I read The Empire Chronicles without reading The Cresent Chronicles first (or at all for that matter), so I was a little lost about what went down in the past of the characters lives. However, that did not deter me from getting my hands on Soar. Since Casey is a new character, and the main character of this series, readers learn about this world of wolves, bears, witches, hybrid birds (what they call Pteron) at the same time Casey does. The story is told in alternating POVs between Casey, Toby and Jared. We get to dive into the mind and lives of all three before their lives collide and after. Their lives change once they cross paths as they become more involved with each other.
Casey is a nineteen year old living in New York with her cousin and working at a coffee shop to save money to go back to NYU. She was living a pretty mundane life, living paycheck to paycheck. Until one day she was nearly attacked by a wolf in an alleyway while taking out the track at work. Upon the attack, Casey catches a glimpse of a man with wings who saves her from the assailant from getting their paws on her, but with an injury to her head, she pushes it aside as a delusion. At a friends party, she finds a way to avoid a date with her unrelenting co-worker, Eric, by agreeing to a date with someone else. That someone else turns out to be her regular customer at the coffee shop named Toby. Meanwhile, there's this guy named Jared who is head of security for the King in New Orleans. Jared is ordered by the King, Levi, to go to New York and see why Toby isn't holding his part of the fort. Thus the beginning of these three lives crossing paths.
While attacks are happening around New York, Casey and Toby spend a lot of time together. The more they spend together, the more their feelings for each other grow. But Toby is still not over his ex-girlfriend, Allie, and it doesn't help that he has to answer to his boss who just so happens to be Allie's new fiance. Toby and Allie used to date in (technically before) The Cresent Chronicles-- hell, they were in love-- until she broke his heart and started dating Levi, the King. It doesn't make it any better for him knowing that not only his boss stole the girl he loved, but is now engaged to be married, making her his queen. Toby doesn't think that he'll get over Allie soon, and isn't ready to go back into the dating scene. But since having saved Casey in the alley and going on dates with her, he can't stop thinking about her or being around her. She becomes the new constant in his life. Even though he's hurting, he finds solace in Casey. He feels things for her that he didn't think he would feel for another since Allie ever again. Casey and Toby's chemistry is so strong and obvious, yet they dance around the lines of a relationship. Casey is Toby's ray of light in his day, and he told her as much. When it comes to Casey, it becomes personal to Toby. While staying over at Toby's, it seemed very domesticated when they played roommates and cooked together. They are cozy and comfortable around each other, and they feel somewhat strongly for each other. Not to mention the heated passion flowing and surfacing in their connection. I was deeply invested in them together, and I still am.
Ever-the-so-gentleman Toby that he is, Casey took his lack of moving things between them forward as mixed signals about Toby's feelings for her. With a little meddling courtesy of Toby's assistant who has feelings for him, and the sexual tension between Casey and Jared, it's enough to push her right into Jared's arms...and bed. Even though I, as does Casey, find Jared attractive, I did not like them together. I mean they are fun together and the sexual tension is so thick, but he's a means to sexual release. That's the vibe I get from him. I'm not saying that to be rude or degrade him because he really is a cool and mature guy, but Jared is the one-night-stand type of guy. The non-stop sexual innuendos he throws to get Casey into his bed also doesn't help his case to say otherwise. Unfortunately, Casey feels like she and Jared are perfect once they sleep together. Jared claims that he has found his match in Casey, but all I felt between them was purely physical. I felt no emotional pull between them. They are too clouded in their sexual highs to see that their newfound feelings for each other is based on sex. At least that's what I got from it. I found that annoying of Casey to think that she belongs with Jared and not Toby because she is obviously isn't in the right place or state of mind. She still thinks that Toby is still pining over Allie, so she moves on with Jared.
Toby likes and cares a whole hell of a lot for Casey and dropped more than one hint that he did want to sleep with Casey. So, why did she question Toby's feelings for her? It was then that she became an annoying character to me. So naive, gulible and easily mislead to believe anything before looking for hints and asking questions from the source itself. I just hope that nothing more forms between them, because Jared is more of a heartbreaker than Toby. At least she broke whatever it is that she had with Toby off before rolling in the sheets with Jared. One thing I hate is infidelity. Okay, so they're not officially together, but it still felt wrong and slimy to me.
I felt for Toby once things got rocky between him and Casey, and things heated up between Casey and Jared. He already, recently no less, lost his first love to someone else, now he's losing Casey to another guy. He just can't seem to catch a break, and my heart hurt for him. It's tough to take all that heartache. I can only hope that Toby doesn't back down without a fight in the next book, because I believe that he and Casey belong together. However, with recent discoveries, I don't think Casey can be with either. They have a rule, and that rule is: Pteron's can't be with Pteron's. So where does she stand in all of this? Is there hope for her to be with either Toby or Jared? And where does she stand with her connected bloodline to royalty?
Strange things are running amok with Casey. Not because of attacks in alleys, her boy problems or her missing sister, but she finds herself not like the average human. For example, in flight with Jared, she should have been freezing in the cold night in New York City, but she wasn't. She found herself sinking in this new world with more calm demeanor than she should have. A bunch of hints indicating that something is off with her. Soon we find out what when Toby anonymously receives Casey's paternity test with shocking results, and the help of Casey's sisters boyfriend pushing her off of the Empire State Building to help her spread her wings and soar.