Review: Elemental by Antony John

Elemental by Antony John
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published: November 21st, 2012 by Dial
Source: Publisher

A lost colony is reborn in this heart-pounding fantasy adventure set in the near future . . .

Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element—earth, water, wind or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.

In the wake of an unforeseen storm, desperate pirates kidnap the Guardians, intent on claiming the island as their own. Caught between the plague-ridden mainland and the advancing pirates, Thomas and his friends fight for survival in the battered remains of a mysterious abandoned settlement. But the secrets they unearth will turn Thomas’ world upside-down, and bring to light not only a treacherous past but also a future more dangerous than he can possibly imagine.

I am a big fan of Antony John, Five Flavors of Dumb is one of my most favorite YA contemps ever.  And for this reason I was really excited for this book.  A long while back the author had been on my blog for an interview and had mentioned this book and at that time I was SO excited for it to release.  I had to wait forever but by the time I had the book in my hands I had read plenty of mixed reviews.  The mixed reviews may have made it so my expectations were a bit lowered, but I don’t think I was every truly afraid I would be disappointed, I guess I just trust Antony John, and well- I had every reason to because this book didn’t disappoint in the least.

The first thing I was curious about were these elemental powers, or abilities.  Before reading the book I didn’t really understand them at all.  And I’m not sure there’s any way to describe them either.  But I was picturing them maybe kind of becoming the wind or the water and in actuality, they stay their human selves, they are just more at one with their particular elements.  Those that are in tune with the weather can predict a storm and the strength of it for example.  The powers were very interesting but only got more interesting throughout the book as we learned more and secrets were unveiled.

Thomas was a character that I really liked, especially since it was a boy POV which I really enjoy.  However he was a bit broody and I think this kept me from loving him.  But as the book progressed Thomas starts to grow as a character and I think after the major events at the end of this that he’ll be a stronger character in the next books and someone I will maybe connect with a bit better.

There’s a touch of a love triangle in this book.  It’s not a love triangle yet, but there’s all these looks being thrown around so we see that two girls like Thomas and while Thomas initially had feelings for just one of them, he’s maybe starting to feel something for the other.  Something happens toward the end that may push all romantic notions out of the equation for the future though, especially with one of the girls.  There’s no kissing and nothing much happens and for this reason the possible love triangle didn’t bother me at all.  

I loved the dystopian bits of it all.  Or post apocalyptic, as it’s sort of both.  We learn more as the story goes on but there’s so much more to learn and I’m very curious to find out what may be going on in the rest of the world.  We also learn these things as the kids do so nothing is overwhelming and felt like I was puzzling it out with them.  I do find a bit hard to believe that they knew so little and accepted things so readily before the adults were taken captive.  I also feel that this is one of those ‘easier reads’ as it feels like we just skim the surface of everything.  But this made it a fast read and personally, I was pretty captivated by it all and was anxious to uncover every little secret.  While some things totally shocked me, others were somewhat easy to figure out.  Either way it was an entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or compensated in any way.

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  1. I have Five Flavors of Dumb that I still need to read. It sounds like he is one of those authors that you can just buy his books and know that you will be getting a fantastic read.

    I am glad you enjoyed this one as well.

    Have a great weekend Candace!

  2. I also have been seeing very mixed opinions about this one but I love books that deal with elemental powers so I haven’t removed it from my wishlist and your review makes me think I would really like it. I especially like that we get a male POV I always find them so compelling. It’s just unique and fresh.

    Blah on the triangle, but I sort of expect them now anyways so it’s not usually a biggy unless t they’re especially terrible.

    The dystopian details definitely pique my interest, too. I’m a sucker for any type of post apocalyptic story.

    Anyhow, this sounds overall pretty freaking awesome! It will also be my first book by Antony John but I’m also going to check out his contemp I’ve been on a contemp kick lately!

    Great review, Candace!

  3. I really enjoyed this one too! I didn’t think the hint of a love triangle was bad in this one. And I agree with what you said about it being an ‘easier read’. Great review! I am glad you weren’t disappointed. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  4. “Something happens toward the end that may push all romantic notions out of the equation for the future though, especially with one of the girls. “

    Why’d you have to go and say that Candace? Now I’m DYING to know what that something is, and how it affects the future romance. My bank account hates you a little, because this is now going on my list. I don’t hate you though, I think you’re made of win, and thank you for yet another awesome recommendation!

  5. I haven’t read anything by Anthony John, but I enjoyed your review and this sounds like something I would like. I’ll have to add it to my wish list.

  6. I had this on Friday Forecast recently and was wondering about it. It does sound good even if there is a bit of predictability, I just don’t think I can do a dystopian right now. I have had a couple of rough reads. I did start Glimmers last night and that helped. Have a great weekend. It is nice to see a bit of sun today!

  7. I love how you totally convinced me to consider adding this to my wishlist without really saying one thing about the plot! LOL Perfect review for someone like me who hates spoilers! Plus I love the idea of the power being able to connect to nature and the elements…I’m so curious!

  8. This cover is amazing. And I’m still a fan of the dystopian genre, though I can feel I’m on the edge of burnout with it. I don’t mind a triangle that dissipates–just don’t stick around.

  9. Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! It’s a little irritating to hear of a love triangle, but I’m so glad the dystopian aspect was done well, not to mention the narration and character overall. Amazing review, Candace! I can’t WAIT to read this one! 😀

  10. I can definitely agree that a guy being too broody can be annoying – but it is good that you were able to get past it. It sounds like this book would be worth checking out :)

  11. I thought of requesting this one from NG but I had a rough time with dystopians lately that I didn’t want to jinx it. I do look forward to reading it when it gets published. It’s got a pretty awesome premise.

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