The Prophesy of Shadows
The Elementals, #1
Michelle Madow
Dreamscape Publishing, Jan 2016
Kindle, 309 Pages
Also available in paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) YA paranormal fantasy, mythological
Source Author's newsletter

Other books in this series
The Blood of the Hydra #2, The Head of the Medusa #3, The Portal of Kerberos #4, The Hands of Time #5

My Disclaimer:
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it's about...
Nicole Cassidy doesn't understand why her whole class list at her new school says "honors" classes. She's never been in honors classes before. And when she walks into her new homeroom, she gets a bit of a jolt.

"We're all witches, as are you. And this is a special studies homeroom--it's for the witches in the school." 

After some class exercises and some experiments on her own, Nicole is finally convinced of at least some of what they've told her and starting to make friends. In fact, she's part of a working circle of five students. Kate, Chris, Blake, and Danielle make up the rest of her circle. They get some interesting results under the night sky at a classroom function at the Professor's house. This leads to each of them learning which element they relate to and to the discovery and assignment of the fifth element.

Can these young and inexperienced witches solve the prophesy and bring home the Shadows?

Technical Tidbits...  
The cover is quite good. The picture is supposed to be Nicole Cassidy, I would say. She is the one who relates to the fifth element, aether.

The story line is interesting. Not all that unusual, a bunch of mismatched students end up getting into something that is a "bit" over their heads. Bonds break, bonds form, maturity, clarity.

The characters were done quite well. By introducing a new student, the author had the chance to also introduce older students to her so that we got to know these characters fairly early on in the story line. We got deeper knowledge of their personalities as events unrolled.

The pace was pretty good. Not super fast, but rolling along so that you had to pay attention so as not to miss things. And there were plenty of things happening.

The tension. Oh yes, there was plenty of tension. Not so noticeable in the quiet times, but during the happening times it was really there.

And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰⭒

Going from not even believing in witches to being told she is one and handling energy all in one day is a big step. So, I guess it was not a real surprise that she ended up being so powerful. Possibly no real surprise to any of them that she was a demigod, either. It was a bit of a surprise to me. These things don't just pop up out of nowhere. Though there was some preparation for it, so I have forgiven Ms. Madow.

I really love the way she created the color system for them to use energy! If you follow me, you know I'm really into colors and color systems. So this really appealed to me. It doesn't help me channel energy, but it can help a lousy mood if you think about colors the way they channeled them. Yellow will certainly cheer you up. Blue will make you feel like you can really get going. Green will make you want to do things in nature. Red will make you want to take on challenges or deal with confrontations. White can make things seem all crisp and clean. Refreshed. Orange will make you hungry, sorry. And extra color there!

There is so much build up about how fierce Danielle is in protecting her territory, ie Blake. I was rather surprised at how little she actually did to warn Nicole off. The worst she did was use the gray magic against her in her try-out for the tennis team. When that didn't succeed, she seemed not to really try anything else against her. I really figured that she'd try other things and cause more trouble. Why did she back down? It didn't seem like Blake was talking to her. He was afraid that doing that would make things worse. And it probably would have. She kept claiming her territory physically when they were all together. But she didn't take any steps to warn Nicole off in any other way. Girls that age can be pretty nasty and I'd imagine ones with magic at their disposal could really be dangerous. So why didn't she do anything? I kept waiting for her to do something really nasty early on in the book.

Once they went off on their quest, they worked as a team, they had to. It's fortunate that Danielle's water element was first. It made her dedication to the team more solid. Then Chris had to use his air element. Kate had to use her earth element. Finally, Blake had to use his fire element along with Chris' air element to fight off the enemy. And when Kate was so badly injured, the other three had to trust Nicole not to steal their energy but to channel it to heal Kate. At each turn only the one with that particular element could do the required task. So, only Kate could take the Book of Shadows from its resting place...passing it to Chris to give to the Harpy to save her sister, Becca. But working together again, they defeated the Harpy. Not before the creature gave them one more piece of information. She called Nicole a demigod. So when they were able to get back and discuss things with Darius, the teacher, they decided she must be the child of Apollo. The gold sun charm on the gold chain the appeared on her window sill the next morning sort of clinched that.

This was quite the world the author created. Little witches learning it in school, even though the school doesn't know. Color-based energy. Demigods, gods. This is a series for young adults, but I may have to read more of it to see what else the author brings in.

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