Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Water (Akasha #1) by Terra Harmony - Ashley's Review

*I received this book from Patchwork Press on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Water
Author: Terra Harmony
Year Published: 2011

My Pre-Reading

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.

Review: When I received this book, I completely missed that it was filed under the "New Adult" genre. I've been kind of avoiding all things New Adult, because I wasn't really interested in the whole "romance featuring 18-25 year olds!" thing. I am so glad that I missed that classification on this book though, because Water was so much more than I was expecting and I'm glad I didn't pass it up because it was "New Adult." 

I've never really read an eco-fantasy book, but I think the concept is very interesting and Harmony does an excellent job of making it not seem like some tree-hugging book that's all "Save the environment!" with little to no plot or action. The plot actually moves along pretty quickly once you get past the setup, and I found myself not wanting to put the book down the further in I got. Once Kaitlyn begins to understand her powers a little bit, the pace picks up even further. 

The "rogue member" isn't really a huge secret - I figured out who he was pretty early on. And he is pretty terrifying. I think most of the reason this book isn't classified as YA is because of the things he does to Kaitlyn (including raping her). Although those parts were a little hard to read (and I wouldn't recommend this book to a younger audience because of them), I think that they were very necessary to showing him as the monster he is. I also think that the events made her a stronger heroine - she uses her anger towards him to keep her focused on her escape plan. 

I do think that the romance between Kaitlyn and Micah moves a little too fast to make sense at the beginning, but I was glad when things slowed down. They get to know each other better, and they have their issues, but I liked them much more as a couple at the end of the book than I did at the beginning. I'm still not sure about them, but we'll see how they progress throughout the rest of the series. The romance is kind of important to the plot, but it's more of a side plot, so that was nice. 

Although there is magic involved in this story, I think Harmony did an excellent job of making it sound like something plausible. The places are very real, and the characters are not over-the-top and unbelievable. Kaitlyn, Micah, and Shawn could be people that we all know and love. They just have the ability to manipulate either nature or someone else's powers. It's a really cool concept, and I can't wait to see how it's developed in the rest of the series. 

For the most part, I really enjoyed Water. I would recommend it to someone looking to get their feet wet (haha) in the New Adult genre, or to someone who enjoys fantasy novels. Especially atypical fantasy novels. I would give this book a 4/5, and I can't wait to read the next installment! 


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