Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{September 10, 2012}   {Review} Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental #0.5)

From Goodreads: As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy. Dangerous. And completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.


This is a great intro novella that swept me up and whet my appetite for the full Elemental series that, at the time, I wasn’t certain if I was going to read.  Rest assured, a few pages into Elemental and I was dying for even more, so when this novella ended on a cliffhanger, I immediately bought the rest of the series, in both eBook and paperback format, because it’s a real keeper—something I definitely want gracing the shelves of my bookcase and eReader.

This novella introduces us to the characters of Michael Merrick and Emily Morgan as teenagers… a full five years prior to the first full novel’s opening (I think).  I wasn’t aware of that while I was reading, so I was a little confused when I picked up Storm, but as I began piecing everything together I realized that Elemental is really building up the back story for Michael, giving the reader a glimpse into what his life was like before he became the brooding head of the family.  It also gives insight as one reads Storm because the characters briefly grace over and allude to past events that aren’t fully explained, but having read Elemental I knew the whole back story, which I thought was really cool.

Michael is a very interesting character, the oldest of four, with the power to control the earth to the extent that he’s extremely dangerous.  The fact that he lives in a normal town surrounded by normal people is extremely jarring, but he’s not alone in his abilities.  Other elementals live nearby, but with powers less extensive, which makes Michael and his family a threat, especially as the teenage years are the hardest for a pure elemental when it comes to controlling their immense powers.  And from this stems the entire series… no full elemental should live… Yet there are four Merrick boys…

I loved getting to know Michael and watching his relationship with Emily bud.  I also felt a lot of rage against Emily’s family and friends due to their reactions to Michael and his family, and the circumstances that surrounded the cliffhanger in the end made me automatically side with Michal’s family.  Having done nothing wrong, and being constantly provoked, I thought Michael did a phenomenal job keeping it all in check, whereas I would have blown everyone to smithereens…

Like I said, I really enjoyed this novella, and I highly recommend it, either as a precursor to Storm (as it should be), or as a follow up right after the completion of Storm as, by that time, you’ll have a better grasp of all the key players.  If I had it to do over, I’d probably read Elemental second to Storm as I think it gives readers even more insight having met Michael in the later years and seeing what has been going on in his family.  But either way, it’s definitely a five star read!

5 stars

I purchased a copy of this novella from Amazon.


[…] Kemmerer whisked me away in her first novella, Elemental, making me a fan of Michael Merrick from the get go.  In the first full novel of the series, […]

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