wars was the perfect setup for an expansive world. I’m eager to see where it will go next and these two to get to that explosive moment I know is on the horizon.

Was this review helpful?

I can not express how much I absolutely LOVED this book!!! I read a very early and different version of it years ago and was so excited when Thea announced it was being published! It's a true enemies to lovers story, which is hard to find anymore and is just everything I ever wanted from a fantasy book! The world building was well-developed and I loved how the magic system tied into the world around the characters. Overall it's safe to say I am OBSESSED and can't wait for book 2 next year!

Was this review helpful?

The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon is one of the best debut novels I've read all year. There is so much going on, but Ms. Guanzon makes it exciting. With one of the more realistic enemies-to-lovers relationships I've seen, I devoured every page and cannot wait for more.

The Hurricane Wars contains one of the best slow-burn romances I've ever read. The wait is agony but so satisfying when Alaric and Talasyn finally acknowledge their feelings. Plus, Ms. Guanzon builds their relationship in a realistic manner. These are not enemies who are able to throw off their hatred and switch it over to nothing but love. Ms. Guanzon keeps the mistrust and an inability to forget their bloody history between them, which creates a lovely tension that simply makes sense.

I love a good, complex story, and The Hurricane Wars does not disappoint in this area. There is so much history to which we are not privy that drives the adults and their reactions to Alaric and Talasyn. The number of secrets Alaric and Talasyn keep from each other is astounding. Watching it all play out is so much fun. As is watching Talasyn learn more about her magic. Plus, there are SO many agendas fighting against each other. It may be complicated, but the skill with which Ms. Guanzon blends it together so well that it belies her debut status.

The Hurricane Wars was the highlight of the month of September for me. The world-building is outstanding. The relationship between Alaric and Talasyn contains one of the best slow-burns to hit the pages. We obtain enough answers to whet our appetite. The Hurricane Wars has a satisfying ending, but Ms. Guanzon drops enough hints about the progression of the story in the sequel to make me salivate with want. The Hurricane Wars is a must-read for all fantasy lovers this fall.

Was this review helpful?

Hmm, I really feel quite meh about this book. I read through about 40-50% of it and then skimmed the rest. In this book, we follow a soldier on one side of an epic war named Talasyn, who secretly has access to light magic that has been believed to be wiped out. On the other side of the war is a prince named Alaric, who wields shadow magic. The world is an interesting mix of science fiction and fantasy, and I did not enjoy the sci-fi portions. I don't know if that's just a me thing in that I sometimes find sci-fi to be overly complicated and boring, or that I just didn't like these explanations of the technology and magic.

It felt like there was a lot of interesting but sometimes confusing world-building in the first few chapters, and then it was just given up on after that as the focus was centered on the romance. Also, it felt like the side characters were important in the story during the beginning of the book, but then after that they were shoved to the side since they served their purpose in getting the main characters together romantically.

Speaking of the romance, this has been largely marketed as an enemies-to-lovers romance and I wouldn't really call it that. If they are enemies, I personally think that they should take longer to suddenly flip from murder on the mind to romantic intentions. I skimmed through the "spicy" sections and they were painful to read, I really didn't like them (personal preference obviously 😂). Also, I understand that this was originally fanfiction and I tried my best to review this without that influencing my opinion either negatively or positively.

Also, I don't often give below 3 stars, but for me 2.5 stars indicates that it was a fine book, but I won't be reading any sequels and I don't want to ever reread this book. There were good parts and interesting concepts, and the writing wasn't bad or anything, but so often it felt more YA than an adult fantasy, with so much focus on the characters lusting after eachother. Overall, it's not for me but I understand why fantasy romance fans might like it.

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for the eARC!

Was this review helpful?

The Hurricane Wars is one of those books that makes you wait for the author's next book. This has the potential to be the next great obsession in fantasy series. Thea Guanzon handles this story with a deftness born of a storyteller's soul. Based on the lives and tales of the people of the Philippines, Hurricane Wars follows Talasyn and Alaric as they fight each other in a war that threatens the very existence of their people. I was immediately grabbed up into this story. The world building and magic systems are unique while being easy to comprehend. I enjoyed every second of Thea's writing even when it was ripping out my heart. I whole-heartedly recommend you move this to the top of your TBR.

Was this review helpful?

