It's been a long time again!
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #4
Release date: 28th of January 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Paranormal, YA
Published by: Kensington Books
Pages: 337 pages in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
Keep his brother's business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his own twin--or he'll lose his family.
Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who's supposed to be his "girlfriend's" partner.
Of course there's also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.
There's a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.
Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?
Well, this was an emotional rollercoaster ride of epic proportions, not necessarily in the topics explored, but in the way the story pulled me in and how deeply invested in the well beings and faiths of the two main characters I became. Needless to say, I really liked this book, it was more than good, but I didn’t really expect anything less because previous stories have been nothing less of awesome – great writing, engaging plot and most of all, top notch characterization and character development.
This installment focused more on the inner struggle and emotional conflicts of the previously thought girlfriend and boyfriend couple Nick and Quinn. Both kept painful and draining secrets that set dark clouds over everything else in their life, so that nothing can even remotely start getting better unless those burdens they had to carry were settled and resolved. The story is told from both of their points of view and it was very enlightening and exciting to be inside their heads and follow how their thought processes worked in various difficult situations and regarding their main painpoints. What I liked the most was that their struggles, fears, hesitations, choices, decisions and pain felt realistic.
Even though there was little action in the traditional sense compared to the other books and most of it took place at the end, it didn’t mean that the reading experience wasn’t satisfying and engaging, the book was intense and didn’t leave time to catch your breath. The plot moved fast and it was exciting to follow how things resolved and how everyone would react and take all the secrets that just had to come to light eventually. All I can say is never underestimate how caring, supportive and understanding people around you can be.
The absolute highlight (as with all other books in the series) are the character relationships, everyone with its own signatures style, nuances and effect on the reader. My favorite couples include: Nick and Adam, Adam and Quinn, but also the more subtle: Nick and Hunter, Nick and Chris.
Nick – I really liked the Nick we are shown in this book with all the self-doubt, false shame, hesitation and confusion. It was such a contrast to the Nick I had formed in my head beforehand – calm, rational, levelheaded, with no major issues visible to the outside, successful, etc. In reality he was practically boiling on the inside. He made some irrational and stupid decisions due to fear, but I think he was just being a boy with a heavy secret fearing judgment. He came across fleshed out, really vulnerable and touchable.
Quinn – I’ve never been so conflicted regarding a character. I disliked her majorly in the first books till I read the short story Breathless in which my dislike for her did a 180 and I actually came to like her, because now I understood her reasoning and why she was as she was. And while I feel extremely sympathetic towards here through the whole book, I can’t help at be annoyed again with her to some degree. Maybe my accusations aren’t founded and I’m too harsh, but she made some really stupid decisions, was quite selfish, careless and insensitive and came to conclusions and reacted too rash. Although, I have to admit I did like her and she really was put to a very difficult position where survival was everything, whatever the costs and sacrifices. So in the end I came from dislike to like to neutral regarding her. BUT, this is how you write a good character, someone who makes you guess and who changes and who doesn’t leave you indifferent. A great character!
Gabriel – He’s just made me so mad, but then made me love him again. People make mistakes and it’s fine as long as they see the error and try to compensate.
Adam was such a darling with his own battle scars.
I really liked and appreciated (if it’s even possible to appreciate more) Michael, Chris and Hunter in this book.
Only one thing – I you already haven’t started on this series then do it now!