Saturday, June 21, 2014

Elemental Hunger by Elana Johnston

Published: June 12th, 2014
Publisher: AEJ Creative works
Pages: 400
Copy: From Author
Summary: Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Elemental Hunger is a dystopian fantasy - although I'm not sure if that is actually a type?  Let's say it is a fantasy story at its core, but set on a future earth after a - virtually unexplained - apocalyptic event.  Society has regressed to the point that women are 2nd class citizens again, and subservient to their magic wielding superiors - men, of course.  Certain women have magic, but of a lesser sort - of course - and when on a council have to marry one of the men.  A council consists of 4 magicians and a servant, basically, with three of the magicians being men.

On re-reading that last paragraph I think it may sound as if I didn't enjoy the book, but I really did.  I loved Gabriella's determination and drive and the fact that she was willing to fight for what she believed were her rights.  When Adam enters the picture, Gabriella, or should I say 'Gabe' is attracted to him, and because of that, tends to ignore what her gut is telling her, and it does get her into a few pickles.

There are some wonderfully tense moments throughout and I have to admit that I really liked hearing about 'Alex' - aka 'the villain of the piece' - and there were a few surprises in that quarter that added to the intrigue. The whole council idea was something new, and despite my somewhat snarky comments above, the premise was sound, although I never really felt that I knew the true purpose of a council - I guess sort of a magical city council really.

Honestly, if you are a fantasy fan, I don't think you'll go wrong picking up "Elemental Hunger', but I don't think there is enough dystopian in it for fans of that genre, but you could give it a try. * Be warned these are New Adult books and the content might not be suitable for younger teens.

I just discovered that there is a prequel novella called Elemental Rush about Adam (May 2014), and a sequel novella called Elemental Release, also about Adam (July 1, 2014) - both seem to be available from Kindle and I'm off to get copies of both.

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