I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for and honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.
So far, the Biodome Chronicles is a very fresh take on traditional plots. The first book focused mostly on setting things up, and in Elements the author focuses more on storytelling and progression rather than background and introducing new characters. For that reason, I enjoyed reading this more.
I do feel like Elements was longer than it needed to be and too descriptive about ordinary things, but the descriptions were well written and made it easy to feel transported to another world. That’s a good thing because the story takes place on what feels like two different planets.
At the end of the first book, Fillion, the bad boy from the “future” and Coal, the farm boy from the “past” swapped places, and this book switches back and forth between those two worlds. The last book focused more on the biodome world that is basically a very realistic and historical role play. They don’t have things like computers, electric lights, or even polished mirrors. So to say that Fillion finds the transition difficult is an understatement.
But as hard as the transition was for him, Coal’s “fish out of water” experience was much more severe. He was born in the biodome and has never even seen a clear reflection of his face so things like indoor plumbing, androids, and computers really throw him for a loop.
The stark contrast between the two worlds was highlighted by the way both young men interacted with their surroundings and the people they dealt with, and while I liked reading about both, I enjoyed Coal’s overall journey more.
I also appreciated the amount of secrets that were revealed in Elements. The real story behind the biodome experiment is just as sick as it is interesting, and just when I didn’t think Fillion’s dad could get any creepier, he shattered my expectations. There was still a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, but our main characters are now armed with enough information to really make a difference in the subsequent books, and I am looking forward to that.
But by far the best thing about Elements was the romance. There are two relationships in particular that receive most of the focus and both were handled beautifully.
Fillion and Willow don’t quite pick up where they left off in the first book because she doesn’t actually know his true identity when he enters the dome. However, this doesn’t stop them from forming a bond that progresses into something more than mere friendship.
Coal’s romance, like his overall storyline, was my favorite. From the moment he met Fillion’s sister Lynden, I was hoping they would catch feelings for each other, but I was pleasantly surprised with how things played out. They had a chemistry and fire that was a great contrast to the more subdued relationship between Willow and Fillion. I love the way the author focused on both the strengths and the frustration of these two different types of romances.
Fillion and Willow had a very emotionally intimate and honest relationship, but very little physical contact; and, while Coal and Lynden did the kissing and cuddling thing well, they didn’t always communicate their feelings to one another with words.
Both these relationships were beautiful and fun to read for different reasons. It was some of the best romance I’ve read in a while, and considering the first book had very little romance, it was a pleasant surprise.
Although it was a little long at some points, Elements was a beautiful, original, and well-written second addition to this series, and if for some reason you were hesitating to continue the journey began in Legacy, let me put your mind at ease. Go read this now!
Because of language and mild sexual content, I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up.
I give this book five roses