If there was one new series that blew me away in 2018 it was The Elementae series. I am usually weary of fantasy books because I can get lost in everything but it surpassed my expectations. I was hooked! That also meant I could hardly wait to get my hands on the second book in the series. But there is always a slight fear with second books because they often fall flat. They can either be just a filler-type story or they can be outstanding. I am happy to say this was not just a filler book. This was not an empty nothing story that simply helped the reader pass time until the final book. This was breath-taking in every aspect.
Not only was this a strong character driven story, it required a strong world building – Gaughen knocked both of those out of the park. The actual plot and story cannot be overlooked either. This author is a master of her craft. I’m will always be in awe of her talent. Let me expand my comments.
While the first book focused on the raw and gritty tale of Shalia, this story focused on the story of Aspasia, a strong female that was stolen from her family when she was very young and forced into a horrific life. She learned from a young age to do what takes to survive. She has two things that she plays close to her vest: her private mission to find her siblings and to keep her Elementae gift a secret. Aspasia was so fierce and stunning that I could not get enough of her. I wanted wanted to jump into the story and fight the battle with her. Consider me the president of her fan club because I was here for her story.
I am not going to spoil anything by saying who the other characters are and how they all fit into the grand story. What I will tell you is that you will squeal with delight when you find out who has a major role.
As mentioned before, the world and setting were absolutely crucial to the story. It blew my mind how Gaughen made it seem that life aboard a ship was so natural. Not only was this set mainly aboard a ship, it gave major focus to how important family is to any character. And by “family” I mean those that are blood and those that are not. It was all brilliantly written and I soaked up every word like a sponge.
I am not able to finish this review without talking about the diversity found within the pages. I have read some books lately that talked about having diverse characters and they felt forced. That did not happen in this story. Everything felt just so natural and it was refreshing to read.
I guess you can tell by now how much I loved this book. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I am extremely grateful to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I screamed when I got the book and devoured it once I started reading. Here is my one complaint – I have to wait so long for the next book! If this is not already on your TBR it should be. You don’t want to miss what happens next.