by Antony John
Published by Dial Books
on November 20, 2012
My summary: On Roanoke Island, a scrappy band of survivors fled a plague on the mainland and built a community. Sixteen year-old Thomas is impatiently waiting to receive his Elemental power -- people over sixteen in his group have the ability to control one of the elements. But when a storm hits and all the adults in his community mysteriously disappear, the island's kids will have to battle pirates, including the man who killed Thomas's mother.
My take: I was thrilled to discover that this book is set on Roanoke Island, a place rich in history and intrigue. In case you're not a US history buff, the island was the site of the Lost Colony -- a group of British colonists settled there in the 1580s and then mysteriously disappeared.
In the book, a small community has settled on Roanoke island after some sort of unspecified plague began to spread in the United States. The settlers have special powers. Thomas' father and brother can control fire, and he's anxiously waiting to see what his special talent will be. After a storm separates the adults from the rest of the group, Thomas and the other kids try to reunite the group and evade capture by pirates.
I loved the setting of Elemental, and the book's premise is an intriguing one. Elemental has a lot of action, some moderately scary pirates, a PG-rated love triangle, and the fun sort of "kids against the world" esprit de corps that you see in movies like Home Alone or Spy Kids.
I really enjoyed reading Elemental even though, as an adult reader of YA, I don't feel like part of this book's target audience. I enthusiastically recommend Elemental to fans of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan or Savvy by Ingrid Law -- another fantastic book about kids who receive a special power when they turn thirteen.
If you're intrigued by the idea of books about characters who can control the elements, also check these choices out. Click on the covers to find out more.
If you're intrigued by Roanoke Island and love historical fiction, also try this one!
thank you for your honest opinions, I have seen this book before, even debated. Not sure if it's right for me at the moment, I think I understand not being the targeted audience.ReplyDelete
I'm happy that to find what I like to call "young YA" or "clean YA" because a lot of people are looking for that!Delete
I did not realize this book had an historical aspect in addition to its fantastical one-that immediately piques my interest. I also love the sound of pirates-there should be more books with pirates! Thanks for giving me more background about this book as I decide whether or not I want to read it.ReplyDelete
The historical aspect really isn't focused on very much, but maybe in the next book??Delete
Dude! I so loved this book! At first, it was a bit confusing but in the end, I love it :)ReplyDelete
It was a lot of fun!Delete
I'm with you, I kinda felt like I wasn't the target audience, and the lpve triangle was very pg :)ReplyDelete
It was a fairly good book still though, although storm and spark by brigid kemmerer were better :) Haven't read carrier of the mark yet.
Yes, Storm and Spark are the edgier version!Delete
I can see what you are saying. I think this book would be great for the younger teens. I am very interested in the elements. I have the copy of Spark you sent me in my pile of books that I must read soon. :)ReplyDelete
And by Spark I mean Storm, the first one. Oops. lolDelete
Hope you like it -- LMK what you think!Delete
Great review, Jen! I've had my eye on Elemental for a while now. It's nice to finally see someone review it! :P Interesting that it might read more like a MG book. I don't think I expected that. But I am a huge Percy Jackson fan!ReplyDelete
Like Percy, I think this book will appeal to MG and YA audiences!Delete
This book sounds very interesting! I think I would love it, especially the historical aspect! Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
I wish the book had delved more into the history, but I just put Cate of the Lost Colony on my library request list -- I've been meaning to read it.Delete
I love all books that mention Roanoke! I'm kind of obsessed with the lost colony!ReplyDelete
I agree -- it's one of the coolest unsolved mysteries out there!Delete
Roanoke Island sounds so intriguing! I honestly didn't absorb much history in school but now find myself wishing I had paid more attention. Sounds like a cute novel. I love kids against the adults! LOLReplyDelete
I did pay attention but I forgot so much of what I learned!Delete
This sounds really good. I actually when on a boat trip tour out to what was Roanoke Island when I was younger. The only thing I really remember about it was the I got pooped on buy a seagull lol!!! Anyways, I haven't really heard much about this book, but books that have to do with controlling the elements intrigue me. Have you read Exiled and Shift by M.R. Merrick. Those are great fantasy books that have to do with controlling elements. Awesome review hon!ReplyDelete
I haven't read those -- thanks for the tip :)Delete
I read Savvy and thought it was a great book and perfect for tweens. I'll have to read this one too.ReplyDelete
Savvy is an AWESOME book. One of my favorite MG books of all time.Delete
Great review! I didn't realize there was such a historical component to it!ReplyDelete
As I said above, I really wished that the book got more into the historical stuff, but maybe in the next book!Delete
O.o scary pirates..i am in! Love your review and this sounds like an interesting read.ReplyDelete
The pirates were fun. If you love pirates, definitely check this one out!Delete
Yeah, that Roanoke Lost Colony story line is an interesting one for sure. Seems like I have heard other works of fiction that featured that as well. Maybe a Stephen King book?ReplyDelete
I'm finally finishing up Five Flavors of Dumb (hopefully tonight) after having to put it aside for review books. I've enjoyed it. I like Antony John's writing so far:)
I want to read Five Flavors!Delete
I actually knew about Roanoke Island from watching SUPERNATURAL. See?? Educational.ReplyDelete
ELEMENTAL sounds like a younger read than I had thought, or am I wrong?
The characters did feel younger than 16 to me. It's older MG to young YA, I'd say. And this book will definitely appeal to girl and boy readers. So that is a good niche to be in!Delete
This book sounds good...I was skeptical at first but because of it targeting younger readers but I keep reading reviews and then I reread the description and it sounds too good to pass up...on my wishlist :) Thanks Jen!ReplyDelete
I love books set in Roanoke! I find its history so interesting! But I'm not usually into books about the younger half of YA. It does sound really cool though. Great review!ReplyDelete
Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction
The comparison to Savvy has me sold. LOVE Savvy. Love Percy Jackson, too.ReplyDelete
hmmm...want to read this books!ReplyDelete
Added on pile already!