Author: Antony John (UK)
Age Group In Store: Fantasy
Briefly, What It’s About: After a plague destroys the mainland killing most of the population, a small colony of 14 people are left to survive on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The people of this island are known as elementals, meaning each one holds the power of either earth, water, wind or fire. That is, everyone but Thomas. By his sixteenth birthday, his element should have appeared. Without even the slightest hint that one plans to develop he continues to be the outsider, singled out and considered useless by many of his society. One night an unexpected storm arises and the adults send the children to a nearby island for shelter in an abandoned settlement, instructing them to wait there until they come the next morning. When the sun rises, no one shows up. Pirates have kidnapped their parents and claimed their island as their own, leaving the children to save their families and their home. Stranded and unequipped, Thomas and his friends fight for survival, and along the way stumble upon pieces of a former world that’s been kept from them. Secrets are exposed that could explain everything and reveal to Thomas his true powers and the dangerous future they could lead him into.
Eve’s Rave: From chapter one, this book does not slow down. The plague-ridden world John crafts through his vividly stark landscapes of desolate, abandoned islands and outlawed bandits is the perfect backdrop for the action that unfolds. You can feel the ticking away of every second as the pirates approach. I loved how subtle clues were dropped throughout the novel that allowed me to discover the mysterious past of the colony along with Thomas. I also found the supernatural aspects to be realistically developed. Their abilities felt both natural and flawed, keeping the characters authentic and human. There was just enough fantasy for me to keep the story captivating but real enough to connect with Thomas’s frustration of being different and alone. Elemental is a fresh take on the dystopian genre and a promising beginning to an exciting trilogy.
It’s Perfect For: Fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, fans of the Gone series by MichaelGrant, fans of Divergent by Veronica Roth