Spirit (Elemental #3)Featured
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. . .
What I loved: I was both excited and nervous to read Hunter's story because even though I enjoyed him in the previous books, I was pretty sure he would've let me hit the ground in a trust fall. Brigid Kemmerer never fails to disappoint though, nor is she afraid to kick you in the feels, sometimes managing to make you laugh in the process. (Sometimes. Other times, she makes you cry like a little girl.)
All of her characters have their own distinct voice and deal with issues that are easily relateable, Hunter is no exception. His struggle to not only to figure out who he is but where he fits in among the other Elementals is equal parts funny and gut-wrenching. Hunter isn't your average teen but he still has a lot to learn about love, trust and friendship and who better than the Merrick brothers to impart those lessons, whether in word, deed or punch to the face.
As with her other books, Brigid Kemmerer gives us fast-paced action, suspense, seamless alternate POV's and kissing. She even dangles an almost-but-not-quite-happily-ever-after in front of you like a carrot (or in my case, a cupcake, because a carrot? Seriously?) and just when you think Hunter will get his, WHAM! However, before the story ends, you realize that Hunter may have found the one thing he didn't even realize he was looking for.
What left me wanting: The cover model is cute, but I still want to see a picture of Hunter inked up and pierced. I'm pretty sure a cover like that would make me do this ---> O.O
Final verdict: Thank you Brigid Kemmerer for convincing me I could love Hunter as much as those Merrick brothers!
Favorite quote(s): "I am going to stare at you until you respond. O.O"
"Why do you have earrings in your face?"
Intense and Unconventional!
Confident, sometimes arrogantly-so, Hunter was always the character in The Elemental Series that I could count on to be self-assured and in control. So to watch him begin fray at the edges, only to then unravel completely in Spirit was something that I couldn’t possibly have prepared for. While his poor-decision making was often the result of the same repetitive behaviour, which got slightly exhausting towards the end, Spirit did deliver in intensity and unconventional plot, making it almost as addicting as its predecessors!
Easily my least favorite character of the series, Hunter had a lot of work to do to redeem himself in my eyes. I had found him untrustworthy in Storm, and while I warmed up to him slightly in Spark, I still couldn’t shake that feeling of untrustworthiness that seemed to surround him. And I think that’s why in Spirit, we see a Hunter who has alienated himself from both his friends and family: that general sense of untrustworthiness has finally caught up with him as people being to question where his loyalties truly lie. Fortunately, Spirit explains, in detail, exactly why Hunter is so conflicted, why he values his duties as an almost-Guide and why he believes the Merricks are doing nothing to warrant their deaths.
What I struggled with, however, was Hunter’s poor decision making because of his general conflictedness. Instead of being honest with himself and with the Merricks, he tells half-truths and whole-lies, which often get him into situations he needs to tell further lies to get out of. When it finally snowballs out of control and Hunter ends up friendless and alone, I found myself empathizing with him on the one hand, and feeling that he deserved it on the other. It didn’t help that it felt like Hunter was constantly being faced with the same choice, only to make the same wrong decision and then be subjected to the same poor consequences. There was a loop at play in Spirit, and I wanted nothing more than for Hunter to break it by finally trusting the right someone with his secrets. Unfortunately, he perpetuated the loop for much of the book and I found myself becoming slightly exasperated by his stubbornness.
Fortunately, I found the chemistry between newcomer Kate and Hunter to be palpable enough to set aside most of my issues with Spirit. Their casual text-banter was witty and steamy and honest in a way that strangers (and sometimes friends) can’t be to each other’s face. Their relationship definitely developed a little quicker than I would have liked, but I like that Hunter kept questioning her feelings for him, even after he admitted to possible falling for her; it reinforced his character trait of being unable to trust anyone. It was heartwarming to watch Hunter break down Kate’s walls, while she worked at breaking down his, and that they were able to share secrets with each other that they had never dared to utter out loud previously. Their steamier moments together had me blushing deep into the night (that ferris wheel scene!) and were cause for some of the most intense moments I have had the pleasure of reading.
Kemmerer took Spirit in so many directions, many of which I wasn’t expecting. I was constantly playing catchup to the plot twists, and I still can’t believe the direction she took with Kate’s story arc. I love how Spirit also developed Michael and Hunter’s relationship, especially after a particularly intense scene with Kate; that scene only makes sense because it is shared between Michael and Hunter. It was interesting to see the Merrick’s from an outsiders PoV, especially one who was hurting as badly as Hunter was for much of Spirit, and it only reinforced my love for them.
Full of angst and tortured moments of discovery, Spirit is an exciting addition to The Elemental Series. While I did find Hunter’s decision-making process got to be slightly repetitive, I loved the addition of his relationship with Kate and the unconventional plot twists that Kemmerer employed. If I had .5 stars, this would most definitely be a book that deserved that extra half!
So Much Emotion
So much emotion in this book!! I will admit I teared up. Review to come. I was a little unsure if I would like this book as much as the others in this series. While I did like Hunter in previous books he is definitely not my favorite. I love those Merrick brothers. Hunter is an Elemental like the Merricks and is new in town. He is a bit unsure of where he fits in with everyone. This book is his journey of finding out where he fits in and who he is.
Throughout the entire book I found myself saying poor Hunter. I was starting to wonder if this kid would ever catch a break. Brigid Kemmerer is not afraid to tug at your heart strings and make you shed a tear. He has lost his Dad and Uncle and feels pretty much let down by everyone around him. I love how the characters in these books grow and find out who they really want to be and what they want out of life. They deal with real world problems and learn how to face them head on.
While I still love the Merrick brothers Hunter now holds a special place in my heart as well. This book has everything you could want action, tears, romance and surprises. What's not to like? I would definitely recommend this book to those who have read the others in the series. If you have not read the others in the series what are you waiting for? You should pick them up today and dive into the elemental world. You will not regret it.