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"Must Read YA Fantasy!!" jwitt33 "Interesting fantasy story with a healthy dose of sci-fi thrown in!" Jaymikal "I really enjoyed this book and would't hesitate giving it to any young adults to read." Meg Lamey "YA Fantasy that is age appropriate!" Lisa F. "Bookworm Lisa "A creative spin on 'elemental power' lore" Steven B "fanuvmxpx
Reviewed by Academi Critique Service
I found the plot compulsive. I simply had to read on to find out what happened. In the most complimentary sense of the phrase: it was a genuine page-turner.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite 5 stars
In Children of the Elementi (Elerian Chronicles Book 1) by Ceri Clark, the Magi had killed the heads of four of the five great Elementi families, including the High-King, Malo Omnax. Malo's wife, Nuin, managed to escape. With the help of Ariel, the Air Queen, she sent her infant child and the other children to Earth. Fast forward to the present world where readers are introduced to Jake, who has been living with his aunt and uncle since his parents passed away.
Jake could almost hear people thoughts, and his mind reading ability is becoming more prominently recently. His ability leads to the hidden document about his adoption, a letter from his late parents and a mysterious crystal pendant. The adventure starts when Jake wears the pendant, which alerts Mirim, the caretaker of the mysterious Citadel that hosts the dying crystal mind of the Matrix. Her air power is the only link to the old world. Now they must unite all the Elementi children to defeat their enemy and reclaim their rights.
The world-building includes the interesting use of nature's elements as power; red for fire, green for earth, yellow for air and blue for water. The simple yet engaging prose is faultless. Jake, Mirim, Kiera, Shenella and Karl are the kind of characters a reader could happily follow over several volumes (I favor Karl for his wittiness). Even though the story is perfectly tailored for a younger demographic, as an adult I found it an enjoyable read. All in all, Children of the Elementi is a solid debut for this sci-fi fantasy series, a commendable work from Clark.
About the Author
Ceri Clark was born and brought up in Aberystwyth, Wales in the UK. After a brief flirt with the UK Ministry of Defence, a cruise ship and a waxworks museum, she spent years working as a Librarian in private and public libraries which has given her a love of stories and books she hopes to pass on to her son.
File Size: 1822 KB
Print Length: 287 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1909236020
Publisher: Lycan Books in association with Myrddin Publishing; 2 edition (October 4, 2013)
In Children of the Elementi, UK author Ceri Clark has written a modern fantasy that manages to create a place in today's world for magic.
This story starts out with action-packed adventure and does not quit until the end. The twists and turns are quite unexpected, but all are well written and make complete sense. The powers and abilities that the characters have are not unlimited. There are rules and consequences for using that power and using it draws the notice of the Magi. This creates the tension and keeps the plot moving at a fast gallop.
Jake's parents passed away, and he is living with his aunt and uncle; a situation that is less than ideal as his uncle is not a nice man. Jake knows that he can do some things that are akin to magic, but he keeps his knowledge close to himself. His ability to read minds has been both a blessing and a curse; and he has some control over fire. One day he reads in his Aunt's mind that he was actually adopted. When he searches their home for the papers that prove this, he also finds a crystal on a chain that is from his birth parents.
Jake has excellent skills with the internet, but when he puts the crystal around his neck his ability to use the internet is transformed exponentially. An incident occurs at school during which he inadvertently uses his powers. This alerts Mirrim, who has been looking for him, to get him to safety. With Mirrim, Jake embarks on a series of adventures that will eventually reunite him with all four of the other Children of the Elementi.
I love the basis of Clark's universe, and the logic that went into creating it. The Elementi originally gained their powers through a close association with an immense, crystalline power source called the Matrix. This is a creation of an even older society and is, among other things, an uber-internet created from living crystal. The Matrix has access to an immense knowledge base and gains knowledge at every opportunity. It is linked to certain crystals that each of the hidden children can use. Members of the Elementi can tap into the Matrix with their minds and have other unique powers related to their family's particular element that they can use IF they know how. This melding of science fiction with magic is both intriguing and original.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Heart! Yes, you could hear me singing the Captain Planet theme each time Miriam so much as mentioned the elements. (Not to mention the crystals that each of the kids had to focus their powers were very akin to the rings that the kids in Captain Planet used to focus their element powers, too). It also reminded me of the anime Avatar: The Last Airbender. But then commanding the elements seems to be a common theme nowadays. The story itself was a fun read, solid adventure, and would appeal to both boys as well as girls (if not more to boys since the strongest female character was bossy and irritating). I did adore the imagination that went into creating the underwater dwelling of the Mer-people. The largest issue I had with this was the constant explaining of things and over-complicated rules of the magic of the fantasy world and the fact that the characters were either good or bad. There was no middle ground or having a character grow and change sides or crumble under pressure and turn to a different side. There was also really no wondering if a character was going to go good since the evil people were all obviously evil -but then I suppose that might be expected of the intended young audience, but who would most likely bore fast with the over technical explanations, but they’d definitely have gotten a kick out of the scene of Jake just discovering his power, and most certainly the fighting near the end).
Really enjoyed this book. I was particularly intrigued by the concept of warring types of magic--elemental vs. well, unnatural? This is a quick read with a satisfying ending, but it leaves a great doorway open for a sequel, which I hope is forthcoming. I agree with some of the other reviews that there were some things that could've been developed further, but that might've slowed down the pace. It feels a bit like a movie version of a book --some things aren't detailed but are shown/stated to give you the basic idea, and you just have to roll with it because you can't do it justice in just a few minutes of screen time. I look forward to more from Ceri. I think she's going to continue to surprise readers with cool concepts!
The book started off really well, which was great to get me hooked! For the most part, I was into the story the whole time, with a few exceptions. The story lost a bit of credibility with me when Jake and Mirim first met. Jake was WAY too accepting and non-questioning of the whole situation to be realistic. I also found the dialog to be somewhat lacking in places. Nothing BAD, but just sort of boring I guess and overly simple. I mean, I guess it's YA though so take that comment with a grain of salt. The side plot of Ecu and the girl, Martha?, never really was fully developed either. He was a big schemer and then all of a sudden, "Guard take care of him." and he's gone... Okay.... Finally, I thought the ending was rushed and too easy.
The positives were that I liked the "energy source" and the visualization of it. I also liked the description of their different powers and what they could do, that was pretty cool. It was a good story overall, but a little off in places. Some YA books are still good for younger adults (mid 20's), but this isn't one of them. While I wouldn't recommend it to someone my age, I think someone younger, like 10-15, would really enjoy this!
*I received this book for free in exchange for a review*