Book: Spirit (Elemental #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: May 28, 2013
Paperback: 308 pages
Summary from Goodreads: With power comes enemies. Lots of them.
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…
I received Spirit in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
I enjoyed Spirit, but it let me down in some ways, too. I suppose that is because I was riding such an Elemental high after Spark… and then Breathless! Spirit left me wanting more, but don’t get me wrong, I still would highly recommend the book and series, and I’m firm with my 4 star book review). Hunter’s story reminded me a bit of Gabriel’s in Spark, in that EVERYTHING seemed to be going wrong for poor Hunter. The difference (and ballsy choice by BK) is that things just didn’t pan out in the end for Hunter. And it isn’t the kind of ‘not working out’ that will resolve itself in the next Elemental book.. it’s like damn, Hunter, this all just sucks. BK made the story darker, and that was a good move for the Elemental series. Since Spirit is the half way point in the 5 part Elemental series, it was the right time to add a darker element. (I think of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back and Opal (Lux #3) as examples of making a game changing shakeup at the halfway point).
Spirit jumped right into action from the get go, and we also are right where Spark left off. The story flowed pretty well, and it still had the addictive nature to it that made it hard to put down. There’s a group of Elementals that is trying to draw the Guides there, and even though the Merricks are not involved, they will likely be blamed. What’s a Guide in training (aka Hunter) to do??? Like every other Elemental book, the story switches from the guy to the girl’s point of view. I enjoyed hearing Hunter’s voice more than Kate’s, but that’s been the case with each book in the series. We have more invested in the guys, since they are the stars of the series!
Like I said, our main man, Hunter, could not catch a break!
Hunter didn’t trust anyone, and he made it hard for anyone to trust him. The guy is struggling. After losing his father and uncle, Hunter had a hard time adjusting. They weren’t just his family, but they were his role models and he spent almost all of his time with them. (Sidenote: I recommend that you read Fearless (Elemental 1.5) before you read Spirit… this is a prequel but includes a lot of spoilers for Storm). In Spirit, Hunter internally struggles with the unanswered questions he had for his father. Did he ever love his mom? Did he ever love him? His mother and Hunter can’t seem to get on the same page since the accident, and Hunter’s grandparents are the worst. The Merricks certainly don’t trust him (tell me the bromance isn’t gone for good, BK!?)
The Guides are unsure where Hunter’s alliances fall, so he hasn’t earned their trust either. Basically, the kid is on his own.
It was like an emotional roller coaster listening to Hunter’s voice. While he was too proud to ask for help, there were hundreds of cracks in his steely exterior. He shed tears, threw punches, and stormed out of rooms… several times! At least he’s got a loyal pooch to shadow his every step. It was harder for me to get a feel for Hunter, because he clearly doesn’t know who he is either (so if that’s what BK wanted to convey…. she got it!). Gabriel had his share of demons to overcome in Spark, but the things going on with Hunter all JUST happened. The wounds are too fresh, and he hasn’t allowed himself to heal. He struggles with what he was born into and what his gut was telling him to do. The Merricks are pure Elementals, and they could level a town/cause a catastrophic disaster, so what’s stopping him from turning them in? And why does he care what they think about him? We did learn a little bit more about what Hunter’s Spirit contributes to the Elemental five pointed pentagram…. wondering what will happen in the next book!
Kate was a pretty bad ass love interest. In Storm, Becca annoyed me at times, but compared to the other love interests, Becca made the biggest impression on me in terms of contributing to the story. Probably because she will be an important part of the upcoming series. But Kate had a good story – she shared the same conflict that Hunter had. She, too, had a big problem with trust and turning off her compassion. She thought she knew right from wrong, but she had questions of her own. I thought Kate had some contradictions, but I don’t want to go into too much detail because I would hate to cause spoilers. Her initial resolve and her back story didn’t add up to me – perhaps she was overcompensating and lying to herself, but wouldn’t she admit that in her inner monologue? Kate knew how to handle strong ment, and her training to be a Guide let her be quick on her feet and quick-witted (sorta).
How can I write a review on the Elemental series without touching on my fav brothers?? Michael continues to grow on me with each book. He came across as being intimidating and unreasonable in Storm (mainly from Becca’s perspective), but he is wise beyond his years. Isn’t he supposed to be like 22? He acts like he’s older than that. In addition to being perceptive and protective, Michael is also sensitive to the needs of the 16-year-old Elemental guys. He remembers the struggles he endured during high school, and he will do anything to make life easier for the younger Merricks (plus Hunter). I’m glad that Michael is giving more of himself to his family. For awhile, it seemed like he was guarded to them,and he was misunderstood. It is clear to them that he will do anything to protect those that he loves. And I love him for that. Gabriel – yes, yes… he is my favorite! Is he everyone’s favorite? He does have the snarky bad boy thing goin’ on, but he’s so sensitive like a puppy dog. I think I’ll go as far to say that I want Gabriel Merrick to be my book boyfriend. I,
unsurprisingly, loved Gabriel’s parts in Spirit. The bromance that thrived in Spark fizzled out, and Gabriel wants answers. Even though Gabriel has his shit together (thanks to Layne and the support of the Merrick clan), his feelings were still hurt from Hunter’s betrayal. Gabriel isn’t the ‘let’s talk it out’ kind of guy. He’ll lead with his fists before he leads with a ‘what’s up’ and his combative nature was the perfect catalyst to let Hunter unleash his rage. The two of them are meant to be best buds, and I now they will be an unstoppable badass team in the next books. Nicky – I’m just waiting to hear more of his story! I love his devotion to his brothers and calm exterior. Chris didn’t have a big role in Spirit, but what I liked about his presence is that he still carried the same disdain for Hunter that he had in Storm. I hate when books just brush things under the carpet. The Becca love triangle is still an issue for him… understandably so!
The ending left me with a smile (thank you Gabriel), and we have a nice setup for the future books.
I hope Hunter finally lets himself be loved… I’ll worry about him until he finds a happily ever after!
PS I NEED the Elemental books to come out in audiobook! That is my favorite way to get reacquainted with a series before the next book in an installment comes out. BK – let’s make it happen! Pretty please??