Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Storm (Elementals #1)

Storm (Elementals #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Supernatural | Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: April 24th 2012

I hardly ever read young adult books that involve supernatural elements. Some people have weak-spots for faeries, vampires or werewolves. My particular Achilles' heel is Magic. I just can't resist a fantasy read that involves magic, especially if it's one of those unique magical systems such as the ones found in the Mistborn trilogy (by Brandon Sanderson) or that of the kind found in The Magicians (by Lev Grossman) where you can learn magic from a school.

Storm follows your typical YA formula. High School/Small Town setting, hot female lead, hot guys and the ever present luuuurve triangle. But it's not all bad. I'd say it's better than most YA novels out there. The story is told from Becca's perspective. Becca is a social outcast courtesy of all the nasty rumors floating re: her supposed "sexcapades" with her ex-boyfriend Drew and his crew. When she denies it ever happened, even her best friend Quinn, has trouble believing her. Throw in the fact that her parents are divorced and her life is starting to look pretty bad.

Then in comes Chris Merrick, that hot kid from her history class, getting beaten up in a parking lot. What's a girl to do when she's the sole witness? Becca did what any (in)sane person would do: she drove her car straight at them. But that didn't really work. So she went and gouged their eyes. The bullies finally backed off when Chris pointed a water bottle at them. A fricking water bottle  scared off two of the meanest seniors around because in his hands, it's more dangerous than a shotgun.

Chris is a Water Elemental, one of the strongest around. His brothers Michael (Earth), Gabriel (Fire) and Nick (Air) are so powerful that they can virtually level cities. The two seniors who were ganging up on Chris, are also affiliated with certain elements but that only makes them weaker than the pures since they can't harness the full power of any element. Those two are the Chihuahuas compared to the Dobermans of the elemental world. Their families are scared of the Merricks who they think are out to get them. That's when the mysterious and powerful Guides (wielders of the Fifth Element) get called in to deal with the Merrick brothers.

Not too long after meeting Chris and saving his life (causing him to fall for her like a pseudo dude-sel who fell for the female knight), the love triangle forms when the customary Dark and Brooding YA hero pops up in the form of Hunter. Becca falls hard, and fast for him despite Chris' obvious attraction to her.

What I like about the book is that the characters are well written and thought out. The plot isn't totally linear such that you can guess everything that is going to happen. It wasn't really obvious who the Guide was until the last third of the book (I had my suspicions early on but it turns out I was wrong...at first). Kudos to Brigid for keeping me guessing and interested in the ending. I'm even looking forward to the sequel which is a rare thing, considering that this is her debut novel.

Cover: 5
Characters: 7
Story: 7

Overall:  7/10