Rec a Series is a monthly post highlighting one of my favorite series, past or present. I’m a week behind from when I normally post one of these and had to scramble to find a series I could gush over without reservation. I had a few choices, but decided to go with one of my favorite authors: Elizabeth Hunter.
The Elemental World by Elizabeth Hunter
The Elemental World series is a direct follow up to her Elemental Mysteries, so if you haven’t read those, I recommend you grab them first. In fact, grab them anyway as they’re excellent and everyone needs to meet Tenzin for the first time. Like the Mysteries, the overarching plot remains centered around the quest to stop the spread of Elixir, the drug that kills humans and vampires alike, but unlike the first series, each book highlights a different couple.
Overview of the books:
The first two bring back familiar faces from the Mysteries series: Carwyn, the jovial Welsh priest and earth vampire, and Baojia, the mysterious and dangerous water vampire. The last two bring in less familiar vampires, Murphy and Lucien, but they’re a perfect fit into the world.
The extras, especially the three novellas, bring in more depth and history into some side characters. The Bronze Blade is a dark tale of Tenzin’s transformation from human to vampire while Waterlocked shows Terry and Gemma that sometimes marriages of political necessity are also emotional necessities. A Very Proper Monster is a delightful Gothic romance pairing two dissimilar people who turn out to be perfect for one another. It’s also paired with Grace Draven’s Gaslight Hades which is a must read.
This series, like the one before it, treads a careful path between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, sometimes dipping a toe into one (as with The Bronze Blade), at other times stomping all over the other (hello, Waterlocked). Regardless of the genre, Hunter’s works contain vibrant worlds with an amazing eye to detail on both the real and the fantasy elements while her mythology makes as much sense as it needs to in order to overcome disbelief.
If I start expounding on all the ways I adore these books, this post will be the length of one of them and contain so many spoilers River Song might just pop up to warn folks off. So instead, I’ll state my favorites and encourage everyone to run out and BUY ALL THE THINGS and see for yourselves.
- Carwyn and Brigid – How can you not love these two? Carwyn is a thousand-year-old Welsh priest who’s suffered a terrible loss that’s affecting his faith. He adores his huge, wonderful family of humans and vampires and mourns those who’ve died because of the rise of Elixir. Brigid, on the other hand, was rescued from an abusive household as a child and grew up in a vampire household. Their love grew slowly. Brigid seeing Carwyn as more than just the head of the family and the Sire of the man who helped raise her. Carwyn had to learn to see Brigid as an adult and not the child he rescued. Once that happens, though…the result is magic.
- Tenzin – As far as single characters go, not many can compare to Tenzin for sheer awesomeness. Baojia comes a damn close second, but Tenzin is just head and shoulders above them all. I adored Murphy, Baojia has that whole silent/sexy thing going for him, but Tenzin has more layers than a freakin’ onion and I just want to peel off every single one to see what makes her her. And yes, even though I know that more than a few of those layers are gonna make me cry. The Elemental Legacy series focuses on Tenzin and Benjamin Vecchio, so you can only imagine how excited I am for that one.
- A Very Proper Monster – I grew up reading historicals, so I loved getting an Elemental story set during the Victorian/Regency era. It was like wrapping up in a super-comfy blanket and then discovering it also came in your favorite color and pattern. As a bonus, if you buy the duology, you also get Gaslight Hades, which is a steampunk book that is beyond amazing (yes, I’ll write about some of Grace Draven’s stuff soon, no, you can’t have Nathaniel, he’s mine).
- “Love is friendship. Just with less clothes, which makes it far more brilliant.” ~ Carwyn, Building from Ashes
- “Be scared. Live anyway.” ~ Baojia, Blood and Sand
- “I tried to forget you, Anne. Not because I didn’t love you, but because I loved you so damn much.” ~ Patrick Murphy, The Scarlet Deep
- “Here I am now”— Tenzin bared her odd, raptor-claw fangs— “entertain me.” ~ Tenzin, A Stone-Kissed Sea
- She could pour her soul onto the page and still find loneliness in the dark. She strangled her heart to keep it alive, knowing it was only a matter of time until the palest lover took her to his bosom. ~ Josephine, A Very Proper Monster
So, that’s it. The conclusion to the Elixir story arc, a revisit to some old friends, and an introduction to some new ones. Links and list below. Enjoy!
Elemental World –
Number of Books: Four
- Building from Ashes (Carwyn & Brigid)
- Blood and Sand (Baojia & Natalie)
- The Scarlet Deep (Murphy & Anne)
- A Stone-Kissed Sea (Lucien & Makeda)
Number of Extras: Five
- Waterlocked #1.5 – Terrence & Gemma
- The Bronze Blade #2.5 – Tenzin
- A Very Proper Monster – novella in the Beneath a Waning Moon duology (Tom & Josephine)
- Green Beards are as Bad as Green Beer – free short featuring Carwyn and Brigid, set after book one
- An Interview with Patrick Murphy – part of promo for The Scarlet Deep and set after those events
- Yes, though the elemental mythology continues in the Elemental Legacy series with Benjamin Vecchio and Tenzin.