Written by Brigid Kemmerer
Published May, 2012 by Allen & Unwin
Genres: Elemental, Romance, Urban Fantasy
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Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.
And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.
Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
What a fantastic debut from Brigid Kemmerer! I was drawn in to story from the word go! It’s a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of unique fantasy/supernatural stories featuring some swoon-worthy characters! Storm manages to capture imaginations while still maintaining a grip on the ‘real world’.
I think my favourite part about this book was the unique personalities of all four brothers; Michael, Nicholas, Gabriel and Chris. Apart from being, well, ‘hot’, they’re also incredibly raw and believable. I’ve seen a lot of hype about these characters around the blogosphere lately, and now I can finally understand why! Brigid Kemmerer manages to write them in a way that is so ‘true’. I really applaud her on capturing so many different male voices and making them genuine. It’s a major bonus when you can read a guy’s perspective chapter and actually believe that he IS a guy! It can be a book’s fatal flaw in many cases when it’s not done right, but Brigid Kemmerer manages to nail it.
Can I also just say that in this particular book, I was praising the heavens for all the ‘f’ bombs? I think it had something to do with the whole believability aspect for me. In today’s times, when would four brothers in a situation like this NOT swear? So yes, there is quite a bit of swearing and jeering/insulting, but it’s WARRANTED. If all Gabriel managed to say was ‘damn’ or ‘hell’, I think he’d lose a bit of integrity in the whole ‘OMG-smart-ass, cocky guy’ department. I think that’s what makes him so likeable.
But I don’t want to talk about the OTHER brother’s yet, or I’ll get overwhelmed. I want to talk about our main guy, Chris, and our leading lady, Becca. In Storm, these are our ‘focal’ characters. The later books in the series will be following a similar formula, except focusing on another one of the Merrick brothers and another female.
For me, Chris went through a whole lot of changes throughout this book. In the first few chapters we see him as kind of this innocent, gentle soul when compared to his brothers. I don’t know if it was just me, but around the 1/3 mark of this book, Chris was getting pretty high up there when it came to aggression and using the ‘f-bomb’ himself. When I look back on it, the Chris from the end of the book was very different from the Chris that Becca rescued from the parking lot. I definitely like the ‘later’ Chris; he had an edge to him that made him more mysterious and dangerous. At first I thought we were getting a cop-out ‘nice’ guy when I wanted some dark/edgy/sexy personality like that of the other brothers, but I’m glad this wasn’t the case.
Becca for the most part was ‘dealable’. I liked her, but then again at times I found myself bored with her. I think that’s what really took away the whole ‘whopping five star’ rating for me. I wish I could have liked her more – a lot of readers are praising her as a favourite of theirs – but I just didn’t feel it. I found myself confused with the whole high-school drama and gossip surrounding her, right up until she had to explain it flat-out a second time to Chris. I’m still a little disorientated, but I pat Brigid Kemmerer on the back for including that side-story in her first YA debut and dealing with those issues straight-up.
The ‘romance’ between Chris and Becca was one I was rooting for, but I felt I didn’t get enough of by the end. I was hanging out for some make-out action or some explosion of sexual tension, and just didn’t get it. The last line of the book? Wanted to throw it! I’d been waiting SO LONG and… nothing! I ‘liked’ Hunter, but I didn’t like him for Becca. They got some kissing scenes, but they weren’t the kissing scenes I wanted!
Another thing that disappointed me within Storm was the revelation that Becca was a ‘fifth’. For once I just wanted our leading girl to be ‘normal’ and stay that way, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I kinda caught on that Becca’s father would be the Guide, and that Hunter was somehow involved, but although I predicated it before it happened, it didn’t drag the book down for me. I’m still a little down-hearted, however, that Becca is going to have to go through the whole ‘learning to harness her powers’ charade, etc. if that happens. I really hope the next few books have an already-established girl with powers OR even better, someone who is blissfully normal and stays that way. There’s nothing bad with being ‘normal’, okay? Even if you are surrounded by super hot elementals!
Okay, so the part you’re probably waiting on is WHO IS MY FAVOURITE BROTHER? Well, much like Hunter’s quote about the rock choosing you rather than you choosing the rock (or something like that), the brother that stood out to me from the beginning and wouldn’t let go was Nick. While most other readers (well, the ones I’ve read reviews of so far) are drawn to his twin, Gabriel, it’s Nicholas all the way for me. Yes, that’s right, HE’S A TWIN. And he’s incredibly smart and the ‘peacemaker’ of the brothers. He’s the ‘nice guy’ of the duo, but he’s also a little devilish.
Michael kind of comes across as the aloof, ‘older’ brother in this story. He’s quite scary at first, at least through Becca’s eyes, but if you read the prequel novella, Elemental, you get a bit more of a feel for him as a character on his own. I really enjoyed the novella and could have read a ‘full-length’ novel featuring his and Emily’s romance. I actually was more drawn to the relationship between those two than I was Becca/Chris. I loved Emily’s strength and sass in the short time we were able to know her, and it’s sad ‘knowing’ what happens to her from the events in Storm.
I really liked Gabriel, too, the seemingly ‘fan favourite’ of the Merrick brothers. He was a lot of fun – but a lot of trouble! I’m so curious to see his story in Spark. The teaser at the end of Storm seems promising, too!
Yup, I’ll definitely be continuining on with Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series. For once, believe the hype. It’s a YA book that has the perfect mixture of ‘real life’ problems, the supernatural, mystery, confrontation – you name it! It also doesn’t shy away from more mature themes such as sex, violence and swearing – which makes it a breath of fresh air for older readers who still enjoy the genre.
Recommended to: If you’re looking for a fresh new YA series that isn’t as ‘fluffy’ as some of those currently circulating, give Storm a go!