Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 24 September, 2014
Source: Allen & Unwin Australia
Earth. Fire. Air. Water.Review by Nara
One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.
Michael Merrick understands pressure. He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.
His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She's got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.
But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's 'bad luck'. Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war.
They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.
Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?
With the title of each of the books in this series being quite a big hint of the content of the book, I must admit, I was somewhat wary about entering this book. "Sacrifice". What exactly is being sacrificed here? Add that to this being a series conclusion (I always expect death in a series conclusion), and we have a recipe for tragedy. Is this book actually tragic? I'll let you find that out for yourself.
The character development in this series is just fantastic. I would probably say that the entire series is more of a character-oriented one than plot-oriented, and each book just increases my love for the characters even more. It's interesting how Kemmerer can manipulate your opinion of a character based on what point of view you're seeing things from. Even hated characters can become loved.
I feel like the romance in this book was definitely a lot flimsier than the romances in the other books in this series. With Chris, Gabriel, Hunter and Nick, it was obvious that "sparks were flying" and such with the romances, but in this book it just seemed that little bit underdeveloped and bland. I think part of the problem was perhaps Hannah's point of view, which wasn't quite as compelling as the other POV characters in previous books.
This book was a lot shorter than I expected, for a series conclusion. However, most of the loose ends were tied, so I was actually okay with the length overall. I did feel as if that little bit of extra closure was missing, but Kemmerer usually ends her books somewhat abruptly, so I suppose I should have expected a slightly unresolved ending. It's just that since this is the final book, I would have thought the loose ends would be tied as tightly as possible. That being said, I would definitely not be opposed to Kemmerer writing more books in this series. This world could definitely use a lot more exploration.
Overall though, this book was satisfying enough. Despite the slightly open ending and the slightly flimsy romance, the action and character development was more than enough to keep the book engaging.
Really liked it