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Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Spirit (Elemental #3)

By: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: May 28, 2013

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary: 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…


Brigid Kemmerer may very well be my favorite female young adult author writing about guys. That’s hard even for me to wrap my head around, given only a year ago Storm was one of my first reviews, and I think I gave it a tepid endorsement tantamount to saying, well at least this isn’t Twilight. Spark though really was a game changer, showing how much Kemmerer found her footing by establishing this series around an alternating cast of relatable male characters (and knowing me, that’s a huge deal), and I’m glad to see Spirit is just Kemmerer continuing to successfully do what she does best.

I have seen a few complaints that, plot wise at least, Spark was too similar to Storm. I’ll get into that some more in a bit and add in my thoughts about Spirit, but personally it’s never bothered me that the Elemental series really doesn’t have the strongest of plots – it’s all about the characters. Spark succeeded because Kemmerer took the focus off the female lead (Layne) and tapped into the anger and frustration behind Gabriel’s character, so even though I’m the farthest thing from any of the Merricks, way too easygoing and laid back (would be cool to see a character like that though hehe), Kemmerer managed something very few authors, male or female, has actually accomplished – get Gabriel’s emotions to actually come off the page and connect with me.

So now we have Spirit and Hunter, who’s no Gabriel, and you know what? She’s done it again! I don’t know if it’s a challenge switching to a different character, one who isn’t nearly as impulsive, one who has different problems and issues of his own, more of a silent and bear it kind of guy if you will, but I think Kemmerer has done a really good job creating a different character who, in his own way, is just as equally capable of showing that mix of frustration and weariness that makes Gabriel so relatable. Another part of it too is the source of Hunter’s frustration, his parent’s relationship over his dead father’s job as a guide – the stuff with Hunter’s mother was just very well done and added a huge chunk to Hunter’s character. Getting Gabriel right could’ve been a one off thing, but to do it again with a totally different character? That takes talent.

Now, as for the complaints about the plot, I really can’t help there. Spirit follows the same basic formula as Spark and Storm with a girl of course, this time Kate Sullivan, being in pretty much the same situation as Becca and Layne before her. Like with Hunter, I have to give Kemmerer props for making Kate as different a character from Becca and Layne as Hunter is from Chris and Gabriel; I’m mean, she’s really feisty and no nonsense and I sure hope all the girls I know don’t learn how to use car keys like she does, but even though she has an agenda, so to speak, unlike Becca and Layne, the plot, or basically the lack of one, means a lot of the book goes through same motions between Hunter and Kate as with Gabriel and Layne or Chris and Becca. There are a couple of villains, Calla returns with more of the same harebrained scheme to bring death on all the elementals and a new Guide tries to kill them all, but the general plot does remind me of a rehash of what happened in Storm with Becca’s father, except with one very surprising, very gutsy twist.

That said, as I’ve made pretty clear, I’m not in this for the plot. I think Kemmerer’s got a good thing going just doing character based books, so although I would appreciate, I don’t know, something happening, more of a overall story arc, whatever, it’s not a deal breaker for me. I happen to really like Kemmerer just focusing on one character, fully fleshing him out over the course of the book, adding events, details, back story, a female foil, the whole works in a sort of get to know him deal, and tossing in some neat connections with the characters of the previous books, you know, the bread and butter of a character based book. This time, it’s sort of big brother deal between Hunter and Michael, and although I didn’t buy Michael’s explanation for why all the Merricks ended up in a hotel – that was way too convenient, it’s still great to see another sequel where the characters actually interact with each other like people.

Would I be surprised if the next book had more of a plot than these last three? Absolutely. But would I read it even if it didn’t? Absolutely.

Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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  1. June 4, 2013 at 7:35 am

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