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Turning Tides (Elements, Book 3) Kindle Edition
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*I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Aidan and the Gang are back!
If you ever kept up with my previous blog, you'll remember that I gave the first two in this series a solid 5 star rating each. And Turning Tides, the third in the Elements series, is no different. I adore this series - I can happily call it the best Urban Fantasy series I've ever read. It avoids just about every dull and ever present trope there is in UF.
Plus it has wereotters.
And now I have a confession to make. A book like this, I can finish off in one night. But this book, I took 2 weeks to read.
That's right, two weeks. Not because it was dull, not because I wasn't enjoying it, not because I would drift away from it. But because, I didn't want to finish it. I would deliberately put Turning Tides down and not continue, because I didn't want to leave Aidan's world. I didn't want it to be finished. I couldn't bear the thought of turning that final page and having to leave Aidan, Sera, Mac, Simon, Miriam and even Josiah behind. So I would string it out, reading a few pages here, a chapter there. :sigh: I don't think I've ever done that with another book. I didn't even want to write this review because it meant that the book was truly finished.
There are very few books that grab hold of me like the Elements series does. Ones that I feel I can read over and over, that I want to tell everyone about, that get me excited. Mia Marshall's Elements series does this and more.
I love the friendship between Aidan and Sera. I love that Aidan is so desperate to prove Sera's innocence in the death of the Council Member that kicks off the book. And I love that slowly she is starting to look at Josiah Blais as more than just Sera's father and a really scary powerful Old One, that she is slowly starting to realise that he will do anything for his daughters, even kill to keep them safe.
Can characters in a book actually have chemistry, like you see actors in movies/tv shows do? I think they do. The chemistry between Aidan and Sera is so real. They talk to each other like best friends do, they act around each other like best friends do. You never once see a misstep between the relationship they have. I really believe they are two of the best written characters around.
Seriously folks, there's not a single thing here to grumble over. It felt like being back with The Gang, with a bunch of old friends you had been missing and were dying to catch up with. You can feel Aidan's stress and pain over wondering if she was going to go nuts dealing with her dual elements. You can feel her worry with Mac being tied to her with her magic in him, freaking out that every time she is away from him, he actually gets physically sick. Wondering what the hell she is going to do about it, how she is going to heal him.
I'm very much an ebook gal. Once I discovered the ease and convenience of being able to purchase a book whenever I felt like that, that I didn't have to actually go out into the, y'know, the REAL WORLD to get my book fix..when I realized that I could fill my iPad with a gazillion books and never have to worry about buying another bookcase, or where to fit another bookcase, I was a convert. But a few months ago, in preparation for the release of Turning Tides, I went to my little local bookstore (cos we don't have big chain bookstores where I live) and ordered the first two in the series, Broken Elements and Shifting Selves in physical form. So I could put them on my bookshelf and admire them in all their prettiness. And next week, I'll be ordering Turning Tides in physical form also. There's a handful of authors where I will do this - have their books in ebook as well as physical book form.
The Elements series is truly a brilliant example of how to do urban fantasy right. This is the series that I highly recommend when people are looking for UF, or even just looking for a damn good read.
Plus, it has wereotters.
Though I didn’t read the first two books in the series, I had no trouble understanding the situation, the relationships, or elemental society. I did struggle with Aidan Brook’s age; she’s supposed to be chronologically in her 60s, but is the equivalent of an adolescent in her own society of near-immortals. She reads as a teenager in much of the book, and lacks the wisdom I’d expect from someone who’s already lived so long (by human standards.) Her friends have the same sense of perma-youth; they’re funny, loyal, and probably the highlight of TURNING TIDES, especially ex-Air Force pilot-slash-otter-shifter Miriam and frequently naked cat-shifter Simon – though sexy bear-man Mac ain’t bad either.
Marshall does an excellent job clarifying things for new readers without making it seem like an exposition dump, and gives a good sense of what these elemental powers feel like, but since I didn’t read the first two books, I don’t have much of an emotional attachment to the characters, which I think makes me less sympathetic to the ending. A lot of the conflict in the novel comes from Aidan’s fears of going insane, after she finds out that she’s a dual magic –a split-personality with god-like powers just waiting to happen. And when it does happen, Marshall puts the reader in Aidan’s mind, successfully showing why the threat of a dual magic is scary. So scary, it seems like a cheat when her friends give her actions a pass. She seems to give herself a pass, too, expressing feelings of guilt, but not quite feeling them, and leaves the destruction in her wake. She solves the mystery, and while not unscathed, gets off the island with her friends, her boyfriend, and her life, which may be a happy ending she doesn’t deserve.