Monday, April 18, 2016

Blog Tour Book Review and Top Five List: The Blood of the Hydra (Elementals #2) + GIVEAWAY!

Release Date: April 18, 2016
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Length: 207 pages
Source: eGalley via NetGalley

A demigod who can kill with a touch. It's an ability that must be kept secret, even from those trusted most.

Finding out that she was a witch was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. No one can know her secret -- not even Blake, who she's had undeniable chemistry with since first moving to town.

Now Nicole, Blake, and the three others with elemental powers must stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. The creatures they face on this journey will be more dangerous than anything they've encountered yet. Will they all survive the quest? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their quest to save the world -- or die trying.



Protagonist: Nicole has had a pretty wild month, from finding out she's a witch, strike that, demigod, to discovering that she and a group of classmates from school are gifted with elemental powers and that they are tasked with finding a way to close the portal to Kerberos where the Titans and all those who sided with them in the Second Rebellion are imprisoned. Much of Nicole's character development in this book deals with trust, and her own discovery that while she can wield white energy to heal people, she can also harness black energy to kill as well. Over the course of this book she learns to lean on her fellow Elementals and constantly debates telling the group about her special dark abilities, but using black energy is illegal and while she can trust most of her cohorts, can she trust all of them?

Romance: I was genuinely surprised at the level of romance in this book. I mean there wasn't all that much romance in the first installment, however this installment almost seems to have less than the first, and as a special bonus plus I'm actually starting to come around on the whole Nicole Blake romance. I have started to really connect with them as a couple, and while there still is a small lack of chemistry in their romance still, it's getting there. There's also a bit of, well, not exactly romance for other characters, and it's not quite foreshadowing either, but well let's just say there's reference to possible future romances in this series in this installment.

World-Building: One of my biggest problems with the first book in this series was that while there was talk of Greek Mythology, I never really felt immersed into this world because other than a few Greek monsters there wasn't all that much Greek Mythology attached to the story. Well, that's no where near the case with this one. In this installment the whole Greek Mythology aspect of this world is vastly expanded and our characters get to go on a little Odyssey of their own, in search of a weapon to help them get rid of some pesky monsters. Along the way they meet new characters, possibly anger a few gods, and fight in some epic battles.

Predictability: So I have to say, there isn't all that much that I saw coming. There were a few things that felt a bit over foreshadowed, things that were sort of big picture twists. Things that are sort of expected to happen anyway because of the set up of the narrative. There were some phenomenal twists I didn't see coming though. Some of the twists seemed to come out of no where, and some of my favorite were a surprise but not necessarily unexpected.

Ending: So, I was kind of disappointed in the end. I mean I guess we got a decent enough cool down period, but I sort of felt like the story broke off before it could fully wind down. The final climax of the story is great, there are many layers to it, and it's more than just an action packed battle. The choices made in this final climax, and really in the entirety of the book, look to have lasting consequences for this series. The book itself didn't really end on a cliffhanger, and it didn't really plateau, like I said it just sort of ends without properly winding down.


So, surprisingly for me this didn't take long at all to figure out. This story is fantastic, and other than some awkward writing at times, and an end that wasn't, I loved this installment and can't wait to see what the rest of the series holds.

Top 5 List:

Topic: Michelle Madow's Top 5 Favorite Myths

1)      The Odyssey—the story in Elementals 2: The Blood of the Hydra parallels a portion of Odysseus’s journey in the Odyssey. The main parts mentioned are the Land of the Lotus Eaters, Helios’s Cattle, the Sirens, and Scylla and Charybdis. All of them are stories I love!
2)      Apollo and Daphne—there was an Easter egg mention of this myth in the first book, when Nicole observes the painting her mom is working on, but I cut it out because the description took away from the narrative flow of the scene. (There’s also a sculpture in the Encore hotel in Vegas of Daphne turning into a tree that I absolutely love.)
3)      Persephone and Hades. This is usually one of the first myths people learn about—probably because it’s such a great story! 
4)      Troy and the Trojan Horse. Because I really enjoyed the movie :P
5)      Medusa. Because she’s usually portrayed as an evil monster, but if you read more into certain versions of the myth, it’s easy to feel awful for her and realize how deeply she was wronged. 

About the Author:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Want all three parts of the Transcend Time Saga—Michelle’s first YA romance series—for FREE? Click here to learn about the series and claim your books

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Author Links:

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Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of one of Michelle’s books! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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