Thursday, April 19, 2012

YA Review • Dangerous

Alycia Linwood
Series: The Element Preservers #1
Release date: August 6 2011
by Smashwords

Ria is an 18-year old girl who has just started going to the University of Magic, a special university for those who have one of the four elements: fire, water, air and earth.  There she meets Michael, a boy whose element is different from hers, which makes their romantic involvement seem impossible because mixing of elements can have horrible consequences. She also feels threatened by Adrian, a very dangerous magic disease carrier.  Magic disease, which surged as a result of bad mixing of elements, turns people into cold-hearted killers, who have a strong desire to take someone's element as  they do not have their own. Ria's best friend, Paula, is fascinated by Adrian like most girls at the University and wants him to help her with her research about the disease.  All Ria's beliefs are put to test when she starts having the symptoms of the disease and the only person who she can turn to is Adrian - synopsis

My Thoughts
Dangerous is a story filled with intrigue and innuendoes.  In a world where being truly different comes with dangerous consequences, Ria suddently finds herself in dangerous waters where she's afraid to trust anyone. The concept of being elemental and controlling four main elements of our physical world is not new (think - Avatar, the Last Airbender), however author Alycia Linwood's take on it is unique.

Intentioned or not, author Alycia Linwood did a spectacular job of creating a truly dislikable protagonist and once I stopped trying to like Ria, the storyline flowed somewhat seamlessly.  Ria had a spitfire personality, but she also demonstrated some flawed thinking.  Her dislike of Adrian was just shy of bigotry and her loyalty to her friend seemed to dissolve immediately when she was suddenly in need of his help. Adrian, her antagonist was much more tolerable that Ria, which does not bode well for a balanced storyline. His brooding dark demeanor was very difficult to take, however the explanation for said mood made it more understandable that he was as dark as he was.

I found the other characters, Michael and Paula, rather bland.  Because of the intensity that constantly surrounded Ria and Adrian, the other characters in the story appeared insipid in comparison. I can't put my finger on what exactly prevented me from devouring this book, but I struggled to get through the book.  Somewhere in the middle, the story telling became bogged down and not even the teasers of more sinister doings could revitalize it for me. I look forward to the next chapter in the story and I hope that Paula plays a more prominent part. I am also curious to see where Michael and Ria head.

Bottomline - Great premise, but I did not particularly enjoy reading this book.  I found myself forcing my way chapters to get to the end. Here's hoping the next installment will be more exciting!

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