Broken Elements - Mia Marshall It was a good read, a solid novel with an original magic system. I liked the characters, 3-dimensional and contradictory, but the story itself didn’t engage me 100%. It worked in waves: an emotionally-charged wave, when the characters struggle and suffer, and I turned the pages avidly, followed by a bland wave, when they sit around, chat about nothing, and drink booze.
The protagonist Aidan looks like a human girl but she is a half-blood elemental – half a magical being of water and half of something else, probably human, although she has never met her father. Water is a source of joy and strength to her, and she can control water… but not always. Ten years ago, during a confrontation with a sadistic magical killer, something was broken inside her, and she has been hiding in an isolated house beside a pond ever since.
When her former friend Sera arrives on her doorstep with a terrible revelation: that same killer has struck again, and the latest victim is Aidan’s dear friend, Aidan has no choice but to return to civilization and try to deal with the brutal murderer once more. This time, she is not alone, her friends are around her, but Aidan still has to figure out what is wrong with her broken magic before she can tackle the killer. There are also FBI agents breathing down her neck and muddling the waters.
My main objection was to the central issue of this novel: why are these young people, magical as they might be, are plying a PI game? There is no logical reason for them to fumble around. The killer is obviously way out of their league, too clever and too powerful for them. Why don’t they dump him on the heads of the professionals – in crime investigation or in magic, and drive away as fast as they can? It would’ve been a much smarter choice, unless it’s a plot device, used by an author to make them investigate. But a writer’s whim is not the best force to propel a story. So it left me vaguely disappointed.