This did not live up to the “booktok hype.” It seemed fairly repetitive and read more like YA as far as the characters voices went. The writing itself I feel was over described, it didn’t actually describe anything at all. There was definitely more telling, rather than showing and I didn’t find the story believable. Sad because this was one of my most-anticipated reads of the year.

Was this review helpful?

This is a slow burn!! While I would say it starts a bit slow, I really enjoyed this. I liked all the shadow and light, though very obviously based on Star Wars, I didn’t mind! The writing was really lovely! Also a marriage of convenience? Yes please! It’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait to read the next one!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for the arc! This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year but unfortunately, I found that this book needed more development. It is very obvious that this was originally fan fiction, which isn't bad but there are things to consider! The characters are not developed enough for me to care about their journey. It's easy to breeze over this in fanfic because readers are already well-versed in the universe and actively seeking fics with their favorite ship. In taking this work and publishing it into a book with original characters, that was lost here. There is also so much world-building shoved down your throat at the beginning of the novel, so with me already feeling detached from the characters, I kept wanting to DNF so often.

Was this review helpful?

★ 3.5 / 5

I have conflicting opinions for The Hurricane Wars. On one hand, I loved the atmosphere and world building. Thea Guanzon has created a magnificent world for these characters, and I particularly enjoyed the technology (especially for war and suppressing magic), historical references, and influence of the environment on the world as a whole. However, I was not a big fan of the romance, which is extremely central to the plot. I didn't even realize this book was marketed as romantasy until I was a portion of the way into it. Because the romance is so in-your-face throughout the book, you can't really tune it out in favor of the positives I mentioned earlier. You'll be learning about a part of the Hurricane Wars' history and then BOOM Alaric or Talasyn is thinking about the other. I believe if you are a big romantasy fan over the political and environmental plots of this story, then you'll really enjoy it.

Now you might be wondering about my specifics for not enjoying the romance—well it comes down to the fcat that the relationship did not feel believable or natural at all. It felt forced. Talasyn and Alaric are marketed as enemies to lovers, but besides their initial two meetings, I'd argue they are never again enemies because the two cannot stop DROOLING over the other. It's the sort of situation where they are supposed to hate the other because they're on opposite sides of the war, but their attraction seemingly overrides their supposed dislike of the other. Alaric as the Night Emperor is the successor to his colonizing father's actions, but for some reason, Talasyn on multiple occasions ignores that fact even as she reminds herself of the pain his empire has thrust on her people. It was really abrupt and intense and again unbelievable. Alaric does show throughout the book that he detests the war and violence he's been forced to commit since he was a child, but again, there's still the bad taste in my mouth. I know this book is partially based off of the author's fanfiction of Rey and Kylo Ren, so I'm not sure if the author will ultimately follow the same trajectory where Alaric eventually changes sides and dies... but yeah there's just an icky feeling.

What I'm hoping for this sequel is a chance to broaden the magical knowledge of the characters as well as the settings. I'm so excited to see Alaric in the capital of the Night Empire alongside his father. We're definitely going to get tons more context about their relationship and its history. Maybe even Alaric will fight back, who knows? Moreover, I was Talasyn to explore her heritage and abilities. At the end, she talks with her grandmother about gaining access to all of their magical knowledge, and that really sets up the sequel in a perfect light—hopefully with more dragons too. The Hurricane Wars definitely felt like a setup novel to the actual plot in the sequel, so I'm very intrigued to see where the author takes readers next.

Thank you to Harper Voyager and NetGalley for the eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

♡ 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙤𝙤𝙙𝙨 ♡
•enemies to lovers - for real though
•elemental magic
•beautiful, complex world building
•marriage of convenience
•royal intrigue
•forced proximity
•you’re hot, but i still hate you

“𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙢𝙚.”
“𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘪𝘵.”

sheeeeesh, alaric and talasyn hate each other…or do they?! at the end of this book, i still don’t know and that’s why i loved it so much. if you’re looking for a TRUE enemies to lovers (?), look no further. this book is brimming with tension and angst and i am here for it. i honestly have no idea where this story is going and how these two are going to get past the obstacles that lie ahead. the amazing world building just added to my enjoyment of this book. i could feel the heat and humidity and taste and smell the food of nenavar as i was reading! this was truly such an immersive read and i’m so excited to see where it goes.

romance: cracked door

thanks to avon and harper voyager for an advanced copy. my thoughts are my own.

Was this review helpful?

