July 11, 2013

Spirit - Brigid Kemmerer

[This is the third novel in the Elemental series. If you're interested, go and check out my review of Storm (Book 1) and Spark (Book 2) instead.]

Spirit - Brigid Kemmerer
Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #3
Publisher: K Teen
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks Kensington!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies. 

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait. Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust. (from Goodreads)

Hunter Garrity is a character in the Elemental series that I’ve always had mixed feelings for, so I started Spirit with a hint of trepidation. After all, it isn’t always easy to like a novel with a character you’re confused about. Kemmerer successfully takes a risk with this unexpected perspective, however, and makes it work. She combines the situation between the elementals and the guides with Hunter’s story of what his life is like as someone who isn’t one of the Merricks - and she does it well. 

Hunter is a confusing human being. He’s done a lot of things, both good and bad, and it’s hard to decide how to feel about him. Spirit allows readers to learn more about Hunter, including his past and his present. Learning more about him leads to a better understanding of his personality, including the volatility, frigidness and fear of trusting others. My heart ached to find out all these things about him, and I really just wanted good things for him. While I will never be as fond of him as I am of the Merricks, it was really nice to get to know him better. 

There’s much less romance, so that was slightly disappointing. Readers will probably like that his girl - Kate - is definitely a bad-ass. She’s got spunk, spark and sass, which made her an entertaining foil for Hunter. Her vulnerability does make an appearance, but it’s really her intensity that makes her memorable. 

Even with only hints of romance, the story was still strong. There’s a lot happening in their little town, and it revolves around elementals, as always. This book is chock full of revelations, loading the readers up on new information that lead to unexpected twists. Kemmerer has really managed to make the story that started in Storm into an organic, growing tale that will continue to fascinate readers as the series progresses. 

If you’re bemoaning the fact that I have yet to mention the Merricks, don’t fear - I’m about to! The Merricks may not be this story’s focus, but they still make themselves known, so readers need not worry. They act fairly typical of their personalities: Gabriel is passionate and aggressive, Nick is kind and keeps the peace, Chris is aggressive towards Hunter. Michael, however, deserves a special mention for just how amazing he is in this novel. He still plays the role of big brother and guardian, but readers are able to witness his kindness, concern and strength. The Merricks are still full force in this novel, and my love for them just keeps on growing. 

Spirit is a strong addition to the Elemental series, providing a different perspective on just about everything. It’s an interesting piece of the story that continues to unfold, especially with all the information it offers. It also lets readers get to know Hunter so that they understand him better. It’s not quite my favorite novel (that's Spark, of course), but I appreciated its place in the series and look forward to what’s to come.


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