Match Books (Feb 2013), Ebook: 332 pages, Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Mystery
Website • Series Listing • Amazon UK / US
I am going to try extremely hard not to gush about this book, but it will be difficult. Truth is, I’m hooked. I’ve drunk the kool-aid. The world of Broken Elements seeped into my mind, sucked me into its world, and left me with a serious book hangover. If you can’t tell, I was kind of impressed.
At the beginning of Broken Elements we meet Aidan and Sera, best friends who have been estranged for a decade, due to a horrible event from their past. Aidan, whose POV the story is told from, has been playing the hermit for the past ten years, when Sera arrives on her front porch, drudges up the past, and throws her life into chaos. You know, like all good best friends do.
And so it begins. This book is a whirlwind, seamlessly blending the characters’ pasts with their present, who they were with who they’ve become. Aidan and Sera control Elemental magic; they are able to manipulate water and fire, respectively. Very quickly, the two friends meet up with a ragtag group of other Elementals, as well as a few shifters. The group has a very Scooby Squad-esque feel to it, and the mystery that they have to solve is one of life or death for them all.
The key to the greatness of this story is not in the plot itself, though the plot is fast-paced, surprising, and masterfully executed. It is in the relationships, and the stunning character building. Each character is fleshed out, realistic, and lovingly rendered. The group fits together seamlessly, with each character playing their own part, butting heads when necessary, and helping each other through tough times by simply being there for each other. Some of the secondary characters managed to worm there way into my heart immediately – Simon, the were-cat, particularly – but Aidan and Sera steal the show. Their friendship is one of soulmates: easy, playful, and emotionally laden, all at the same time. While each can be volatile, they complete each other in a way rarely seen in books without coming off as cheesy or overdone.
The mythology Marshall has created for her world is beautiful and well detailed, without being overbearing. It is spread out nicely throughout the book, and spoken of in different ways, peppered in between stories of the past, and the day to day lives of the characters. Most of the history and mythology in the book is given to the reader through conversation; and that conversation is artful and thoroughly enjoyable.
If forced at gunpoint to give a negative about this book, I would have to say the lack of build in the romance was a slight let-down. Granted, I like my love interest with a simmering build, and a steamy finish, so that’s more my taste than anything. The book was less about Aidan’s budding relationship with a tasty shifter, and more about her re-building herself into the type of person who can have any kind of relationship at all. I suppose I can accept that, even if I wanted her to jump her love interest’s bones from time to time. Hey, what can I say? I like my flirting with a little follow through!
I would recommend this book to anyone with a pulse, and a desire for a little magic in their lives. Between the witty dialogue, the beautiful friendships, a mysterious storyline, and characters who worm their way into your heart quicker than should be possible, I have very little to complain about. Broken Elements is an addictive read, and it left me wanting so much more. Like, now, please?