Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig – Bethany House Review

Hello girls! This is NOT this weeks post, it’s a book review that I’m doing for Bethany House.

A couple months ago the publishing company was changing out their reviewing system and I did not apply again, because I didn’t know where I was going with it, however I decided to go ahead and apply, and this was my first book since getting back with them!

I will say, this is not a kids book and If you are under 16 I do not reccomend reading this book. I also warn that This is a CONTENT REVIEW meaning the Reasons why I don’t reccomend this for young readers WILL BE written out. That being said, it’s my personal opinion and the choice is yours as there is no MAJOR content. My personal rating is Four Stars because I, as a Christian 19 year old with high reading standards, did enjoyed the book. If you aren’t intrested in reading the review that’s ok too because my regular post will be on Wendsday!

Onto the review!

Ok, where to start. (idk why I said that because I know exactly where to start)
Lilah, aka The Sherlock on goodreads and @sherlockfiles on Instagram and Reviews by Sherlock (If you don’t follow her GO DO IT. She’s such a sweetheart) on the blogsphere. She has showered me with lots and lots of Ronie Kendig fangirling. To be honest, I’m extremely hesitant to buy books by authors I haven’t read before HOWEVER I just HAPPENED to get back on the Bethany House RC list and the first book I got the email for reviewing was this, Storm Rising. I had been getting an earful about it everywhere where books are discussed so of course I wanted to read it.

Now my review:

Well y’all saw that I marked if four stars. I just want to say that this is NOT a children’s/preteen book, and even for early teens, it’s a little pushy. But first, of course,

The things I liked!

There were so many names introduced at the beginning and my first thought was to worry I wouldn’t be able to tell who was who but, I worried for no reason! Each part of the team had their job and they did that job well, and personalities stood out from each other and I got it pretty quickly who was who! Kudoos to the author for doing such a good job juggling SO MANY CHARACTERS and not making it hard on the reader in any way.
Going specific, I loved Mercy and her quick smirk and high-intensity brain and awesome hacking abilities (I secretly love characters with skills like hers)
Iskar. Where even to start. She had so much to hide, so little and yet so much to lose. She was such a mystery, such a dark, pained woman just longing for life. And she still held a heart, which would be impossible to believe from the outside I couldn’t help liking her from the very beginning. Her actions and impulses and skills were amazing. And her character development from chapter one to chapter thirty-five never went dry.
Hristoff. Let’s just say he was sick and disgusting and horrid and I may have wanted someone to stuff a knife into his gut a lot earlier than anyone did. Basically a bad person. (wait why is he in the things I liked? Hm) Oh, because he was such a sick villain that he filled his place well. (Dude I hate hating villains. I hate hating)
Leif. How… I guess the best thing I can say is, HE HAS THE GIFT OF MC. The mystery of a character that makes you anxious to keep reading, the beauty of a good brain and good brawn, and the drive to be as loyal to the loyalty and feeling the betrayal and the pain and the confusion and just. Leif was an all-around great character.

The plot.
I really did like Iskar’s part of the plot. Her determination and grit and pain and her skills and the motive behind everything. she. did. was so… Like yeah, she wasn’t doing everything right, but I sympathized with her. She was…. understandable.
Everything that she battled with and everything she had to lose was so deep and so brain jarring and just kind of hurt a little.
Leif’s part of the plot, his mission as a SEAL was really good. The Storm orbs and finding the book and chasing Viorica and struggling with his own missing memories and hiding what he had to hide. It was just so much to take in. (No I was not up until 2 am finishing the book, except for that I was)

The world-building wasn’t that hard to get because it’s not like its a fantasy or a dystopia, and I’m not all that great at actually reading descriptions of places unless ints threaded into the actions themselves. It was good.

Things I didn’t like
There weren’t too many things, but most of them are slightly mature content so for the sake of younger readers (and spoilers). To sum it up, even tho there’s nothing detailed or sensual, personally, I wouldn’t recommend it to girls (or boys) under 16.

Here’s the content review.
Language: None. Maybe one or two substitutes of mild words, one “Son of a” (phrase was left unfinished) and another “Holy Mother” (catholic reference)

Violence: There was quite a bit of violence in the book, even though it wasn’t gory or super detailed. One MC being a SEAL and one an assassin has it’s downsides, from bullet wounds to murders and gunfights. Blood is mentioned quite a few times, many different sorts of injuries, multiple deaths (one by drowning, several by shots, etc)

Romance/Sextual content: (SPOILERS ABOUT ISKAR) This was my biggest downturn even though it was part of the plot. Iskar was majorly sexutally abused. None of the scenes are described or detailed, and in fact, most of them happened even before the story (one time is, however, mentioned where Iskar’s POV is written after such an event.)
Iskar was sold by her father to Hristoff at a young age and he raped her many many times. She was also sent to a trainer who tortured her as training to become very good at what she does as a spy and assassin. Even though none of these scenes are specifically described or discussed, it was a major part of the plot and a big part of who Iskar was and why she did what she did.
Iskar was raising a child she had had out of wedlock, Bisera.
There are many mentions of muscle, skin color, and eyes being drawn to a person, tho nothing was particularly sensual or bothered me.
Several mentions desire to spend time with a person.
Two kisses, both minorly detailed/detailed.
Iskar’s shape is “assessed” once or twice.
Mention of ‘buy a girl out’ but it was as a cover to keep Leif from getting killed, not actual prostitution.

Other content: The only thing I have to mention is that the Book of Wars is “supposed” to be out of the Bible, and the Book of Jasher as well as others are mentioned. I wouldn’t give it a second thought except that there were several “excerpts” read aloud, and I personally thought that was pretty close to adding to the Bible, even if it was fiction.

That was a lot of things to mention about content, but I enjoyed the book and didn’t feel uncomfortable with anything really that happened or was written in the book. I recommend trying it out if you’re over 16! Obviously, since this was the first book of a series there were a couple of loose strings that were not tied up (on purpose) so I’m curious to see the next book in April.

Four Stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own.


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