Flash Reviews: The Elemental Edition

*Two flash reviews for you today!  I have so many books backlogged for review lately, and with Splash into Summer almost upon us, I know I won't get a lot of these books featured before late July or August, so I'm going to throw together some Flash Reviews to get more books on your radar in a fast manner!

These two titles both have elemental aspects, and they both deal with a girl who may or may not hold destruction in her hands, so I thought they fit together well for today's Flash!

Author: Emily White
Release Date: Out now (June 05, 2012)
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Received: ARC from Publisher


Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?

Spencer Hill Press is rapidly rising as a small publisher acquiring authors with unique ideas and strategically marketing them into readers' hands despite having a small presence in physical bookstores.  These books make great additions to e-readers at low, affordable prices under $5.99.  In particular, Jennifer L. Armentrout's amazing Covenant series put the publisher on my personal radar.  When I discovered that Vic Caswell, who I met through her comments on my blog, was the cover designer for an upcoming Spencer Hill release entitled ELEMENTAL, I sat up and took notice.  The title alone got me; I always love books about elemental magic.

ELEMENTAL definitely has a sci-fi tilt, but it also mixes in a bit of dystopian and a touch of fantasy, creating a unique combination that built a storyline unlike any I've come across recently.  The main character, Ella, is locked up in a dark room for ten years onboard Sho'ful and labeled a dangerous enemy.  She's thought to have an ability that will overthrow the current regime, so she's slated for death.  She manages to escape upon landing on another planet and is soon helped by a native.  On the run and scared, Ella learns a lot about herself and where she came from in this fast-paced debut.

Emily White created a likable character, though at times readers may want to throttle her because she's too selfless.  I also love the way she developed Malick's character; this was a real stand-out.  Clocking in at under 200 pages, ELEMENTAL is a fast read that's easy to get through and develops at a steady past, never feeling overly rushed.  The first in a trilogy, the rest of the series will definitely be one to watch.


I think Vic did an amazing job with this one.  She just opened her own website, Sketcher Girl Studios, and is available if you're looking for design work that doesn't come from stock photography.  I particularly love the way the title was created.  ELEMENTAL comes to life, especially the shining Ls and the middle E.  I also love the font that was used!  It suits the galaxy in the background perfectly, and the shine also reflects the sheen in the cover model's eye.

Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Release Date: Out now (May 08, 2012)
Publisher: Macmillan / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Received: ARC from publisher


Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

When I first saw the cover for STRUCK and read the initial summary blurb, I was immediately captivated.  I anticipated a book with a girl who could control lightning like a superhero, destined to save her city from harm.  I love stories that deal with elemental magic, which is one reason I enjoy the AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER TV series and Brigid Kemmerer's new Elemental series, and also why Antony John's upcoming ELEMENTAL is one of my most-highly-wanted books this year.

With the above paragraph in mind, this is why I couldn't find myself completely in love with STRUCK the way everyone else seems to be.  I was expecting superheroes and elemental magic.  I wasn't expecting a book about an Apocalyptic Doomsday Cult rising to prominence.  It's my own fault for inventing my own idea of this book in my head, because if I hadn't, I would have enjoyed STRUCK so much more.

I did enjoy the way Jennifer Bosworth built her world and showed the way people flock to cults.  She developed the False Prophet and his followers wells; I could see why someone lost would join his groups and become a believer. In particular, Mia's mother becomes a stand-out character, and I was always excited to read more scenes with her. The book reads fast because it takes place over the course of three days, so there is a lot of character development, plot revelations, and story arcs to fit into a short period of time.  While this would be completely unbelievable in most books, the fact that this book occurs in the face of mass hysteria with little time for characters to think of the future and only of the present works.

This one may or may not be for you.  Go into it expecting Apocalyptic Doomsday Cults and not Superheroes with Lightning Magic and you'll be more ready to embrace the story Bosworth is trying to tell than I was.


I adore this cover.  It's dark and full of atmosphere.  I love the way lighting is coming down, the way the model's arms are stretched as though about to embrace it as she peers at a dilapidated city.  I'm glad that the model's arms are crisscrossed with lighting scars and not perfectly smooth, because it describes main character Mia so well.  This cover ROCKS.


  1. Eep I have both of these still unread ARCs still O_O I actually fort of put Struck off because of the meh reviews and mention of religion. Elemental sounds good though I should get to that one soon! Great reviews!


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