Thanks to the publisher!
Published by: Kensington Teen
Spirit (Elementals #3) by Brigid Kemmerer
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.
Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.
He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.
Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.
With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…
I read this series -- all the books, including the 3 novellas that have been released thus far -- in an attempt to join the read-along hosted by Cuddlebuggery and the Starry-Eyed Revue. Sadly, I always happened to miss the actual discussion days/weeks, but here's a quick review of the series at large:
- This entire series is based on the interactions of others with the Merrick brothers, who each have control over one element: water, fire, air, and earth. Sometimes the books focus on other girls who have interacted with these guys, but this book is about Hunter, who has another type of power and is an outsider, not quite with the Merrick brothers but not quite against them either. That makes for a good portion of the tension in this novel (Spirit), and in the others as well, given that Hunter's motives are suspect.
- The world-building itself is not too unique, and sometimes I wanted more scenes where the brothers actually used their powers--and especially in Spirit, I wanted Hunter to use his power more frequently--but these books are less about their powers, and more about the character dynamics.
- The character dynamics are fantastic. They're always shifting around despite the tremendous amount of love you know the brothers have for each other (and good intentions in general). Each book (and novella) has offered great insight into the brothers, Hunter, and the other girls involved. The greatest strength of this series is to offer such compelling, realistic, and complex characters. This is where it differs from other paranormal romance stories in YA. The focus is on the characters, their angst, their struggles with their pasts and their powers, and how that plays out in their relationships with the community and within their families. Knowing this, you can imagine that the plots are also slightly unusual and not your typical fare within the PNR community. I enjoyed the books for that very reason. That and the amount of character growth and development is just wonderful.
- Humor... and angst alert. One of the great parts of this series is that the brothers are familiar with each other and thus crack jokes that keep the books from feeling too angst-ridden... 'cause there is a HUGE amount of angst in the romance, in how they deal with their pasts, and even in how they deal with each other because each guy/brother takes on different responsibilities and obviously, has a different viewpoint on how his power affects the world. What his role is.
- The romance pays off in each book. You get both sides of the story, and it's never insta-love. There's always great chemistry. In Spirit specifically, I loved that Kate Sullivan was proactive and in charge of her own sexuality. This was one of the qualities I previously wrote I wanted to see in YA heroines.
- This series is addicting. The books are easy to read, and they're just plain fun. Sometimes I didn't expect the pull. I'd pick up the book or open the Kindle app... and hours later, I was still reading, hooked to the page.
The great character dynamics and growth of the Elementals series make it stand out among the other YA PNR series. Recommended if you're looking for something fun but with some heart too.