ARC Review: “Elemental” by Antony John

Elemental by Antony John

Goodreads | Amazon

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.

4 stars

Thank you to Dial books and NetGalley for this eARC! Elemental will be released November 21, 2012.

Goodreads doesn’t have a series tag for this book. This is possibly the worst thing ever. I CAN’T BE LEFT WITH THAT ENDING!

Er. But let me back up.

Basically, the beginning of the book goes like this: Meet Thomas. He lives on a tiny island. No one on the island really likes him. Except for these two girls that fight over him. But actually he’s pretty useless. BUT NEVERMIND THAT, PIRATES!

Actually, it took me a little while to get into this world. The world of the Elementals seems self explanatory, but that is in fact not the case. Right in the first chapter, almost every person on Thomas’s little island is introduced, and after that’s basically up to you to remember who everyone is. I’m never a fan of large casts–especially because few of them actually play a large part in the novel.

John actually tries to get away with not explaining a lot of things, under the guise of “secrets” and things that have been hidden from the children of the island. In some cases this can’t be avoided, since the novel is told in the first person, but other times it just got really annoying. So that is my one mention of this dystopian’s world building.

This beginning didn’t last overly long, but it did not imbue me with confidence about the rest of the book. However, once John got the pesky adults out of the way, something happened.

The book TOOK OFF.

I can barely say anything about much of it because there are SO MANY SECRETS in this book, but most of them made me so happy. What I originally thought was a simple plot line extended deeper and deeper with every page. No, a lot of this wasn’t fully explained, but it was all there and it was pretty cool. The action also speeds up towards the end, which was really nice. I have so many other things to say, but alas they would be spoilers. So I guess I’ll just have to go with…

The ending! As you probably noted, it’s a cliffhanger of sorts. Or, at least I hope it is because I WANT MORE. But anyways. Actually, the ending is where things kind of collapsed for me again, though not nearly as drastically as the beginning. John left far too many things without explanation, leaving me feeling like several events were ridiculously implausible. Still, because the book was rolling, I forgave him for the most part. The ending opens up even more cans of worms then it makes sense of many things, so CLEARLY that means there’s another book coming, RIGHT?

There better be.

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: “Elemental” by Antony John

  1. Thanks for reading and reviewing my book, Gretchen. Yes, ELEMENTAL is the first book in a trilogy. I don’t know why Goodreads doesn’t have a series tag for the book (indeed, several people seem to list it as a standalone) but there will definitely be two more books. I hope you’ll like them too!

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