The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

Michelle Madow's "Prophecy of Shadows"

Michelle Madow's "Prophecy of Shadows"

So, gods and elemental powers are two of the most interesting things you can write a book about. You can imagine how interesting the combination of those two things could be, and that is what Michelle Madow does with The Prophecy of Shadows, book 1 in the Elementals series. I got the box set, but since I have other books to get into, I stopped with the first one. Here’s what I thought.

The Prophecy of Shadows has a lot going for it. The gods and elemental powers are a couple, but there’s also the dastardly creatures and lore to be explored. Now, I want to be completely honest: The characters felt fairly one-note. I would even go as far as saying they were the embodiments of characteristics. Blake, the fire Elemental, with his “smoldering bad boy-ness,” Kate, the earth Elemental, with her virtually endless gentleness, Chris, the air Elemental with his “let’s just go with it” outlook on nearly everything, and Danielle, the water Elemental, with her “mean girl” personality. I mean, I don’t really see anything that make them people and not just characters whose being revolves around those characteristics, though this could be remedied in the sequel(s). They worked well enough for an introductory book, but if they aren’t fleshed out more, I can see myself giving up on the series. After all, the characters are what make a book for me.

Speaking of characters, our mc, Nicole, the witch who didn’t know she was a witch until she’s placed in a homeroom for witches. I really wanted to like her, because I like the element she represents (I won’t spoil which), but I don’t know what it is about her that kept me forming a connection. Maybe it was the attraction to the bad boy, or perhaps…no, I’m that’s it. I just find it hard to root for someone who’s infatuated with someone in a relationship (not matter how turbulent said relationship is). I like my characters flawed, but there are just some things I can’t stomach, and yearning for someone who is taken is one of them. Then again this is high school, where everyone pines for everyone, but still, come on. There are times where I think nothing but Blake is one her mind, and while that’s realistic for a character with a crush in high school, I didn’t really like it. And his interest in her just seemed fishy to me.

Now, I don’t want it to seem like I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did…just not as much as I’d hoped I would. The magic was great, the monsters horrific, and adventure aspects were enjoyable. But, with all that said, I have to agree with another reviewer in that things seemed to go well for these kids much too often, and I can count on one hand the times I thought a character was in serious danger. If you’re fighting monsters, the thrill and suspense of these fights needs to be there, or it just falls flat. I do want to see where the story goes, so I’ll continue with the sequel. It’s just not at the top of my list right not.

That's a really gorgeous cover though!

Christina McMullen's "The Eyes of The Sun"

Christina McMullen's "The Eyes of The Sun"

Matt Doyle's "Addict"

Matt Doyle's "Addict"