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Elemental Earth (The Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 191 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 12 - 18|
|Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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(side note) As a parent, I'm not sure I feel completely secure with a bunch of moody, hormonal teenagers saving the planet :)
I am giving this book 5 stars because it was well written, well-edited, and the story was engaging; however, I wasn't thrilled with the ending. I don't mind a little teasing for sequels, but it felt like it ended a bit abruptly.
The main character, Sarah, is a teenager who feels like she doesn't fit in. She's not very far into the book when she discovers just how much she doesn't fit in the world where she grew up. Every teenager can relate to feeling out of place and wanting friends. And every teenager dreams of discovering some amazing gift or talent that would make them truly special and garner respect among his or her peers. This book hits right at the trigger points for young adults and allows the reader to "live the dream."
The dialogue felt natural and comfortable for a group of teenagers, rather than forced, as is often the case when an adult is writing for young adults. But there was plenty of action to keep us older folks intrigued. Indeed, I had to keep reading late into the night to finish the story. That the book ends on a cliff-hanger is my only real criticism, but it's not enough to make me give this book four stars instead of five.
If you like an action-packed, imaginative, young adult fantasy, you'll love this book!
Answers begin to come when she meets Imogen, a strange girl whom she initially sees as a "freak." And then things really start to get even weirder as Sarah is led to a world in another dimension where it turns out she's an important figure in a prophecy. I don't want to get into spoiler territory so I will leave it at that and invite you to experience this intriguing story for yourself.
It's easy to relate to Sarah who lacks confidence and has so many questions about who she is. The author did an excellent job getting inside Sarah's head and making her very human. There's a subtle message there about how parents can inadvertently damage a child's confidence trying to protect him or her, which is a large part of Sarah's problem. Attempting to deny her prophetic destiny, her mother punishes her at an early age for using her amazing talents, which inhibits her ability to utilize them later when her fate asserts itself and depends on them, regardless of whether or not that's what she or her parents want.
As a professional astrologer I have a deep appreciation for the "elements" of Earth, Air, Fire and Water of which the author captures the essence nicely via the "elementals" in the story. Indeed, each of us has our own set of "elementals" in the form of talents, propensities and abilities with which we were born as well. Each of us simply needs to discover them and recognize how they can help us.
While this book is definitely in the "Fantasy" category, since it involves a girl steeped in modern times, the language is familiar and comfortable. Thus, those who may not usually be drawn to stories set in ancient eras replete with archaic speaking styles, dragons and swords can easily enjoy this story of a teenaged girl plunged into an entirely different world with a heavy future that everyone seems to know more about than she does. There are plenty of plot twists and turns and various surprises. I was impressed with the clean copy which made the read smooth and pleasant compared to so many Indie books which are loaded with typos and other distracting errors due to poor copy editing. Her knowledge and research were apparent and nicely integrated. Many kudos to the author for that.
The only thing I didn't like about this story was the abrupt, jaw-dropping ending which left me with the feeling that I'd missed something. While I knew it was a series and would probably lead into the next book, there were too many inconsistencies and questions left unanswered for the ending to be satisfying. Rather it was somewhat confusing and frustrating as "What just happened?" reverberated through my head and drove me to make sure I hadn't missed a chapter or two. IMHO, the author has a lot of explaining to do in the sequel.