Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Review: Elemental: The First by Alexandra May

Goodreads summary:

Just who is Halíka Dacomé?

To Rose Frost, moving house every six months is normal. Another new town here, another new school there, her ability to adapt is as easy as breathing. But everything changes when her parents go overseas and Rose moves in with her grandmother. She enjoys meeting new friends and catching up with old ones from her childhood holidays — except now she must hide a precious secret from everyone, a gift from birth that defies modern day science.

Her dreams become riddled with a warrior woman called Halíka Dacomé, but are they visions or messages from the future? She starts her own investigation but encounters more questions than answers. Living right on the edge of Warminster in Wiltshire doesn’t help with its folklore and myths about strange lights in the sky and ghost stories of the Salisbury Plain

Not only that, her troubles really take hold one night when the mysterious Aiden Deverill with his alluring smile, his gorgeous dark looks and hypnotising blue eyes, saves her from a freak fire. Or did he?

For Rose, her new life is beginning but she soon realises that despite assurances people are not always what they seem. What she always believed to be a happy family and a friendly town soon turns on its head when she discovers that her family secret, Aiden Deverill and the truth behind Halíka Dacomé is at the heart of the whole conspiracy.

My review:

While Elemental has some common cliches often found in YA paranormal stories, it's still a decent read.  I didn't care for the main character or the love triangle, but I liked the setting and some of the supporting characters.  Also, a small thing I noticed is that a lot of the story feels like a setup for the next book - there weren't as many plot developments as I would've liked in this.

My problem with the main character, Rose, is that she's too naive.  One part that annoyed me was when her friends are telling her that Aiden (one of the love interests) is dangerous, and she doesn't want to believe that he could be so bad.  Also, after all those years, how could she not have realized the "truth" about her dad's job?  It seemed a little weird that she wouldn't have figured it out.

Then...the romance.  The other love interest, Morgan, says at one point that he'd wanted to get to know her since they were little, and that he'd always tried to hear as much about her as he could.  She then teases, "That's almost like stalking, isn't it?"  Why does she just accept that he was stalking her?  Stalking is not romantic, people.  Honestly, I just didn't like the love triangle much.  It felt like she barely knew either of the guys well enough - much less to be choosing between them!

But aside from my issues with Rose and the romance, I did like the rest of the story well enough.  I love the idea of aliens and liked how it was intertwined into the plot, although I wish they'd been mentioned more!  I also thought Rose's grandmother was a great character.  She was interesting and mysterious.  Rose's friends were hard to keep track of at times, but I liked her two main best friends, Hannah and Mira.

Overall, Elemental: The First does not bring anything new to the paranormal genre, but as I said, it's still a nice enough read.  If you've read lots of fantasy/paranormal books, then this might not be up your alley.  But if you're new to the paranormal genre, I'd recommend giving this a try!

* Thanks to Netgalley for offering me a copy in exchange for a review.

My rating:  6 out of 10 (3 stars)

~ The Bookworm

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