Thursday, 4 April 2013

Broken Elements (Elements, #1) by Mia Marshall

Broken Elements (Elements, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
"It's happening again, Aidan. We didn't stop it, after all."

As an elemental, Aidan Brook holds the power of water at her fingertips. A descendant of the earth’s oldest magic, she can cause tides to ebb and flow, put out house fires without calling 911, and give anyone who’s annoying her an impromptu shower.

But even her magic has its limits. After it fails her one terrible night, she hides from the world and everyone she once loved, trying to escape the memories that haunt her. Ten years later, her exile is brought to an abrupt end when her former best friend appears on her front porch. An elemental killer is once again murdering her friends, and she must return to the scene of her own crimes.

Lake Tahoe proves more than she bargained for. Between a sadistic killer, some clever FBI agents, an annoyingly attractive landlord, and way too many new roommates, she has a pretty full plate. Add in a past she’s desperate to escape and her own uncontrollable powers, and Aidan Brook is having a very, very bad month.

Broken Elements by Mia Marshall

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Broken Elements (Elements, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Mia Marshall and Netgalley.)
Aidan is 65, but she looks like she’s in her twenties. A semi-powerful Water Elemental, Aidan has the ability to control water, but she’s not as powerful as her full-blooded-Water Elemental mom.

10 years ago Aidan and her best friend Sera investigated a series of murders in which people were killed by an Ice Elemental who froze their hearts. It didn’t end well, and Aidan has been feeling guilty about the consequences of her actions ever since, and has been hiding out alone in a house where nobody knows where she is.

Now Sera has found her, and has disturbing news – her human boyfriend Chris has been killed – by having his heart frozen.
Worrying that maybe their murderer of ten years ago survived and has struck again, Aidan and Sera try to find out what is going on, and to stop further murders.
Can Aiden and Sera stop the murderer for good this time? Why does Aidan find it so difficult to control her element? And what does her father’s identity have to do with any of it?

This was a bit of an odd one for me. It had a clearly paranormal element to the story, but the majority of the storyline was concerned with the crime mystery.

Aidan (female – this confused me!) was a quite hard, dark character. She was still feeling guilty about the events in her past, and had basically hidden herself away for the best part of a decade. I’m sure psychologists would have had a field day working through her issues! Aidan had a really hard spiky shell (metaphorically speaking), and desperately tried to keep people at arms length. It was quite difficult to really know her, but not difficult to understand why she was like this.
Aidan’s interaction with her friends was similarly distant, and at times her observation skills were likewise hindered.

The storyline was mainly focused on the murders, with the paranormal element woven in. For this reason I’d say that this series is probably best suited to those who like ‘crime’ novels, and reminded me of Rachel Caine’s ‘Red Letter Days’ series.
I liked the world building with regards to the paranormal aspects of this book, and thought that the two genres were mixed well, I also liked how clueless Aidan was with regards to the shifter community, showing how the paranormals kept things so quiet that different camps were not necessarily aware of each other.

There were a couple of moments in this book where I thought ‘what?’ though, firstly; when Sera described someone trying to burn them alive as ‘a bit discomforting’ – just a bit?, and then later when Aidan happily goes off for a moonlit stroll, totally alone with the man who she has just discovered is the murderer! Stupid much?!
The ending did shed some light on certain aspects of the storyline and explained a bit more about the murderers true motives though, which did help to explain things a lot.

Overall; an interesting paranormal/crime novel.
7 out of 10.

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  1. I think the elemental aspects of this story would appeal to me and the fact that this book appears as more of a crime novel, with them trying to solve who the murderer could be! Thanks for putting this on my radar! Great review Sarah! :)

  2. I turned down this review request. It does look good but the focus is more like a crime novel. Not into that. Happy you enjoyed some though.

    1. You're spot on. it is more crime than anything else. don't think i'll read the sequel.

  3. I'm not one for crime either.