Element: More preachy than a church choir

This is post number 8.

Background: The author for Element is C. M. Deporto. This book is part one of a series, and the cover art is of the main character looking at a body of water.

Plot: Natalie is a college student interning for a pharmaceutical company, and she is taking the company’s experimental supplements. She meets a boy who is also interning at the pharmaceutical company, and the two start dating. Eventually Natalie starts to notice some weird changes with her body and blames it on working out and the supplement.

Spoilers: Natalie and her man decide not to have sex because he is waiting until marriage and she wants to be a born again virgin. At the very end of the novel, Natalie discovers that she has the ability to transform into the four basic elements of earth, air, water, and fire, and she reveals this to her boyfriend.

Passage:

She removed her glasses and stared at herself. She liked the way she looked without them and Ryan had even made a comment too. Maybe she would wear her contacts instead of her glasses. She leaned forward to study her face. She was grateful she had a good complexion, hence the reason why she never bothered to wear much makeup. She didn’t need to. However, she also liked the way Lise did her makeup. It made her pale blue eyes stand out and it did make her feel pretty.

Opinion: The title of the book really brought my hopes up for seeing some cool elemental magic and interesting explanation for the powers like in Avatar: The Last Airbender or really any other storyline with the four elements. Instead I got a boring romance with heavy handed Christian themes. Now I am a Christian, and I always appreciate authors who have the balls to mention any religion in their writing, but this novel really piled on the belief of waiting until marriage. I understand that many people of many religions believe this is the best route, but the reader shouldn’t feel like they’re being chastised for their life choices if they don’t agree with the author.

Also the powers are not revealed until the last 20 pages. The main character hints at feeling different and stronger, but the elemental aspect is not mentioned until she has a freak out at the company party. By then I had lost all hope of ever actually seeing how the title relates to a story of two chaste teenagers in love. The reason why she has these abilities is assumed to be the supplements, but if the company made a super drug like this and knew what it could do, why would they test it on a love sick intern? And if they didn’t know what it could do, wouldn’t they try to monitor Natalie to check for adverse side effects like, I don’t know, mother-effin’ super powers?

The writing is mediocre. The author uses a third person limited perspective, which is the hardest to mess up. Normally I prefer this perspective because it almost forces the author to show rather than tell since we only know one character’s thoughts at a time, but since the author also changes the character whose thoughts we know quite often, I think a first person perspective would have worked a great deal better. Also, the couple’s past relationships are mentioned constantly, making entire paragraphs repetitive and unnecessary.

Ratings: This is supposed to be a paranormal romance novel so my ratings are as follows:

Powers: 3/10

Explanation of powers: 1/10

Romantic development: 5/10

Creativity: 2/10

Plot: 2/10

Overall, I give this book a 3/10. The plot had almost nothing to do with elemental abilities, and the romance made me feel like I needed to go and confess my sins.

Citation: Doporto, CM (2013-03-28). Element, Part 1 (The Natalie Vega Saga) (p. 92). CM Doporto. Kindle Edition.

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