Phoenyx Blake, a teenage girl, awakens in a locked dungeon with only a girl named Lily for company. Soon after, they are joined by Sebastian, to whom Phoenyx has an instant attraction, and Skylar, his best friend. Through conversation and snippets of info given to them by their captors, they learn that they are the four Bound Ones – the living embodiment of the four Elements of the Earth: air, earth, fire, and water. Together, they must figure out how to escape their captors before they all meet an untimely end.
What I loved:
I really liked all four of the imprisoned teens, as each had their own distinct personality that didn’t seem contrived or fake. We learned quite a lot about Phoenyx’s life through flashbacks, which helped further develop the character in the relatively short time-frame over which the story takes place.
What I didn’t love:
The story begins in the dungeon, and it stays there for nearly 80% of the book. The four teens spend the entire time either training themselves in their elemental abilities, conversing, or sleeping. I gather the point was for them all to bond together (and for Phoenyx and Sebastian to develop a rather strong physical attraction, which skirted the line of insta-love for me), and this came at the expense of plot development. The climax, when it came, felt rushed.
My Final Verdict:
As you can infer, there’s not a lot of action in this story. The buildup is very slow, leading to a climax that may leave you wanting more. I can only hope that further book in this series will expand on what we’ve already learned about these characters, and literally give them the chance to spread themselves out instead of containing them in a small box. I am confident, after reading the brief preview of Book Two in the series, that this is what will happen.