Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Allen & Unwin. Thank you!
Goodreads rating: 4.34 out of 5.00 (400+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room
Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.
And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.
Review by Nara
I do believe Secret is my favourite book of this series so far, after Spark (because omg twins. They're great.) I think anyone who likes this series will definitely not be disappointed by this book- it contains the action and romance and (obviously) the great characters found in all the previous books.
One thing I find very interesting about Brigid Kemmerer is that she can change my opinion of her characters so wildly. For example, in book one, I didn't really like Hunter that much. Come book three- BAM, I like Hunter a lot more. Book one, I kind of liked Gabriel- come book two- BAM, he becomes one of my favourite characters. I think this has something to do with the way that Kemmerer does her character development. When you don't see things from a particular characters' point of view, you don't really get the full picture. However, as soon as she does a perspective from them- everything makes a lot more sense and you can truly understand where that character is coming from. So when Secret rolled around, I really thought that I'd enjoy Nick's storyline a lot more than Quinn's. Boy, was I wrong. While I wouldn't say I enjoyed Quinn's more, I was probably invested in both plotlines equally. (Character-wise, Nick > Quinn though haha)
I would really recommend reading Breathless (the novella from Nick and Quinn's POV) before getting into this book (by the way if you buy the Australian editions, Secret contains the novella, and if you buy the US editions, it's Spirit which has the novella, for future reference). That novella really prepares you for the full book, whereby it introduces a certain awesome character whose relationship with Nick is further developed in Secret. It also introduces you to Nick's various insecurities, whereas you'll know if you read the previous books, he seemed very in control, calm and reliable. Of course, we see those insecurities in even plainer sight in Secret, and the way Kemmerer writes them is just so raw and powerful.
While I would say that this series is probably a character-oriented one rather than plot-oriented, there's definitely no lack of action. There's still the tension between the full elementals and the Guides and the elementals that aren't full elementals- and while this book perhaps has less action that the previous ones, there's still certainly enough to satisfy.
I'm not too sure how I feel about Gabriel after reading this book, because to be honest he was a bit of a jerk. I couldn't really hate him though, because I loved him so much in Spark. DILEMMA. My opinions of Hunter and Michael both definitely went up though- especially Hunter. And I'm quite excited to get the the fifth and final book of the series. Now to play the waiting game...