The action-packed conclusion to the dystopic alt-history trilogy.
Readers are plunged directly into the middle of the action in this final installment of the middle-of-the-road series that began with Elemental (2012). Sixteen-year-old Thomas and his band of fellow elementals—Alice, Rose, Griffin and the others—escape by the skin of their teeth from an infestation of plague-ridden rats and an invasion by enemy pirates one week after they set sail to return home to Roanoke Island from a failed mission in Sumter, South Carolina. Sparks continue to fly between Thom and Alice as he discovers more about his own element and its strange powers. Meanwhile, their archenemy, the pirate Dare, follows them back to their home on Roanoke. John’s history and mapping skills can get confusing, especially when he weaves in actual historical figures and places. Still, readers who have made it this far will be relieved to discover that he spends much of the latter half of the novel explaining the convoluted mysteries and secrets that have no doubt continued to intrigue them throughout the trilogy. Even after the final reveal, however, the mythology of John’s universe still feels a little shaky, but that won’t stop readers from devouring page upon page of hangings, thousands of hungry, angry rats, betrayals and more.
Fun but ultimately unremarkable. (Post-apocalyptic historical adventure. 12-16)