It doesn’t take a lot to get me excited. Let’s face it…I’m a pretty simple person. It takes even less to get me excited about a book, so when I run across a book that triggers the “eh” button in my head, obviously it is missing something.
I’m not saying “Elemental Reality” by Cesya Cuono was bad. It wasn’t, if I’m being honest I did enjoy the book. BUT…sometimes a good story could be GREAT with just a little more focus.
“When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the Earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that’s only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful than any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.”
Well, in the nature of directness…lets just get down to business.
First…Callie was a very interesting character externally (aka her dialogue and banter) but she lacked depth. How exactly? Callie is a very sarcastic person, she uses her wit and sarcasm as a defense mechanism (damn that sounds familiar) she even admits this in the story, however…her internal dialogue never gave way to her insecurities (ok…maybe it did in the last 5% or so) but with her doubts and fears missing for the majority of the book, her character came off as more of a smartass than scared or concerned (which was obviously what Cuono was going for.)
The second issue I ran into was the set-up. I know that authors love getting to the juicy bit of their stories, but it’s very important that they take the time to set up their building blocks first before trying to knock them all down. While the second half of the story was paced wonderfully, the beginning felt rushed and a little off-balance, which then caused problems for me later in the story when the lead and her “man-meat” (as Lola -Callie’s sister refers to him) start to declare their feelings for each other. Yes, I get that the “surprise” regarding Callie’s “upbringing” was supposed to be on this “fast-track-hurry-up-and-figure-this-shit-out-or-you’re-gonna-die” bullet train, but in the interest of emotional immersion, slowing it down for even a few pages would have help solidify their connection.
Now, since I don’t want you to thinking this is the worst book on the planet (since all I’ve done is bitch so far) let me point out a few of the positives.
1. The story.
When all is said and done, (and I overlook my perpetual need to over-analyze ever damn thing when it comes to books) I have to say the story was a very unique and intriguing one. As a person who reads more books about Faerie’s than I would ever like to publicly admit, this is the first time (in a long time) I was introduced to “unique abilities.” (As in…been there, done that, yes…you sparkle big damn deal.) Because of this, I found the read especially refreshing.
2. I loved the family unit in this book.
I (of course) prefer “tortured” literature to that of the “happy” variety so it’s not often that I get to enjoy the complexities of a family that so obviously care for one another. Each character had a very distinct personality and because of this, the conversations/arguments they had with each other were fascinating to read. (I even found myself chuckling out loud at some of the good-natured smack talk.)
So, what does this mean for the book as a whole? Not the best I’ve read…like I said above it could have used a little more work. BUT, it is definitely a solid start to what seems to be a promising new series. My advice? Get caught up on all of the other series you have going first, and then consider giving this one a chance.
AND…before I forget, yes…this one ends in a cliffhanger as well. (For the record, this trend is really starting to piss me off.)
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Unless your goal is to look like a pale version of The Hulk…steroids are NOT your friend.
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