Review: Elemental Secrets

Thursday, October 20, 2016
29361694Title: Elemental Secrets (The Essential Elements #1)
Author: Elle Middaugh
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: February 27, 2016
Purchase Links: 

Valerie Moore was a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for over-analyzing).

With her mother long deceased, and her father recently deployed, she ends up being sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But, being a Navy brat had made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly wasn’t her strongest suit. As if the life of a typical teen wasn’t hard enough.

But Valerie soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager. Not by a long shot.

SECRETS are revealed…

…About her family, about her newfound friends and relationships, and about her whole world… Things that have been kept from her for her entire life…

But the biggest secret of all is revealed when Valerie discovers that she has Elemental powers, and a chain of inexplicable and irrevocable events unleashes throughout the little town…

Elemental Secrets seems like a good fantasy read that I would like, but I think it fell short to me. Expecting to read a fantasy story, I was thrown into one with a lot of high school drama instead. Right from the start, I had a hard time connecting with Valerie because I found her to be a little bit dramatic since she makes a big deal out of a lot of things. Also, I could not understand her train of thought, since she seems to be all over the place. One moment she’s this, and another moment she’d be thinking differently already. While I love how she decided to reach out and make new friends, I felt that this development suddenly came out of nowhere and seemed a bit too detached. It made me left wondering whether it was really possible to just suddenly have a change of heart from not making friends into someone who becomes very willing to make new ones.

With this, it felt like she quickly adapted to the things that were happening around her, and while I still couldn’t grasp the sudden character shift of Valerie’s shy personality into someone who has a lot of friends and goes partying, I was brought into a shift of the plot as well. It felt like there were two divided developments to me, since the first half was more of character development, then the latter was about the Elementals and more fantasy elements. I wasn’t prepared and was caught off guard with the shift.

However, I am still having quite mixed feelings about the romance. While I didn’t exactly like how the love triangle was portrayed, since it felt like Cade was detached, I enjoyed reading the moments between Valerie and Holden. I found the two of them cute together, and I love how Holden takes care of Valerie, and the both of them work out with whatever fall-outs they may have.

Also, I liked the remaining half of the story which focused more on the Elementals. I love how everything came to life: of the magical battles, of the characters’ feelings, and just exactly where each person stand. The tension between the Elementals and humans made me want to know more about their world, and understand it more clearly. Each development has made me left guessing what is going to happen next, and I am really interested to know what’s going to happen next.

Elemental Secrets may not be the one for me, but I think that others would like it more than I did. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to the second instalment for this one! (I hope there is.)

Elle MiddaughElle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house. She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.


Konna said...

Judging from your reviews I have mixed thoughts about this book. I might pick it up though, because I feel that it has potential.

Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

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