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Friday, August 7, 2015

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Review: Elemental by Antony John (Confused x 3 - One for Each Book?)

Elemental by Antony John

Elemental #1
Antony John
Publication Date: November 21, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Reviewer: Sophia

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.

The first book in the Elemental trilogy is set in a futuristic United States colony where people called Guardians have powers over the elements: water, wind, earth, and fire. For years, sixteen-year-old Thomas believed that he doesn't have powers like everyone else in the colony, until pirates kidnap the Guardians and the remaining colonists fight for a survival on an abandoned town.

Elemental has its good elements that worked out well in favor, but it had some elements that just didn't work out too well – it just had more elements that didn't work out really well.

The book is primarily a survival book, but there's a mysterious aura surrounding the book that kept it somewhat interesting. However, the mysterious aspect? Antony John overdid it. You're immediately thrown into action when the book starts and it doesn't actually stop. A huge chunk of the beginning is dedicated to surviving from the pirates who kidnapped the guardians and Thomas and his friends trying to survive on this mysterious Skeleton Town.

There's not much about this Plague the Guardians keep talking about or how their elements work – what, precisely, is an echo? It's obviously a side effect, and it seems to leave a negative remnant on the person, but what is it exactly?. I'm confused on how this Plague works or how it started, even with that newspaper-esque clip – it sounds like an experiment gone absolutely awry and blew up not only in the experimenters' faces, but the entire world. No one appreciates an experiment gone awry inside and outside the lab, but the dead can't complain.

There's this "solution" the pirates are looking for, but Antony jumps between Griffin and Thomas intermittently – I'm still not too sure who the "solution" is. I'm not sure about this whole Guardians thing – sounds like an experiment similar to the one done to Captain America in a different style – even with Thomas and his companions coming across things in Skeleton Town that make them question the origins of the Guardians.

Elemental is also heading into highly awkward love triangle – it's in absolute danger zone and I'm not sure I want to stick around for two girls pining for Thomas' attention. It's not noticeable yet – it's very subtle and certainly doesn't disturb anything going on in the story or the overall plot.

By the end, Antony John leaves you with curiosity and perhaps a need to continue the series, but he leaves more questions and confusion with loose ends than a solid answer or two.

2.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.