The first book in the highly anticipated Elemental World series, by Elizabeth Hunter, author of the best-selling Elemental Mysteries.
In a world teetering on the edge of change, two beings struggle to find their purpose. Will their paths lead them closer together or tear their worlds apart? For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to.
Brigid Connor has known about vampires since they rescued her from a painful childhood. But not even their vast elemental power can save her from the demons that torment her. As loyalties are tested and new paths are forged, a lurking danger slowly grows in the Elemental World. Carwyn and Brigid learn that even secrets revealed can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.
©2012 Elizabeth Hunter (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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"G-rated, Christian paranormal suspense"
I started out really liking this book. Others have commented on storyline etc, so I'll offer you this:
If you like "christian" romance and paranormal, get this book.
If you want something Really Long, with a little suspense get this book.
Hunter does have a new take on the vampire culture/world building that I very much enjoyed.
The characters are wonderful and the unusual longitudinal story over 7 or 8 years allows a lot of time for character development. The length gives a lot of detail to the suspense. I really liked both the leads tremendously. I was, however, irritated that when they FINALLY get together, its pretty lukewarm and very 1970s harlequin (everything kind of hinted at). I think we wait 12 hours before they finally merge. Both the lead female and the author are very prudish throughout the book. Its fine when its the lead character, but instead of passion, we just get treacle. Lots of treacle. "I love you". No, I love you. I love you. I really love you. Oh how I love you. Enough already. Though her first one in this series with Giovanni and Beatrice was nice and a very low embered burn that suggest a different approach to romance in the 21st century romantic fiction, this book--Building from Ashes--has much more of decided Christian romance, with a lot of devout practicing Catholics.
The resolution was predictable. I give a 3 for the mystery villans, 4 for the worldbuilding, 2 for the romance (tho I loved the Stigmata movie related theme of the priest!) and 3.5 for the narration.
If your usual fangy fare is Lara Adrian, C. Feehan, Larissa Ione, N. Singh, or K. Cole, but you are in the grove for something more tepid in the physical heat dept, you may enjoy this. Hunter is a good storyteller and you will love her characters. If you like Dee Henderson and her genre and are feeling like something on the paranormal side, you may enjoy this. Its got a tad more sizzle than Henderson who is a fabulous writer in military themed romance but is old fashioned and completely passion-free--something that seems thematic to me in "Christian" romance.
For me, if there had been a bit more passion, a little more sizzle when they DID get together--they are such good characters and I wanted to FEEL that moment with them-- I wouldn't suggest that this is more of a Christian paranormal. There was a lot in this one about Catholic practice (hey, even the Vatican is board with vampire priests) and there doesn't seem any discordance with vampirism and the Church. That's new. But we get a lot of religious hand wringing about the priest and our female lead and getting physical till marriage. I felt like I stuck it out through the all the Irish angst, and got let down. Never was I so relieved when the epilogue was intoned. I didn't stick around for the preview for the next book.
Dina Perlman was a better narrator here than in the first one since there is little Italian and mostly Irish, Scottish and Welsh accents to contend with. In the first book, she butchered italian so bad that I was cringing every time she said "Gee-oh" as the shortened "Giovanni" (it's "Joe"--"joe-VANNI" in Italian). Another example was "Dee-meh-DEE-chee" ( de Medici or "Day MED-de-chee"). Since it was said hundreds of times in the first book, you should take that as a recommendation that I bought another one in this series with the same narrator--the story in the first book outshone the butchered narration and poor pacing). PErlman gets better in this one with her pacing and voicing. It helps that this is not centered on a mystery involving medieval Italian literature as was the first.
I won't be continuing on with this series or the author, but I would recommend this as a bargain read or listen.
"Horrific Narration! Atrocious accents."
I SO wish that Zachary Webber could have narrated these books. His sexy voice would have made it a wonderful experience. Dina Pearlman was down right painful to listen to. Such a bummer. I was spoiled by listening to the Irin Chronicles first.
Zachary Webber, please read these to me?!
I will stick to reading thesee books. Dina Pearlman was HORRIFIC.
Ms. Pearlman as always does a wonderful job with this book.
