Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review: The Hands of Time (Elementals #5)

Release Date: November 25, 2016
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Length: 190 pages
Source: Review Copy from the Author

Time is running out. War will be waged. Sacrifices will be made.

Months ago, Nicole Cassidy’s life was turned upside-down when she discovered that she was a witch descended from the Greek gods. She and the four other witches gifted with elemental powers fought all over the world—and in another dimension—to battle the supporters of the Titans and fight for the people they love.

Now the Elementals must stop Typhon—the most dangerous monster in the world—from rising, and seal the portal to the dangerous prison world of Kerberos. But they won’t be able to do that without facing their hardest decision yet… a sacrifice so great that it may be one they’re not willing to make.

Get ready for the stunning, action-packed conclusion to the bestselling Elementals series, with twists and turns that you’ll never see coming!



Protagonist: Nicole Cassidy has just braved the prison world of Kerberos to save the boy she loves from the megalomaniacal demigod, Ethan, only to find him dead and her and the only other Elementals' only chance at stopping the Titan Typhon from rising, the Head of Medusa, destroyed. Now she's given the chance to go back in time and write her wrongs. After traveling back in time with fellow Elemental, Danielle, they save Blake in a matter of minutes, but that doesn't mean their work isn't over. There are still many things to do, and sacrifices to make before the Earth can be safe. I'm not quite sure what to say about the development of Nichole, or really any of the main characters in this story. They aren't perfect, far from it actually, but that's something that makes them very human and realistic characters. There is some development that they all go through in this book, there are tough and heartbreaking decisions that have to be made that really show off how far these characters have come since the first book in this series.

Romance: I almost feel like I need to cut this part out. Romance isn't one of the main themes of this book. The love, both platonic and romantic, that these characters have for one another does drive the story, and there is a sizable section of the book that is completely driven by one character's romantic love for another character, but other than these two characters working through whatever issues are currently plaguing them and growing stronger as a couple there isn't really any progression or super exciting instances of romance in this book. Don't get me wrong, despite not being super excited about this couple at the beginning of the series, I have really started to root for them and wish them the best, but once a couple reaches a certain point in stories there isn't all that much to get excited about.

World Building: I think this section is where I had the most trouble with this story. At the beginning of this book, there was so much still left to do, and given how short this story was I wasn't sure how the author was going to fit so much in such a small space. While I enjoyed the new elements of the world that this installment introduced, because of the limited space it felt like things were not only going by too fast but that things were going just a bit too easily. That's not to say that there weren't consequences for certain actions, but rather that in the long run there was a feeling of convenience to certain things, that lasted for about half the book, then things sort of flipped. If things were easy in the first half of this story, then in the second half they were far more arduous. I'm not going to reveal what happens obviously, but there is such a contrast with two halves of this book that I'm not sure how I feel, it's uneven and yet it is technically balanced out pretty well.

Predictability: Going into this book I had a few ideas about how I thought this story was going to conclude, that being said I was totally caught off guard by how everything went down. Not only was I, at least before starting this story, unable to see how certain things would go about but given how quickly the second half escalates my vision for how I thought this series would end was just completely off the mark. I don't want to spoil anything which always makes this section the hardest to write, but I'll say this, Madow provides just enough foreshadowing so that you won't see a twist coming, but when it happens you'll understand the steps that led up to it.

Ending: The ending of a book is important, but the ending of a series is the most important. In my experience, how a series ends can affect how I feel about the entire series. That being said I was pleasantly surprised by how this series ended. As you all may know I'm not a huge fan of idyllic ending where there's no real fall out or consequence from the entire series and everyone gets to live happily ever after like it never happened, or that things were even better than before it happened. This book doesn't have an idealistic ending like that. Again, I'm not going to spoil how this story ends, but I'll say that there is an epilogue that is told from a character other than Nicole, and even when I finished the book there were still a few questions I had. I'm not sure if the author will ever write a companion or spin-off series that will answer, quite literally, the one question I have about how this story ends, but if she did you should know that I'm sure it would be amazing.


I have to say this was a great ending to a vastly entertaining series. Other than the sort of uneven pacing and stark contrast in the two halves of this book, I loved it and am excited to see what this author will put out next!


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