May 15, 2013

ARC REVIEW: Spirit (Elemental #3)

Spirit (Elemental #3), by Brigid Kemmerer
To Be Published May 28, 2013
Publisher:  Kensington Publishing
Format: ARC - received from publisher
Genre:  Young Adult Paranormal/Romance
To Buy:  Amazon  * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository

Check out my review for Storm (Elemental #1).
Check out my review for Spark (Elemental #2).
Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads) With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Once again, Brigid Kemmerer has stunned me with her incredible storytelling and flawless delivery. One of the hallmarks of the Elemental series so far has been the pure, unadulterated EMOTION that practically leaps from the page and squeezes your chest. And, oh man - I got the chest squeezies so many times in Spirit.  

The Elemental series, to date, has followed the lives of the four Merrick brothers - Michael, Gabriel, Nick and Chris. Each brother has the ability to wield a different element (earth, fire, wind and water). Then there are the Guides who are spirit users (see where this is going...?) and able to wield all four elements. They are the self-imposed police of the Elementals, and sent to kill the strongest of their kind. 

Hunter is a "fifth" - a spirit user. He's been featured in the first two books, but his loyalties have constantly been called into question. As a result, he's on pretty rocky footing with our favorite brothers. I was a little curious as to what it was about Hunter that made him compelling enough to get his own full-length book in the series. 

Well, let me tell you. He deserves the spotlight.

Hunter's life is no picnic. His dad is dead; his mom is too grief-stricken to pay attention to him; his grandfather whom he lives with is a complete jerk; and his only friends hate him. The guy is alone in the literal and figurative sense. And, as a 16-year-old kid without parents to guide him and people pulling him in so many different directions, he's in serious danger of imploding. 

Kate is a new girl sent to keep an eye on the Merricks, but she ends up watching Hunter more. She proves to be an outlet and a sounding board for him. But, her actions soon have him questioning whether he can trust her too. 

Brigid's writing is so compelling. I'm drawn along every page with her delicious words and incredible story. How does she have the ability to make me feel it all in one book? You laugh...
"He kept trying to tell his own body that she was injured, that she was seeking warmth, that this had nothing to do with anything. His body was replying, DUDE. SHE IS NOT WEARING PANTS."
And you cry...
"But Michael was faster than Hunter gave him credit for, and he caught up before Hunter could close the door to his jeep. Hunter slammed the door back at him, making Michael fall back a step. He followed it up with a solid shove. "Leave me alone," he shouted. "Just leave me..."

And then his voice broke and he was crying."
As the reader with the birds-eye view of everything, I can tell you that I experienced so much frustration on my part. Hunter is leading with his head and not his heart which causes him to make some bad choices. And that makes me CRAZY, because he's such a good guy who deserves so much happiness and peace for a change. If he would only. Stop. Thinking. Argh!

For once, the romance isn't the main spotlight in the story. And, for once, I was very much okay with that. The real focus is Hunter finding his place in the world. It's about where he fits into the Merrick's lives. And, it's about true - TRUE - friendship, and how to tell that's what you have. His relationship with Kate is really just the icing on the cake. And, it was sweet icing, let me tell you. Hunter is one sexy beast!

By the end of the book, the direction of the series became much clearer to me. There are two more full-length novels left - Nick's (Siege, due out in early 2014) and Michael's (untitled, due out in late 2014), and the story arc is shaping up so well. I can't wait to see what happens. 


Danny said...

Oh yes!!!! Spirit was phenomenal! But.. weren't you shocked by the ending too?? Well, I was and never though she would do this. And now, I wan another Hunter book, I feel like he's just beginning to trust other people and ..well, I need another Hunterbook .period!

Krista said...

I was definitely shocked by the ending, Danny! I didn't think it would turn out like it did. But, Brigid has sort of done this before - just not as spelled out. Know what I mean?

This is one of my favorite series ever. Especially now - Hunter is just coming into his own and, you're right - it feels like he's finally starting down the right path.