Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Review: Elements

Elements: The Beginning

Published By: Dreampath Books
Publication Date: April 2011
Page Count: 240
Source: Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

Elements has many intriguing elements: connections to the Maori and Irish, powerful twins who have a strong connection to fire and water, a mother's love that transcends rational thought, and a bond between brothers that can never be broken. This should have been a phenomenal read. It has so much potential! Sadly, that potential was plagued by simplistic writing, grammar issues, and mechanics mistakes. A good editor could have fixed a large majority of these issues. I tried really hard to overlook them, but within the first few chapters "your" had been used instead of "you're" and an apostrophe was notably absent for a possessive noun. These are simple mistakes that I do not expect to see in a published book. Many readers will be able to overlook these elements and still enjoy the book, but I was not one of those sorts. Poor editing is a pet peeve of mine.

I also struggled reading this one from time to time because of the abrupt time shifts. They happened with no warning and no transitions. One moment we were celebrating the twins birthday and the next they were training. I had to do some rereading to figure out the scene had shifted and just forgot to clue me in. It happened repeatedly throughout this read. Eventually, I knew to expect it and the experience became less disorienting but was still a barrier to my enjoyment. Reading is an escape for me, but this novel felt like work.

One thing I did enjoy about this novel was the setting. The story begins in Montana, but that is just a brief blip. The majority of the story takes place in the gorgeous countryside of New Zealand. I enjoyed watching the action unfold in this rugged terrain and truly loved the connection to the Maori culture. These elements were certainly highlights of this novel for me.

In addition, I really loved the preface. I wish the entire novel had been more like the opening pages.

All in all, if you're a fan of fantasy novels, I'd recommend this one if you can ignore some of the writing issues. It's an easy, fast read with some interesting lore and a wicked villain.

One Last Gripe: I never formed a connection with any of the characters.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the Irish connection.

First Sentence: The morning began as any other day, breakfast to be made, chores to be done, and livestock to feed.

Favorite Character: Jacquelyn

Least Favorite Character: Leia - something about her annoyed me

Destiny brought them into this world to save mankind and malevolent forces will stop at nothing in order to annihilate them.
Born with extraordinary powers, fraternal twins Gage and Talon Thorn learn how to control their mystical abilities. Tragedy strikes the family and their ordinary father Gable is forced to raise them on his own. Pain and loss encompass the Thorns as they persevere to live a normal life in a place determined to destroy their happiness.
Soon their incredible gifts need proper nurturing and Gable recruits a special group of people to help in their upbringing. A sassy, tenacious nanny named Leia and an eccentric unorthodox warrior named Maui complete the dream team of mentors to aid in the complexity of their lives.
Evil, wicked forces lurk in the shadows and the boys are in danger if they don't learn how to control their unique talents and harness their elemental powers. Humanity rests in the hands of the young brothers as they embark on an epic adventure to save mankind from the dark emperor.

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