Series: Elemental #2
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: August 28th 2012 by Kensington
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy / Paranormal
Book 1: Storm
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own…
I am always nervous about continuing a series that a different POV character(s) than the first book, especially if I really dug the first book. I worry that I might not like the character as much, that it could tarnish the glowing memory of the series, and such. Turns out, my worries were completely unfounded. I am pretty sure I liked this book more than the first one, though I am not sure how that is possible. This series is rapidly turning me into a rabid fangirl.
Gabriel Merrick is, on the surface, a troublemaker and a bit of an asshole. Underneath that surface, he’s more of a troublestopper, but still a bit of an asshole at times. Which, if you’ve been following my reviews you’ll know, is pretty much my kind of guy. In Storm I thought Nick would end up my favorite brother, but I gotta say, he has some serious competition now.
My favorite part of these books is how well the Merricks match their elements. Gabriel is everything fire should be: hot headed, unpredictable, willing to lash out. And yet, when handled right, lights the darkness and provides heat. Oh yeah, he gets things hot, all right.
I keep being surprised by how much I liked the female characters / love interests in this series so far. There is just something homey and easy to relate to them that makes them more than your standard damsel in distress YA stock. Although the book does involve some damselling. Is that a word? Damselling? Anyway, I think Layne provides a good counterpoint to Gabriel, a calming presence.
I mentioned this on Twitter, but I have to say it again: through most of this book I kept hoping Gabriel would ditch the chick and run off with Hunter. I mean, whoah, was there some awesome chemistry there. I would not have minded three additional chapters of watching them set things on fire. And if someone’s clothes burned off halfway, I wouldn’t have minded that either. *cough* Like I warned at the beginning of this review, I am descending into fangirl territory. It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything that’s made me want to write fanfic, or heaven forbid, attempt to draw. Lucky for everyone involved, I don’t got time for embarrassing myself that way, there are more books to be read in this series!
Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)
Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.