A lost colony is reborn in this heart-pounding fantasy adventure set in the near future . . .
Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element—earth, water, wind or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.
In the wake of an unforeseen storm, desperate pirates kidnap the Guardians, intent on claiming the island as their own. Caught between the plague-ridden mainland and the advancing pirates, Thomas and his friends fight for survival in the battered remains of a mysterious abandoned settlement. But the secrets they unearth will turn Thomas’ world upside-down, and bring to light not only a treacherous past but also a future more dangerous than he can possibly imagine.
*A review copy of the book was provided for me to read*
While the cover isn't what originally drew me in for me to be interested in it, the synopsis did it for me this time. Something about a secret, secluded island with a small colony of element-wielding people interested me. First off, if a book's got magic in it, it's almost always a must-read for me. Secondly, pirates? There are pirates in here? Woo!
To start the review, is it just me or is there a growing trend of weak, underdog heroes in books now? If so, I'm loving it! I think that there's this stereotype in books of hunky, bad boys that brood and end up getting the average-turned-courageous-and-beautiful heroine. That's not always the case, so to read books of a male MC below the average of the stereotype is great.
Thom fit the bill for the underdog hero. He was a sweetheart, and while he wasn't a leader, he did his best to stay strong for his brother and friends and really grew as a character throughout the book. Like Sam from Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, I couldn't help but accept Thom with all his weaknesses and fall in love of him. That doesn't mean to say that he was this weakling little guy that couldn't do anything. He endures things that no sixteen year-old should have to face (i.e pirates and living with barely enough food to get by) and he handles all problems with as much courage and bravery that he can muster. And that is why I loved his character, because he wasn't perfect--he knew he wasn't perfect--but did his best to prove to others that, while he may not have the ability to wield an element, he was just as powerful as they were.
There was plenty of action and adventure in Elemental, packed full of suspense and mystery, that always kept me at the edge of my seat. I went into the book not expecting much from the book because I hadn't heard much about it, and came out thoroughly enjoying it. The pirates created perfect and scary antagonists for the small group of kids and I loved to watch those kids react to every problem thrown at them. They all had different personalities, and it was fascinating to read and learn about all of them. They all brought a different aspect to the group, yet made believable, sometimes too naive for their age, children.
Another thing I have to praise about is the familial bond and love that Thom, his brother, and their father had. I'm not used to seeing this much in YA because, most of the time, the MC either hates their parents, doesn't have any, doesn't necessarily care for them, or leaves them for the supernatural life. I'm not used to reading a book where the importance of family stayed true throughout the entire book. The whole group of kids worked and tried their best to save their parents from the pirates. It was a good quality that was added to the book.
Elemental, while missing that extra 'oomph', was a great and entertaining read. It was evenly paced and was full of action and mystery. The entire book kept me guessing until the very end. It was full of lovely surprises and had my full attention. Fans of dystopia, magical qualities, and adventure will enjoy this book.