(The Essential Elements, #2)
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.
After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.
When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.
From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.
All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?
“What are you thinking?” Dad asked, knocking me back to the present.
My head shook subconsciously. “Nothing, really. Just trying to figure out all this change, trying to make sense of it, somehow.”
“It’s not easy,” he agreed. “And it’s only gonna get harder.”
I stared at him with wide doe eyes, silently pleading for some sort of direction.
“What should I do?” I asked. “Should I live my life as best I can and try to ignore the evil going on all around me? Or should I make it my life’s work to try to change that evil into good? Is it even worth it to try?”
Dad blew out a deep breath and pushed the rest of his stromboli aside. His fingers laced atop the table.
“I can’t tell you what to do, sweetheart, but I’ll tell you what I think. Should you live your life to the fullest? Absolutely, no contest. Should you ignore the evil around you? No, I wouldn’t ignore it. Given what you are, there’s a good chance it’ll come looking for you regardless.”
He licked his lips and paused before continuing. I stayed silent.
“Striving to make the world a better place…it’s a noble endeavor, but a very difficult one. Is it worth it to try? I think if your heart’s in it, if it’s something you feel strongly about and it’s something honorable and good, then it’s always worth it to try. I can’t guarantee you’ll succeed, and many times it might feel like all you’re doing is trudging uphill through two feet of shit and a thunderstorm. It might even be like that for the rest of your life, but if you care, truly and passionately, then no matter what happens in the end, you’ll be glad you did it.”
The sound of a pin dropping would have seemed as loud as shattering glass. There were no words in my head or my mouth, just a vast emptiness as I tried to absorb and process what he’d just said.
Unfortunately, there was no time.
Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.