The Elementals by Saundra Mitchell

The Elementals [The Vespertine, #3]
by Saundra Mitchell
Harcourt | ARC, paperback 297 pages
3 out of 5 Stars

There’s not a lot of series out there that I religiously follow. The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell is one of the few. It’s a historical/paranormal YA that’s uniquely written and fantastically done. Every year before its consequent release, I’ve made it a point to request it from the publisher and buy a copy when they come out. The Springsweet, having a couple of characters that I’ve adored so dearly is my favourite. I’ve looked forward to reading the third book, so when I received the third instalment, I just knew the end would be bittersweet. I just didn’t expect it to be a disappointment.

The third book follows the story of the children of characters from the first two books. Specifically, the youngest of Zora’s and Emerson’s who has the ability to breathe new life to any beings and Amelia’s and Nathaniel’s only daughter who can literally stop time. Julian and Kate has been dreaming of each other since they were kids but they don’t know each other. All they know was what they look like and that somehow, they have to meet. Both of them know that there’s a world out there that they haven’t seen. Julian’s polio has relegated him to a life in crutches and Kate has pretty much lived the vagabond and yet suffocated under the watchful eyes of her parents.

All throughout the book I’ve looked forward to their meeting and was disappointed that it took about half the novel for it to happen. In a way, I get it. Saundra took her time developing the story and the much needed back history as to why these two kids were they were. She told the story of how Julian suffered a heartbreak which led him to ran away from home and be on his own despite his disability. She told the story of a headstrong Kate who finally found a reason to stay and pursue her dreams of becoming a Hollywood director. So that wasn’t why I didn’t like this book as much as the first two.

I think it was because of the too much build-up to what promises to be a sweet romance that ended up as a dud. They were more like best of friends more than anything. Kindred spirits because of their inherited supernatural abilities. The ending also left open for everyone’s interpretation. And I, for one, wasn’t a fan. If you’re going to end a series, give me a closure. Don’t leave me hanging and frustrated.