I love Carwyn's character. Fun loving, strikingly handsome, man who has devoted his entire life to his kids (human & vampire) and flock now gets to have someone for himself. He's smart and witty. I also loved the scene where he shocked Bridget.
"Love these books"
The story line, and the cross over from the 1st series I really enjoyed Carwyn in the in the first books and loved that he now has his own series.
This is a great series, but you have to start with the first books with Gio and B. There is to much overlap to really love this book if you do not. But that shouldn't be a problem because they are all so very good,
"Slow and borning"
This book is well written and had potential, but it misses the mark for me. This is a standalone series, but a few characters have relationships that were established in the Elemental Mysteries series. Giovanni Vecchio and his wife Beatrice De Novo are the son and daughter-in-law of the male main character, Carwyn.
This story gives glimpses of the life of a Carwyn who has been a vampire for centuries. Unlike the usual vampire stories these vampires and Catholicism are intertwined; vampires are even priest.
The vampires have estates and a cadre of humans, they are not food or spelled, who are under the protection or household of the vampires. These are humans who are aware of the existence of vampires and live among them. Brigid is one young woman who grew up in the home of a vampire.
There are few storylines. One is the trafficking of drugs in the area vampires rolls in the process and how it affects their business, the loves story, the troubled past of our characters and an evil that will destroy their security. You know, it is the usual plot lines. The love story is a laborious story of Carwyn and Brigid, his son ward, whom she identifies with as the family’s priest. Therefore, she addresses him as father.
There is literally aggressive no action, vampire related and juvenile declaration of love; I could not keep plodding through. I will try the Elemental Mysteries because I like the relationship with the characters. I hope that from the description and being a mystery there is more action.
Unlike all the other reviews, I cannot recommend this book. I purchased it because one of the readers that I follow gave it five stars.
Many reviewers did not like Dina Pearlman as the narrator, but I am impartial to her. She is one of my favorites.
Love it love it LOVE IT! I love ALL of Elizabeth Hunter's books, but this one is probably my favorite Elemental book. I thoroughly enjoy listening to this book every time!
"My first audio book experience"
This was my first audio book ever. I am an avid old fashioned, page turning book reader so the narration took me a bit to get used to. I found it ridiculous in the beginning. The same person reading different genders and accents was distracting to me. I had to really focus on the story to get me past how silly the main characters voice was portrayed. This isn't at all the fault of the narrator, you can only adjust your voice so many ways. But I was immediately turned off by the this.
However, much to the credit of the story, I was able to stick with it and found myself looking forward to plugging in to listen while cleaning the house or running errands.
The story itself was a little heavy on filler and a little lacking in substance, but it was a good story line and I was able to easily imagine what wasn't provided by the author. My genera of choice is historical fiction so I am used to heavy detail and accurate historical references. This is a modern day story so there wasn't much explanation needed and that left me wanting.
Nevertheless I will continue on with this series and if modern fantasy is your jam, give this one a go.
Love this series! Love the narrator! Can't get enough if these characters and their stories. Carwyn and Brigid's story is (so far) my favorite. This story has a way to make you forget the characters are fictional.
"Not for me"
I read the Elemental Series by Elizabeth Hunter so I thought I would give this one a chance. I couldn't get into it. I'm sure it's not a bad book, but it just wasn't for me.
"Vampire Love with a plot for non Vamp Fan"
I do not enjoy the love stories of the Vampire Genre.
I downloaded on a whim as on offer, have enjoyed and will 'read' the second part.
The modern setting of Dublin drug scene with an engaging plot dragged me in and got me through the emotional love descriptions which I am sure will be appreciated by Vamp fans, but not me.
I found the narration excellent and really liked hearing the Irish accents.
So engaging plot and characters, even for non vamp fans.
"A vampire love story!"
I guess this is a book that will appeal more to the ladies than the men!
There are constant references to the love that exists between the main protagonists and they're developing relationship.
I don't mind a little bit of this kind of thing and it exists in most books one way or another, but I found the sheer amount of it tedious and I found myself fast forwarding past many minutes of audio.
Thing aside the emotional stuff, I have to omit that I found this story just a little bit boring and I couldn't wait for it to finish.
Sorry, but this is not a book I can recommend.
"love vampires...just not these
narrator struggled with the many different accents. found the story rather flimsy. won't be reading the next in the series.
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