Early Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

, by Kt Clapsadl

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer 
Elemental #1 

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

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.

The storm is coming . . .

Chris Merrick and his brothers have been trying to get by each day without losing control of their powers. Each one is tied to one of the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The rest of the community fears them, and they live on a razor edge's balance. The tide changes when Becca saves Chris from certain death. A slippery slope of events begin that mark the brothers for death, and Becca right along with them. Then a new kid shows up to school and Becca finds herself drawn to him, knowing that she must keep her secrets from him or she may just push Chris over the edge. A loss of control is the last thing any of them can afford, not with the rising storm coming.

By far the best thing about Storm was the Merrick Brothers themselves. They are such a tight knit group, and yet there is such tension between them. Storm focused more on Chris, the youngest sibling, who has this sense of loneliness about him. The twins have that bond that all twins seem to have, almost being one unit despite their extreme differences. And Michael, being the oldest, has to bear most of the burden of responsibility and safety for the others since he is their legal guardian. Based on some things Chris said, he and Michael used to be a lot closer, but with tragedy comes inevitable change. That doesn't make it any easier, and in fact Chris is quite bitter about their lot, and at the beginning of Storm, we can see that he has just about hit his breaking point. He lets Gabriel, the more hotheaded of the twins talk him into some activities that revolve around payback. Of course, this only causes more tension between him and Michael, which in turn only furthers the problem. My heart really went out to these brothers as all they really want to do is live their lives in peace.

Most of the time I prefer books to be written in first person perspective from one character, however Storm would not have been half as good if we had not been able to see both Chris and Becca's side of things. It almost felt as if I as the reader had inside knowledge, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the secrets unfurl. Everything about Storm felt fresh and original, yet somehow so familiar at the same time. There were times where the mythology behind it all reminded me of a coven of witches, due to the structures of power and deals between the factions. Yet they really had nothing to do with magic, but more of an innate connection to a specific element. Either way, I was fully captivated from start to finish, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.

On a slightly side note, there will be an ebook prequel titled Elemental releasing prior to Storm's drop date. Lucky for me, it was included in my ARC copy of Storm. While reading Storm, Michael's character frustrated me. I realize that he was placed in a tough situation by having to be responsible for his brothers and also worrying about keeping the fragile peace between them and the rest of the community. However, after reading Elemental and seeing the closer look into Michael's past, I now better understand the burden of guilt he carries, which by all right should have consumed him by now if not for his brothers. Even though I'm not really one for buying short stories like Elemental, in this case I feel it is more than worth the purchase as it really adds to the overall story. In fact, I really would love to see a full length book centered around him as there is so much more than then meets the eye.

As much as I loved Storm, I wish the ending would have been developed a little more as it seemed rather abrupt, especially considering the next book looks like it is going to shift the main focus to Gabriel. Don't get me wrong, there really wasn't a cliffhanger, but it did give me a sense of being cut off mid sentence. Hopefully the next installment will build onto the things that happened with Becca and Chris rather than completely dropping them for Gabriel's part, but only time will tell. I would highly recommend Storm to anyone who enjoys a fresh and original story that will suck you in from the very start. Trust me, you won't want to miss Storm and the yummy Merrick brothers! Oh yeah, and Becca was pretty cool too. ;)

(Also, there was a touchy issue involving an attempted gang rape in this book that I wasn't sure how to approach in my review, so I decided to forgo it mostly. To be honest I'm a little surprised such a topic was included in a YA novel. I really loved Storm, but didn't care for how this event was handled, so I tried my best to ignore it. As I'm not really sure what to say about this issue, please check out All Things Urban Fantasy's Review to see Abigail's thoughts.)

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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