(Cover picture courtesy of Terra Harmony’s site.)
Elemental powers in the palm of her hand…and it won’t be enough to save her.
When Kaitlyn Alder is involuntarily introduced to a life of magic, she becomes part of an organization hell-bent on saving the Earth. Just as her new-found life holds promises of purpose, romance, and friendship, the organization divides and a rogue member holds Kaitlyn hostage. Now one of the most terrifying men the human race has to offer stands between her and Earth’s survival.
Water is a contemporary eco-fantasy, the first of a four book series. This novel contains adult language and sexual situations (some non-consensual).
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
Water is an interesting book, for lack of a better word. It has some interesting magical scenarios and some good characters but it also made me slightly uncomfortable, which I suppose was Terra Harmony’s intention. If some of the scenes here hadn’t made me uncomfortable I suppose I should be in therapy right now.
Part of what I loved about Water is the whole mythos surrounding Gaias (women who control the elements). Kaitlyn accidentally found out she was a Gaia like many before her. She can control all of the elements, but unlike so many heroines actually has to train long and hard before she can even begin to master some of the most basic tasks. Her relationship with Micah complicates things slightly in her training and I like how when he does terrible things to her in the name of ‘training’ she gets mad at him and stays mad. No Insta-Forgiveness here, thank goodness. Later on, when we learn some of the horrifying implications of being a Gaia and what has happened to past Gaias a lot of what happens to Kaitlyn makes sense.
Obviously, I liked Kaitlyn as a character. She’s a heroine who, when she gets mad, stays mad at someone. Of course she’s capable of forgiveness, but some of the things that happen to her (the greenhouse incident comes to mind) aren’t easily forgiven. She isn’t a kick-butt heroine all of the time, but nor is she a damsel in distress. Her actions once she’s kidnapped prove that despite the psychological, physical and sexual torture she’s put through. I don’t want to go into much detail because of spoilers, but Terra Harmony put in a trigger warning for a reason when it comes to the last half of the book.
The only thing I didn’t really like was Shawn as the villain. On the surface he seemed like he had some motivation, but when you peel back the thin layers he’s not what I would consider a memorable villain. Maybe later on he gains far more motivation for wanting to get rid of Kaitlyn, but at the moment he definitely seems like your stereotypical mad villain. I’m picky with my villains, so that’s a comparatively minor complaint when you consider all of the good things Water has to offer.
The plot slowly becomes fast-paced after Kaitlyn discovers she is a Gaia and I’m so glad that Terra Harmony knew something about pacing. The tension slowly ratchets up as it builds up to the climax and even the ending doesn’t bring total relief. What a cliffhanger to leave readers with! Despite my misgivings about Shawn, Water was an overall great read that has some really good things going for it. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Air.
I give this book 4/5 stars.