Saturday, December 15, 2012
Today's book is Elemental by Antony John, a local Central West End author.
The population has been wiped out by a plague, leaving only small colonies on the coast of the United States. The residents are each born with the ability to control at least one of the elements. All except for Thomas. At age 16, he has yet to develop an element, but that becomes the least of his problems when a hurricane hits and the children emerge from the storm shelter to a smoldering colony empty of adults and a pirate ship receding on the horizon.
Yes, this is another post-apocalyptic YA novel. But it is one far more informed by the past than the future. The plague has resulted in a regression in both technology and social structure, making the colony feel more like New World colonization than post-disaster scavenging. The addition of elemental control introduces a fantastical aspect that should ensnare readers imaginations. Through it all, Thomas's narration is compelling as he navigates totally unfamiliar territory with concerns that will be recognizable to your average modern-day teen. The story is elevated further by the presence of Thomas's deaf brother, Griffin, whom only Thomas has bothered to communicate fully with, meaning he must decide how much to share and when.
This book is recommended for fans of genre-blending, those looking for a fantastical story with contemporary sensibilities and middle grade readers who are ready for more challenging material.
Elemental is published by Dial and retails for $17.99 (hardcover). I read an advance readers copy from the publisher. You can get your autographed copy at Left Bank Books today!