Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Review: Turning Tides by Mia Marshall ★★★★★

Turning Tides by Mia Marshall
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Elements #3
Publication Date: May 6th 2014
ISBN: 9780988976122
Page Count: 344
Rating: ★★★★1/2
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey & Janice
Buy Link: AMAZON / B&N

Synopsis: Aidan Brook is hours away from a peaceful life. Once she accepts her future as a banished elemental, she can leave her family’s island and return to Lake Tahoe, where she’ll spend the rest of her days controlling her magic in a calm, stress-free environment. That plan hits a snag when a member of the elementals’ governing body is murdered—and Aidan’s best friend is accused of the crime.

Before the body cools, Aidan is racing against the clock to prove Sera’s innocence. To make matters worse, she must face the consequences of the bond she now shares with her favorite bear shifter—all while her sanity grows less predictable by the day.

Magic, murder, and mayhem: it may look like a typical Aidan Brook day, but she’s about to discover, when the tides start to turn, even a water elemental can’t control what happens next.

Wins All Around!

Ahhhh, the Elements series. Three books in, and it continues to delight, surprise and impress me.

The story begins with Aidan back home, on the remote island where she was born and where elemental Waters have lived for generations. It isn't a pleasure visit, either. She's on trial for working with humans and spilling "classified" elemental secrets. The other elementals are far from happy with her, and they don't even know the worst of it. You see, dual magics like Aidan are considered too dangerous to live, and if anyone found out she is one, she'd have a hot date she doesn't want with the execution block. She's hoping she can walk away from this with nothing more than a slap on the wrist (okay, banishment is more than a slap on the wrist, but hey, it's better than the alternative!) but as so often happens, where Aidan goes, crazy is sure to follow. In this case, it's the killing kind, and worse, her best friend Sera is the prime suspect.

And that, my friends, is just the tip of the crazy iceberg that is this book.

One of the things that makes the Elements series so great, IMO, is how well all of the core characters fit together. Each one is fantabulous in his or her own way, but they are at their shining best when they are all working to solve a common problem. It's pure magic, folks. Author Mia Marshall does an incredible job giving each character their own distinct voice and personality, and a role to play in the story. In Turning Tides, the group starts off fragmented, but to my great relief, circumstances conspired to bring them all back together again - and yes, I was totally happy dancing when that happened! Simply put, this group belongs together and I hope they are never separated again. (You hear that, Mia Marshall? No breaking up the Scooby Gang, okay?)

As always, the mystery element of the story was well-constructed, with clues and false clues laid all over the place. As the story progressed, the mystery became more involved, and I'll admit there were a few times I got lost in all of the twists and turns, but that is not a criticism. Far from it. If anything, it made me turn the pages that much faster because I simply HAD TO KNOW what would happen next and who was behind it all.

The world-building was stellar as well. With each book, we learn a little more about the elementals, and the information always arrives at the right time, in just the right way. No info dumping or clunky speeches for readers to trip over. Everything just flows, like the water Aidan draws her power from.

About the romance. There's been one developing between Aidan and bear shifter Mac since book one, and in Turning Tides, it finally, finally got some much-needed page time. I was over-the-moon thrilled at the forward progress Aidan and Mac made and I ate up every scene they had together - oh boy, did I ever - but at the same time, I was pulling my hair out over all the interruptions and reasons that kept them from doing what I am desperate for them to do (damn those keen shifter ears!). I am all for a slow burn but if these two characters don't hit the sheets soon, I can't be held responsible for my actions. Seriously.

Turning Tides is another great installment in the Elements series. It does everything right (well, aside from denying me a scene where Mac and Aidan tear each others' clothes off and go at it like rabbits, LOL). The pacing was great, the dialogue was even better, the mystery kept me guessing, and I got to spend time with some of my favorite characters. Wins all around!

If you love the urban fantasy genre as much as I do and haven't picked up these books yet, you need to. Immediately. 

RATING: 4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2
A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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