Four Book Reviews in One!
Since our scheduled reviewer was unable to make the deadline, we decided to post a J to tha M chat about a series we both read and really enjoyed. Hope you do, too!
M: So, that rec you gave me last week.
The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter
That Kindle is doing the job and making you read more – yay!
J: Heh, yes. Did you like?
M: I really did. Ate them up.
J: the most impressive thing about these books is that they’re self-published
I know she works with an editor or several
M: I think the most impressive thing is the world building, to be honest
Vampire clans coming from each of the four elements and being able to manipulate them
the self-publish adds to the interesting, though
her books are a great example of self-pub done right
J: I really think so, too. What was amazing was that I didn’t THINK I was super attached to the characters in the first one – A Hidden Fire – but I still couldn’t wait to read the next one – This Same Earth. So apparently I was connected. And then The Force of Wind, and A Fall of Water.
M: yes, exactly. I felt there were some minor issues with the first one – pacing, some editing, small stuff like that – but I was so happy to find she fixed those little irritations in the subsequent books
I think in fixing those issues, it allowed me to make that strong connection I wanted but just didn’t quite get in the first one
J: Another surprising thing was how much I actually rooted for the heroine. I mean, she managed to get herself kidnapped every time she turned around, but she wasn’t whiny or weak
M: yes, she did a great job on that balance
making the heroine strong and self-sufficient while still having human weakness in a vampire world
and then toward the end – yeehaw. B was an awesome badass
J: Oh, and real vampire fights. Hallelujah! I don’t usually seek out vampire books, and it actually surprised me when this one was
but I was excited to see real action
not lots of worry for nothing
M: and well-written real action
and the love scenes
the way the vampires mated and drew strength
M: mm, yes
it’s similar to BDB in that they get strength in feeding from their mates
which is a huge sexy trigger, I think
and she managed to do it very well and very uniquely in the world and mythology she built
J: hmmm. I still haven’t read that
it’s kind of funny to see the different vampire mythologies
how they cross and mirror and then take off in another direction
M: lots of fun things to work with when writing about vampires
but speaking of all the sexy triggers…
J: oh hey
the name is enough
M: I mean, she hit just about all those triggers and made him believable and not over the top
Gorgeous Italian renaissance man. Ruthless and unbeatable fighter. Deadly killer. Protective, faithful, loving.
and a fire vampire
I mean, come on. That was awesome.
A vampire who can control fire
J: without killing himself
so he’s specialer
M: just the mental image she painted of him walking toward his enemies with blue flames licking all over his upper body, ready to blast them out of existence
J: and then there’s Carwyn
and set up beautifully for his own book – Building from Ashes
and I love how the characters are not all purely good or purely bad (except Lorenzo – he’s a great villain)
she manages that balance very well, too
shows the real flaws like we all have and makes you cheer for them
J: he seemed a little….dimwitted for a villain at times
but then that was a great device, too
because dumb people are often more dangerous than the smart ones
M: I didn’t exactly see it as dimwitted, more like he let his personal vengeance get in the way of world domination
that was his flaw
I went through all four Gio and Beatrice books this past week, and am halfway through Carwyn’s story
J: Yay! Glad you liked.
M: Oh, yes. I really did. So glad I continued on to the second. I feel it’s much stronger, as is the rest of the series. Isn’t A Hidden Fire still free on Amazon right now? I need to go buy the next in the spin-off series.
About the Author
Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy and romance author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College in the Department of English (Linguistics) and a former English teacher.
She currently lives in Central California with a seven-year-old ninja who claims to be her child. She enjoys reading, writing, travel, and bowling (despite the fact that she’s not very good at it.) Someday, she plans to learn how to scuba dive. And maybe hang glide. But that looks like a lot of running.
She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs series, and other works of fiction.