Rec a Series will be a monthly post, each highlighting one of my favorite series, past or present. They aren’t reviews, per se, as I’ll only cover those series I’m nutty about or would recommend without reservation. I’ll try to include links to ALL THE THINGS to current series, but if I forget it’s a good bet that Amazon carries the books since I (now) exclusively read e-books. Older series may not cooperate—they could be out of print, not have digital formats available, etc. I guess we’ll see when we get there.
The Elemental Mysteries
by Elizabeth Hunter
The first book in the Elemental Mysteries, A Hidden Fire, was one of the very first novels I downloaded to my shiny new Kindle Fire back in August, 2012. I fully admit that while the premise interested me greatly, the free price tag convinced me to give it a try. I’m so glad I did.
Hunter gives a whole new take on vampires while keeping the core myths of a vampire. The main difference ties each vampire into a single element—Earth, Water, Air, Fire—using an energy known as amnis to fuel their long lives and give them amazing abilities. Earth and Water seemed the most numerous (to me), which makes sense on a water planet. Fire, being an extremely volatile element, is naturally the rarest and most dangerous to everyone, including the vampires themselves. Our hero, Dr. Giovanni Vecchio, is a fire vampire.
The series follows Gio and B (short for Beatrice) as they research ancient manuscripts and hunt for her missing father, only to uncover a mystery that could spell disaster for vampires and humans alike. Many characters are introduced—some human, some vampire—that become the core of this series as well as star in the expanded universes of the Elemental World and the Elemental Legacy series.
While there is a romance woven into the story, this is not a romance book. Not really. It’s a paranormal mystery or urban fantasy with romantic elements, but the key story is not the romance between Gio and B. In that same vein, it’s not a steamy book. The romance builds slowly and the sex is almost always off-screen. The world-building and characters, however, are stellar and captivating. There will be times, though, that you’ll want to bash Gio or B over the head with something heavy and solid. Try not to throw your reading device of choice across the room during those times.
Hunter’s writing isn’t as polished in this series as in her later ones. The differences are noticeable between A Hidden Fire and The Scribe, for example. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad read by any stretch. It’s more a question of editing rather than plot development. I devoured the first book in hours and then rushed to buy the rest (well, the next two, had to wait for the third and was a Cranky McCrankypants until it came out.
This series is a launching point for the Elemental World and Elemental Legacy series, both of which I love. If you like vamps but want a new twist, love romance that takes it time to grows, adore well-developed world building, and like a story with mystery, humor, and heartbreak, check out Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series.
I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Elemental Mysteries –
Number of Books: Four
Number of Extras: Five
- All the Stars Look Down – an anthology containing a Gio & Beatrice short story
- Superheroes – a free short available on the website
- Costumes – a free short available on the website
- Merry Christmas, Tenzin – a free short available on the website (and my personal favorite of the freebies)
- A Not-So-Special Night – a free short available on the website