Billow is the follow up book to Emma Raveling's debut Whirl, and after I read Whirl I was hooked! I have been trolling the Kindle store on Amazon absolutely waiting for the next one to arrive, and I am happy to say it is finally here! For those not caught up to speed on The Ondine Quartet, they follow the crazy life of our heroine Kendra who is an Ondine, and she is also the Sondaleur or the chosen one. She is supposed to rescue the Ondine population from the demon Aquidae. In the first book Whirl, we are introduced to a recently orphaned Kendra, who is helped to defeat Aquidae she encounters by the Selkie Prince Tristan. Instant sparks fly, and through gaining new friends and losing some as well, we see Kendra's story start to take shape and the part she is supposed to play in the Ondine world. We also meet the ever incorrigible Julian, who is honestly my favorite character from this whole series thus far. When someone close and powerful betrays the Ondine community to the Aquidae, it becomes Kendra's duty to rescue the people she has grown to love and care about.
Billow picks up about six months after we left Whirl, and boy things are different. Kendra has been training with Julian, Tristan is gone, and Kendra's friend Chloe is reeling from the impact of betrayal. We see a very different Kendra in this book, she is secluded mentally and emotionally from her friends, and tries to carry the weight of the world on her own two shoulders. When people start disappearing literally, and someone close to Kendra is hurt badly things begin to spin out of control. To top that off, Kendra has been having nightmares of smoke billowing all around her and her enemy, The Shadow is constantly one step ahead of her. With the sudden reappearance of Tristan, and Julian throwing his hat into the ring to vie for Kendra's attentions, her life is getting morphing into a constant battle field. Instead of going it alone as usual people close to Kendra care about her for a change, and want to help her. When an old friend resurfaces and has information on these disappearances, Kendra must act fast. But, the question remains: Will she act alone?
I thoroughly enjoyed Billow, and cannot wait for the third installment to be written and released. Emma's ability to create two insanely likable guys without going over board on the whole "love triangle" aspect is wonderful. I feel pulled both ways because I like both Julian and Tristan (Maybe Julian just a tad more because he is hilarious). But, I also liked the fact that we really see into Kendra's internal struggle in this book, and her realizing that she doesn't always know what is best for everyone. I loved that she grew so much in this book, and also that she has become willing to take on bigger and bigger responsibilities.
If you haven't checked out Whirl or Billow yet, please do. Emma Raveling has created a truly unique world that is new and fresh. Plus, a badass heroine is always awesome, and Kendra is truly one badass!
It has been six months since ondine Kendra Irisavie arrived in Haverleau, the hidden capital of the water elemental world.
Six months since she discovered her destiny as the sondaleur.
Six months since a series of devastating events left behind their mark.
Now, as she enters the chevalier elite program in her final year at Lumiere Academy, Kendra continues forward on her prophesied journey against the Shadow. Obsessed with what she must do to keep those around her safe, she struggles to balance her powerful magic and the demands of her fate with the challenges of friendship, the complications of romance, and the bonds of family.
Meanwhile, the threat of the Shadow looms larger. Kendra and her friends investigate a series of puzzling human and elemental disappearances in the city of Lyondale and uncover a horrifying tactic used by the Aquidae in the war. When danger strikes close to home, Kendra must separate the truths from the lies and choose who and what to believe.
Even if it means facing what she fears the most.