Review: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals #1) – Michelle Madow

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Summary:

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

Review:

So my friend asked my why do I put myself through this, with this being painfully generic, trope-filled cliche-fests of YA novels. My answer is two fold:

  1. Sometimes, you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.
  2.  They’re quick and dirty reads – I finished this in under 90 minutes.

The top three books on my best-of 2015 list were YA novels. I know there is some great books out there and I don’t want to give up on the genre, because who knows what I might miss? On the other hand, for every Scorpion Rules, Wandering Star or Illuminae there are probably a dozen or more novels like this out there. You know the drill. Chosen Ones, longing over guys with mean-girl girlfriends, adults who serve no purpose but to offer up world building and say “Welp, I don’t know what to do, so you guys take care of this for me, k?”and sibling who exist only to get into danger.

Characters in this novel all have their nice to fill. Kate is the by-the-book-timid nice girl. Blake is the hot guy all the girls want. Chris is the nice guy who can’t get the girl (or will probably get the friend down the road). Danielle is the mean girl. Nicole is the wunderkind with all the powers that everyone (except the mean girl, natch) likes.

The books starts off with no world building – literally three pages in it’s “Surprise! You’re a witch!” and no character development beyond what the trope allows for. Kate helps her catch up on homework, Danielle tries to sabotage her tennis team try out and so on. Then not too far in there’s a Mystical Event ™ and they have powers and it’s off to fulfill a <strike>prophecy</strike> mystical treasure hunt and for Nicole to repeatedly save the day. In case there is any doubt in how overpowered Nicole is, I’ll just leave this here:

“I’d done it. My entire body had been broken, and I’d healed it all.”

Yep.

If you’ve read YA for any length of time, you’ve read this book, or at least some variation of it there of. If you enjoy this kind of thing, you’ll love it – it’s face paced and hits all the notes you’d expect it to. If you’re wanting more, keep on looking.

I will say that at least this book held my interest enough that I powered through and read the whole thing, so some props there. I was just hoping for a little more.

One last note: it appears the author intends to release a quartet of books, with at least the next two having 2016 release dates. The sequel is due out in April. I personally always wonder about release schedules this tight, as it makes me wonder if longer books are being cut up to make more money for the author/publisher. Given how generally underdeveloped this book is, it is something to keep in mind when deciding if you want to pick this series up.

Verdict: Skip It

Available: January 26

 

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