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Turning Tides (Elements, Book 3) Paperback – May 6, 2014
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The story begins with Aidan back home, on the remote island where she was born and where elemental Waters have lived for generations. It isn't a pleasure visit, either. She's on trial for working with humans and spilling "classified" elemental secrets. The other elementals are far from happy with her, and they don't even know the worst of it. You see, dual magics like Aidan are considered too dangerous to live, and if anyone found out she is one, she'd have a hot date she doesn't want with the execution block. She's hoping she can walk away from this with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, but as so often happens, where Aidan goes, crazy follows. In this case, it's the killing kind, and worse, her best friend Sera is the prime suspect.
And that, my friends, is just the tip of the crazy iceberg that is this book.
One of the things that makes the Elements series so great, IMO, is how well all of the core characters fit together. Each one is fantabulous in his or her own way, but they are at their shining best when they are all working to solve a common problem. It's pure magic, folks. Author Mia Marshall does an incredible job giving each character their own distinct voice and personality, and a role to play in the story. In Turning Tides, the group starts off fragmented, but to my great relief, circumstances conspired to bring them all back together again - and yes, I was totally happy dancing when that happened! Simply put, this group belongs together and I hope they are never separated again. (You hear that, Mia Marshall? No breaking up the Scooby Gang, okay?)
As always, the mystery element of the story was well-constructed, with clues and false clues laid all over the place. As the story progressed, the mystery became more involved, and I'll admit there were a few times I got lost in all of the twists and turns, but that is not a criticism. Far from it. If anything, it made me turn the pages that much faster because I simply HAD TO KNOW what would happen next and who was behind it all.
The world-building was stellar as well. With each book, we learn a little more about the elementals, and the information always arrives at the right time, in just the right way. No info dumping or clunky speeches for readers to trip over. Everything just flows, like the water Aidan draws her power from.
About the romance. There's been one developing between Aidan and bear shifter Mac since book one, and in Turning Tides, it finally, finally got some much-needed page time. I was over-the-moon thrilled at the forward progress Aidan and Mac made and I ate up every scene they had together - oh boy, did I ever - but at the same time, I was pulling my hair out over all the interruptions and reasons that kept them from doing what I am desperate for them to do (damn those keen shifter ears!). I am all for a slow burn but if these two characters don't hit the sheets soon, I can't be held responsible for my actions. Seriously.
Turning Tides is another great installment in the Elements series. It does everything right (well, aside from denying me a scene where Mac and Aidan tear each others' clothes off and go at it like rabbits, LOL). The pacing was great, the dialogue was even better, the mystery kept me guessing, and I got to spend time with some of my favorite characters. Wins all around!
If you love the urban fantasy genre as much as I do and haven't picked up these books yet, you need to. Immediately.
RATING: 4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2
***A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***
*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.