Series: Elemental #4
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen
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EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.
And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.
SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.
Since reading the novella, I have been very excited for Nick’s story. He was never my favourite Merrick brother; in fact, while I certainly liked him, he was always my least favourite. I didn’t feel as though I knew enough about him to really like him. But the novella changed that, and after reading it I had hoped that he would grow on me more.
You see, Nick is gay. Not only that, but he’s also faking a relationship with Quinn so that others won’t find out about his secret. Don’t worry, Quinn is in on it too, which makes an unhealthy situation slightly better. I am all for more LGBT+ representation in YA, especially in genres that aren’t your standard contemporary. After reading Nick’s novella, where it’s revealed that he has a crush on Quinn’s dance partner, I immediately became more interested in him. I suddenly understood why he was so reserved all the time.
Secret starts out with one of those Spirit guys that Hunter used to be coming to town and killing an old colleague, Gareth Brody. I thought it meant that this would be an important part of the plot, with the Merricks – especially Nick – racing against time to find out what happened to said colleague, and battling these horrible people. That was not the case. The real action didn’t take place until the very end, as the Spirit guy wasn’t even mentioned until at least 75% of the way through.
This disappointed me a little bit, because it made this paranormal novel feel a lot more like a contemporary, with all of the focus for a good 250 pages being on Nick and his love interest, and Quinn and hers. I was hoping for a more complex plot.
That said, I did really enjoy Nick’s storyline. I loved reading about his struggle with his feelings, and I sobbed over him keeping this secret from his family. He should have known that Michael wouldn’t care, but instead he worried over it and felt as though he had something to hide. It was heartbreaking, and some of his scenes with Adam had me curled up on the floor.
I wasn’t a fan of Quinn’s story, however. I didn’t like the way she was paired up in the end, because her love interest is an absolute arse, and somehow everyone forgives him for all the things he has done. I understand that he’s been through a lot, but so have the Merricks, and they don’t act like he does. Well, maybe Gabriel does, but after reading this book I despise him too, so.
Secret was an unexpectedly emotional read. I feel a bit sorry for Lauren because I was liveblogging to her while Nick killed me. I’m very happy with the turn this series has taken, even if it has completely put me off Gabriel since he is a giant prat. I can’t wait to see where this series goes next, and I only hope that there is more action-plot than romance-plot in Michael’s book. Which there should be, since he already has a girlfriend, right?
And, just for fun, let’s list the Merricks in their rightful order:
1. Michael. No one can beat him.
4. Hunter. He’s kind of a Merrick, is he not?