It's been a long time again!
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release date: 30th of September 2014
Series: Elemental #5
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Paranormal, Action, YA
Published by: Kensington Books
Pages: 337 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.
Michael Merrick is used to pressure.
He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.
His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She's got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment's notice.
But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's "bad luck." Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war.
They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight. . .
I think this is one of the most authentic and enjoyable YA series with male characters as protagonists. Everything feels so real, as if something like this is actually going on in a small town somewhere and there are these boys who are fighting everyone and everything to stay together and protect their family. The characters are simply so fleshed out. The current book is the finale and the fifth instalment in the series. Based on how everything has been escalating, I expected a lot of tears, angst and dark times and having witnessed how the author doesn’t always go the conventional way and isn’t afraid to make unpopular choices, then there was plenty to fear.
Most important, I was dreading a huge sacrifice, which is not hard to predict by the blatantly obvious title, but I was completely caught off guard by the person who actually ended up making it. I didn’t see that coming and it was like one minute there’s tension, danger and a seemingly impossible situation and then IT happens and I didn’t even realise that it happened and then I suddenly did and I had a blank look for a minute and then I read on. Now in retrospect, I would have hoped more of a momentum from it, because it seemed quite rushed and passed too quickly. I had also hoped to see more reactions to it, more pain, contemplations and regret from others, but after the culmination, the book ended quite fast.
To a degree I was happy with the book, but it also ended on a slightly open-ended note. Some topics were closed, but on a grander scale, nothing was really solved. I feel that there is a lot of room for more books and the story didn’t feel final. I’m definitely looking forward to more stories in this universe and having the Merrick brothers as main characters would be beyond wonderful, but focusing on someone else with them still somewhere in the background is fine as well.
This is Michael’s book, through and through. He finally has centre stage and we see how difficult his life has really been after he has taken full responsibility for his three brothers. The man has a huge burden on his shoulders and doesn’t share it one bit. With everything going wrong, I mean everything, this book just keeps the punches coming and Michael is not spared or given time to breathe. When you think it can’t get any worse, then it most certainly does. It felt so unfair and I pitied him so much, but he’s a tough guy who will hold through anything for his close ones. I had huge respect for him already from the first book, but it tripled in this one.
If you expect a lot of romance from this book, then you will be disappointed. Yes, Michael’s relationship with Hannah is one of the main plotlines, but they spend little time together and most of it’s via sms. The emphasis is clearly on action, one bad thing happening after another and the fate and role of Michael in this huge mess and trying to find light at the end of the tunnel. The book also was told through Michael and Hannah’s points of view, but they are too preoccupied with their own personal issues to concentrate on them as a couple.
I’m incredibly sad to be leaving this series behind, so I will simply choose not to and will wait for other adventures in this universe, because there simply has to be more. In regards to it being the final book, it wasn’t everything I was hoping, but I still liked it.