My power could save my friends—or destroy them.
As I start a new semester at Thunderbird Academy, I have a lot to live up to. News of my sisters’ courageous fight against the Ancient evil has spread, and now, everyone expects the same greatness from me.
But all I want to do is:
1) Find my dad.
2) Figure out why my magic has suddenly gone on the fritz.
It would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to keep dealing with the ever-annoying Aiden Lawson. Shifter, nemesis, ridiculously gorgeous. I don’t care how he makes my pulse race, I will not be deterred from my mission.
But the war with the Ancients is just beginning, and now, Thunderbird Academy has become a sanctuary as well as a school. Each attack is deadlier than the last, and when the academy ends up under siege, my friends and I have no choice but to fight.
Am I brave enough to trust my magic to save us? Or will my world come crashing down around me by my own hands?
I’m in a fight for my life, and I, Maddie Hawthorne, have no idea what I’m doing.
Welcome to my year at Thunderbird Academy.
Full of magic, adventure, and romance, Of Water and Moonlight is the first book in an addicting young adult paranormal romance series by USA Today bestselling author Valia Lind that will keep you reading late into the night!
Before we start:
Ok, so, this series of three books is actually part of a wider universe by Valia Lind. This wasn’t made clear when I got the book and so for the first few pages, I kept wondering what was going on. This is because there was far too much back story being explained, more than just your typical ‘what happened in the main character’s life before the story’ sort of explanation. I felt like there was a lot of detail that could only have come from other stories and thus, after a bit of digging, discovered that I was right. The Hawthorne Chronicles centre around Maddie’s sisters and is about the events before the Thunderbird Academy series, when the Ancients (the main evil focus in Thunderbird Academy) first started rising. I decided to carry on reading, despite not having read the other books, as nothing indicated I couldn’t start here. I was right. While you know, as a reader, there is a rich and detailed world you haven’t read, I was able to enjoy and understand ‘Of water and moonlight’ without any problems.
Let’s look at this story then shall we? It was a slow start for me but I’m guessing that was because I was wondering if I had missed something. Ultimately, you are not disadvantaged as a reader if you haven’t read the other books but this meant I was slower getting into it. If it wasn’t for the immediate connection between Aiden and Maddie, I’m not sure I would have continued and then I would have missed out.
Maddie is in her second year at the Academy and it picks up after she helped her sisters perform a big spell to protect them from ‘the Ancients’. There is not much information on this evil but they sure try their hardest to get onto the Academy grounds. We just don’t know the true purpose of why the Ancients want to get into the Academy.
Aiden, a wolf shifter, takes an immediate disliking to Maddie and their back and forth banter was a refreshing change to the norm. It was obvious they both liked each other but they both hid behind snarky remarks and an impression of dislike towards one another. I felt this was rather authentic – compared to the usual love at first sight swooning - and I was drawn into their sparring nature. Oh, and he becomes her personal combat tutor so there were a few hot scenes where they literally sparred. It was kinda steamy, but I wouldn’t expect anything less with a shifter involved.
This is a first person novel following just Maddie but I really want to get to know Aiden more. I know this is harder when writing in 1st person but I hope his backstory and life is delved into a little more during books 2 and 3.
Most of this book concentrates on Maddie trying to discover where her father is and also find something useful to use against the Ancients (which leads to an interesting cliff-hanger!). There are lots of attacks along the way that help to develop Maddie’s magic and we’re also given lots of delicious moments with Aiden! Seriously, their banter made the whole story for me.
I’ve already spoken about Maddie a bit; we learn that she helped find a spell that assisted her and her sisters protect their town from the Ancients (I’m imaging this was the main focus for The Hawthorne Chronicles – but I haven’t read these). I like Maddie, she’s feisty but not over the top, vulnerable but strong-willed, and has a mix of moments that need Aiden to rescue her (I get that there’s a need for females to be strong and have the ‘I don’t need no man’ attitude, but sometimes I just like to see a guy in action!) but also where she is the heroine. It felt balanced.
Aiden is the super-hot shifter who totally has a thing for Maddie but refuses to acknowledge it. He can be a bit of a ‘you know what’ too, but I liked this about him. Not immediately announcing that Maddie is ‘amazing/his mate/his true love’ or whatever it is because guys aren’t like this. Neither are girls. It felt authentic and believable to me.
A few other important characters are Maddie’s friends Jade and Noel who seem to fill a void left by the absence of her previous friends who must have featured in the previous series. I liked these two, fairly well thought out for supporting characters but I’m hoping they might get more page time as the trilogy continues.
Was it gripping?:
Once I got past the fact that there was a whole series of books leading up to this particular series, yes. As I’ve said, the author actually does a good job bringing you up to speed on the key points, but some warning might have been nice. However, it was Maddie and Aiden who dragged me into the story with their argumentative and tension-filled communications.
This book is perfect if you’re looking for:
✓ Shifters, witches and other paranormal beings
✓ Tension filled argumentative communication between the love interests – epic banter
✓ A story that is setting up for an immense battle
✓ Hot shifters that are clearly possessive but try not to show it
✓ A well-balanced, believable heroine
A final note . . . as I’ve mentioned before, if you read this book and like it, consider leaving a review. Reviews are immensely helpful to authors and helps support their work. It also helps other readers decide if the book might be for them!
You can find the books on Amazon here (UK link) or here (US link)
And you can check out more about Valia Lind here!
*The images used in this post are not my own.