A mysterious and powerful fantasy adventure from a Schneider Award winner In the near future, most of the population of the United States has been destroyed by the plague. The few remaining survivors live in colonies on the barrier islands off the East Coast. In one colony near Cape Hatteras, almost all the members have elemental powers and can control wind, water, earth, and fire. All but sixteen-year-old Thomas. When the Guardians, the powerful adult leaders, are kidnapped by pirates seeking to take over their colony, it is up to Thomas and a small group of teens to save them and preserve the mysteries of the island.
Who doesn’t love powers? Add pirates, secrets, and a hidden dystopian society, and sounds like you’ve got a grad slam.
Elemental has all that and more. Making it a fantastic lower YA book.
I heard of Antony John back when I read Five Flavors of Dumb, which was absolutely amazing. The characters were well crafted and realistic, the pacing at a good clip, and the story interesting and worth the read.
So when I saw that he was writing a book that sounded like The Last Airbender, I couldn’t wait to see what he pulled out.
The first thing to note is, Elemental is not Five Flavors of Dumb. John spends much less time developing characters and much more time creating webs of secrets and mysteries that middle grade boys and slightly older will love.
Of course, since there is so much time spent creating the many mysteries that drive the story, and very little time solving them, readers may feel as if the pacing is somewhat uneven. But with the cliffhanger of a revelation at the end of the book, which promises a sequel, it makes sense that John uses much of this book to set up the solutions that I feel confident will be revealed in later installments in the series.
The other thing that makes this book great for younger YA readers is the level of action in the book. Elemental includes kids spying on pirates, discovering powers, battling with weapons and powers, and telling the future. All of these things will keep hesitant readers continuing on in the book long after they normally would have lost interest.
All in all a fun book for upper-middle grade/lower YA readers that is chalk full of excitement and adventure.
Published: November 21, 2012