Reviewed by Mandi
Kiarra is a first-born of elemental magic, kidnapped with so many others and hidden away in a place called the Asylum for Magical Threats (AMT) for the past fifteen years. It is here they experiment and breed magicals to try to erase their magical talent. Kiarra overhears that her blood could potentially be used to strip those of her kind of power. Determined to never let that happen, Kiarra decides to kill herself. But before she can, a man dressed all in black arrives and helps her escape.
Jaxton has come in to rescue his brother, but the woman who gave him the details about where his brother was being kept also required Jaxton to grab Kiarra. Taking her and his brother back to a safe place, he slowly starts to gain Kiarra’s trust and gets details about her captivity. Jaxton works for an organization called DEFEND, whose goal it is to dismantle all AMT places. They want Kiarra to join their cause but she is wary – especially after not being able to trust anyone for the past fifteen years. But as the bad guys target her, she decides to fight with Jaxton and his friends
This book has a nice foundation or premise I should say. I like the idea of a heroine held captive for fifteen years, stripped of her power, and finally rescued by an organization set to destroy all those that are harming elementals. But I think what could have made this story a lot better is more detail. For example, when the book first starts, Jaxton and his team have tp figure out how to get inside the mountain where the ATM compound his housed. So they call upon Taka, who is an earth elemental for help.
Jaxton nodded for Taka to begin.
Taka reached a hand to the north and drew on the elemental earth particles in the air. Within seconds, the earth of the mountain started to move. As a tunnel opened in the side of the mountain, Jaxton took out his Glock and flicked off the saftey. He was the only one on the team without elemental magic, but he didn’t see that as a disadvantage.
He could take care of himself.
Opening up a mountain is really cool. But that is the only description we get of this event – next thing you know Jaxton is at Kiarra’s cell. For a book all about protecting elemental power, we don’t get a good description of exactly how it is done. A tunnel can just magically appear? How? Why? Then what? I wanted more detail.
When Kiarra comes out of captivity after fifteen years (of never being outside etc) I think she transitions quite well. She was used, abused, experimented on…and very much not broken. I like her spirit in a sense, but I would have liked to see her vulnerabilities explored more.
While the first 40% or so with the rescue and learning who is threatening Kiarra and others was pretty fun, second half slowed down a lot. I didn’t feel a ton of chemistry between Jaxton and Kiarra – their romance falls flat.
The idea for this story is intriguing but for me, it falls short.