🥀The Hurricane Wars Review 📖

5/5 ⭐️

I have been in a book slump for a while, and this was the book to pull me out of it! Gosh, this debut novel was SO GOOD, I devoured it in just a few days.
It was a bit hard for me to get into at first, because I felt the scenes were way more descriptive than most books I read. Because of this I had a hard time imagining what was happening (you would think it would be easier, right 🤪), but it didn’t take long for that to resolve in my head!
I loved the enemies to lovers and cannot wait for book 2!

🥀3rd person, Dual POV
🥀Enemies to lovers
🥀Arranged marriage

Was this review helpful?

First of all, I really enjoyed this story and the intro that explained where the story originated from was a nice start to better understanding the history of the lands.

I will say this book does hit in the should have been categorized as YA vs Adult book or at least of been New Adult. It just doesn't feel like the story is geared towards adult audiences. That being said, i really enjoyed the story.

I like the duel POV, Talysan learning more about her familiar history and herself. The world itself was immersive and well thought out and built in layers thoughout the story. It did not do an first book World info dump.

It gives Reylo Fan fiction and stears very much into those visuals for the characters. And it is very slow burn and very "no, i like you. No, i hate you" that just gave the YA vibes.

That being said i will read the second book and I hope that the action picks up the pace in book 2

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed reading this! The magic system was cool, and I liked the dual POVs. I'm a huge sucker for books where he falls first and this did not disappoint. Very much looking forward to the next book in the series!! Will definitely be buying my own copy of this one!

Was this review helpful?

Def enjoyed the enemies to lovers, reylo vibe of this. The inspiration of colonized Philippines mixed with their volatile weather in their island chain. Love when he falls first and she can't tell. He's just a mess internally and they are on opposing sides. Can't wait for book 2!

Thank you avonbooks

Was this review helpful?

3.5 rounded up. This was a great debut, even if it started as fanficition. I enjoyed a lot of moments from the book and even saved some favorite quotes.

However, there was just a little something missing for me. There was a lot of telling and not showing and even some repeated phrases. I only see the author getting better and better eith each book.

This was a very true enemies to lovers and a very VERY slow burn. I enjoyed the setting and the magic system was interesting. Definitely get the star wars vibes with that for sure.

Will absolutely be reading the sequel. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harper Voyager for the chance to read the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Did not finish book. Stopped at 26%.
This book didn't work for me but I could see it working for a lot of people. I'm finding more and more that I'm not the biggest fan of romantasy (books where romance and fantasy are equal in the plot). If you want a high stakes plot where the lovers are literally on opposite sides of the war, this is the book for you.

Was this review helpful?

Maybe officially 3.5!

I really enjoyed this once I got into it, but it did take me a while to get into!

I thought the first 100 pages were too dense with paragraphs of world building to where I was pretty confused and never fully got a grasp on the world throughout the book.

I did LOVE the slow burn, enemies to lovers, the dragons, and the magic.

Was this review helpful?

Darkness and light are eternal opposites but also forces that only truly exist thanks to the presence of the other. After all, what is darkness, without light to put it in? What is light without the dark to illuminate? These questions of balance and power run throughout Thea Guanzon’s deliciously entertaining fantasy debut, The Hurricane Wars, one of the buzziest genre titles of the year—and one that is sure to delight “romantasy” fans everywhere.

Set in a lush, Southeast Asian-inspired world, the story mixes complex high fantasy elements with familiar romance tropes and displays the sort of muscular emotional dexterity that can only come from an author who’s spent some significant time writing in transformative fandom spaces. With plenty of political intrigue, a vivid magical system largely inspired by weather and themes that touch on everything from imperialism and conquest to sacrifice and duty. (It’s also a banger of a love story, particularly if opposites attract, enemies to lovers, or marriages of convenience are your specific weaknesses when it comes to tropes. Or if you were a Reylo shipper, as the novel’s lead characters clearly owe more than a bit to the popular Star Wars duo.)

Was this review helpful?

I was really looking forward to this title, but sadly, it wasn't for me. I had a hard time engaging with it-- the first 20% is dense in terms of worldbuilding, with paragraphs heavily laden with fantasy place names, people's names, technology and magic terminology... things that had meaning to the characters, but no meaning to me, the reader. It didn't grab me. I would most certainly recommend this to any fan of high fantasy, however. I think the stylistic choices that lost me are exactly what high fantasy readers gravitate towards. It could be an epic read for the right reader!

Was this review helpful?