Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #4
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Received via NetGalley
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.
SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.
Ahh the Merrick brothers. It's been too long. The first three books were some of the first I ever reviewed on this blog. I'm not saying this was bad, because it definitely wasn't, but it didn't seem to be as amazing as I remember the rest of this series being. Maybe it's just been too long since I read the others, I don't know. But I do remember wanting Nick's story for a while, and now I finally read it.
Nick has a secret. He can't tell his brothers, but he's not sure he can keep it hidden for much longer. The actual event is told in his novella, Breathless, but you don't have to read that to still understand this story. Afraid he'll lose his family, Quinn agrees to continue acting as his "girlfriend" until he figures it all out. But Nick doesn't know what to do anymore. He feels the weight of everything on his shoulders: making good grades so he can get a scholarship to college, because otherwise he can't afford to go. Helping Michael out on jobs because he knows how much the family needs money. He's always done what others expect of him, but never what he wants.
I've always liked Nick, although we didn't get to see much of him in the other books as he is more sensitive, and often overshadowed by Gabriel. But Nick is getting to the point where he doesn't want that anymore. He doesn't want Gabe to always fight his battles. But while Nick was busy protesting the fact that he didn't need Gabel to fight for him, he forgot that he just needs Gabe to be there for him--and Gabe needs him.
Nick went through a lot of growth in this one, which I always like to see. Not just with allowing himself to be with Adam, but also in learning that he can say no, and that he doesn't need to carry everything by himself all the time. Its okay to let others help you. Nick struggles a lot with being weak, and how that is a reflection on him being gay, but I'm so glad that he realized otherwise. Asking for help is never a sign of being weak.
The only thing Nick was slightly immature about was fighting with Tyler practically every time they were within 10 feet of each other. I don't blame him, as Tyler starts a lot of it, and who can blame Nick after the way Tyler terrorized him as a child? But there were some parts that I was just like, if they would talk it out, they would realize they were actually on the same side. Imagine that.
I wasn't too big on Quinn either, as she was really immature and just rubbed me the wrong way. But Quinn did some of her own growing, and I loved seeing that as well. I always said my favorite part of this series was the family relationships that are showcased, between the brothers. This wasn't shown as much, as Nick was trying to spend time away from them, but the brothers did come through for each other like always, and I loved it.
And of course, this was filled with action and suspense, just like the rest of the series. Although I still felt something off, this was everything I've come to expect from the Merricks.
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