Klune, TJ. “Burn (Book One of the Elementally Involved Series)”, Dreamspinner Press, 2012.
Betrayal and Redemption—A New Series Begins
I have been noticing that several authors have begun writing series and this is good news because we get to have some of our favorite characters stick around a little longer. TJ Klune who won me over with his first book, “Bear, Otter and the Kid” last year is now giving us his Elementally Involved series which he sets in a world like the one we live in. Using the themes of betrayal and redemption, he asks us to consider the question of how far one can go to save those that he loves. Our main character, Felix Paracel killed his mother by fire and went into hiding for fear of being used, You see, he has strange powers—fire and wind—and he does not want to be exploited. However, he meets Findo Unum (known as the Split One) whose coming has been predicted for many, many years. We are in a place known as the Elemental World and when Felix arrives there is great happiness even though he brings a coming darkness with him.
The theme of the book is about the concept of “us” (the other) and “them” (society as it is). How easy or how hard is it for these two groups to live together in harmony? Life is based upon the choices we make and taking chances is necessary in order to live. He choices that we make are what propel us forward (or backwards). I love that Klune actually took the chance to write this book and it proves that he is a very brave man. Because the book hits so close to home, it is very difficult to review. It takes imagination to write something like this and for me, at least, he totally succeeds. He had to spend time building a background and a world and hen he welcomes us into it.
Felix tells the story and we get to know him through his narrative. He is also the hero of the story yet he has his tragic flaws, doubts and fears. He is not completely honest and while he is not totally human he comes across having human emotions. His partner, Seven, is a dreamboat and he loves Felix.
There is a lot of action in the story and Klune has constructed them beautifully. Klune’s writing is maturing and if he keeps up this pace, I think he is a voice to be reckoned with. There is a great deal in the book to like and Klune is to be commended for writing a book that can be read on several layers.