Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on April 24 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot.
Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.
Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all. The storm is coming.
I absolutely adored Storm. I had seen many glowing, overwhelmingly positive reviews for this series but for some reason had never gotten around to reading it even though it looked like something I would really enjoy (I am a sucker for a good paranormal tale with well-drawn, intriguing characters). I stumbled across the first book and on a whim decided to purchase and read it. I wondered if it would live up to the hype but I am glad to report that on the whole Storm more than met my already high expectations.
Storm focuses on two characters: Becca Chandler and Chris Merrick (and is narrated in dual, third-person POV). Becca Chandler is a young girl carrying a lot of baggage. Ever since a boy at school began spreading vicious rumours about her, she has turned into something of a pariah. She is sick and tired of all the negative attention.
However, when she sees two older boys beating up a boy in her year, Chris Merrick, Becca doesn’t hesitate to help and manages to interfere long enough for Chris to react to the threat. Becca knows something strange has happened but cannot quite figure out how Chris managed to turn the fight into his favour. She is glad enough for the distraction and she and Chris manage to get away.
Chris is very different to most of his classmates. He is hiding a colossal secret. He is an Elemental (water is his speciality) and is usually more than capable of defending himself. He was caught unawares though so Becca really did save his life.
Becca gives Chris a ride home and it is there that she meets the rest of the Merrick brothers who also have the ability to control the elements. Becca has seen Chris’s two older brothers around school; the twins Gabriel (who can control fire) and Nick (who is an air elemental). Michael (the eldest brother whose elemental ability allows him to control earth) is their legal guardian and is none too happy to see Becca and soon succeeds in chasing her off. Chris however, is intrigued by Becca and is keen to get to know her better.
Becca knows there is something off about these brothers but she could never guess what secrets they are actually hiding. Their abilities have attracted the wrong kind of attention and unwittingly by helping Chris; Becca has also made herself a target.
When strange symbols keep getting painted on her front door Becca knows that it is time to confront Chris about the strange things that have been going on. Her life has taken a strange turn lately and Becca finds herself in the spotlight yet again. Not to mention the new student Hunter that has been paying Becca a great deal of attention. Becca finds herself caught between these two boys – but who can she really trust?
I really loved the characters in Storm. Becca was a breath of fresh air – she was very brave and I liked how she selflessly went to the aid of Chris without any concern for her own well-being. She is smart, compassionate and certainly has a lot of courage yet can also be weak and insecure at the same time. She gets jealous but does not act like a bitch to other girls and she always backs up her best friend Quinn even when she was being unreasonable (I wasn’t a fan of Quinn to be honest – girl seemed a little self-absorbed and needy).
Becca does find herself caught up in a love-triangle with Chris and the new boy Hunter and is unsure about who she wants to be with but there is very little twittering about between the love interests which I found refreshing. In fact, for much of the story I actually thought she might end up with Hunter as she spent way more time with him but ultimately I think she ended up with the right guy for her.
Chris didn’t get as much development as Becca. I liked him ok but I never really felt that I learned much about him except that he feels like the odd one out with his brothers. I have to say though he did come across like an actual adolescent – he felt like a living, breathing teenage boy to me which is a nice change as quite often characters in YA books sound like 30 year-olds thinly disguised as teenagers.
Although we spent much more time with Becca, I did really like Chris and was rooting for him. Chris and Becca’s interactions were fraught with tension but the romance was slow to build and that much more satisfying for it. I believed in their feelings for each other and their relationship had none of the usual overly dramatic declarations of love that tends to plague the YA paranormal genre.
Hunter was also an interesting character. Very mysterious and edgy – I would really like to get to know him a bit better (and one of the further books in this series is from his POV – yay!!). His story seems like an interesting and heart-breaking one so I am looking forward to seeing inside his head a bit more as some of his decisions in this book left me with more questions than answers. I really want to know more about Hunter and hopefully see him interact more with the Merrick brothers.
I would say though that the biggest draw about this series has to be the Merrick brothers as a whole. All powerful and good-looking – what is not to love? You have fiery Gabriel and cool, level-headed Nick – so alike on the surface but such different personality types. I think Michael is my favourite through and he certainly had me swooning even though for much of the book he wasn’t painted in a very good light. You later find out the reason behind his actions though and you cannot help but feel sympathy for him. Gabriel’s book is next up but I am hoping that Michael will get his chance to shine at some point.
Although these brothers are all certainly hot – it is really the connection they have with each other that is the biggest draw for me. They feel like actual people. All of them felt real and authentic. They have supernatural abilities sure but they act like actual teenage boys and were realistically flawed yet also noble and willing to do anything for each other. Their family bond was very realistic – they do not always get along but they are always willing to back each other up when it comes to the crunch.
The paranormal element to the story was also refreshingly different. Elemental powers are fascinating to me and I really loved how Brigid Kemmerer developed the story-line. The plot was intricate and tight – events that seem insignificant later play a big part and the pacing was just about perfect.
If I had any criticism it would be that the ending was a little abrupt but I am looking forward to diving into the next book Sparkso it isn’t a deal-breaker for me. Overall I really enjoyed Storm. I was sucked in from the very beginning and didn’t want to put the book down until the very last page. Brigid Kemmerer has made a new fan that’s for sure!
So, in my efforts to clean up after the switch from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress blog, I noticed that some of my posts have been eaten up in the transfer. They are still there… it’s just no one can see them (which is odd because I can see the full post just fine in my reader).
I am not the most technically minded person out there (working on it) so I have made a decision to redo these posts, paying particular attention to my reviews (they will be mostly the same; just a little tweaking here and there). I hope that it doesn’t mess anything up (fingers crossed).
I love seeing people discover this series! I really enjoyed it. Michael Merrick is amazing, though I really do love all the Merrick brothers. I hope you enjoy the rest!
It is a fantastic series! I love all the Merrick boys but I have to agree – Michael is the best. 😉 Such an under-rated series – I wish it was better known.