Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.
After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.
When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.
From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.
All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?
~ Xpresso BT
Guest Post: Themes from Elemental Lies – Politics
by Elle Middaugh
There are many themes in Elemental Lies (as there are in most books). Love, good vs. evil, coming of age, the value of truth and honesty, family, etc. Then there’s the theme of politics.
Politics are absolutely everywhere these days, so it makes sense that they weaseled their way into my novels. In fact, I have no idea what kind of series these books would be without that aspect.
Elementals (people who can control one of the classical elements: earth, fire, water, wind) are divided into three distinct political groups. Traditionalists, who value secrecy and free-usage of elemental power. Modernists, who value inclusion into human society by suppressing elemental power. And Elitists, who want free-usage of power as well as (secret) global domination.
Valerie, our main character, has trouble deciding which political team to be on. Her family is split up between the factions, and each group seems to have noble characteristics – at least, at first.
One of the things I like to explore is the idea of government conspiracies, and the fact that hindsight is 20/20. We might feel very strongly about something or someone, only to find out later that we didn’t know as much as we thought we did; we made a mistake by trusting them.
This can come in many different shapes and sizes. Maybe the candidate you supported isn’t doing what he/she said they would? Maybe the political group you support doesn’t actually value what they say? Maybe the government knows things they’re not telling you? Maybe the media is only allowed to report what the government says? Maybe the truth is made to look like a humiliating lie? Maybe lies are glorified to look like shimmering truths? How do you 100% KNOW who to trust, or what to believe?
That’s Valerie’s dilemma. She wants to make an informed choice, but it proves to be extremely difficult. She can’t sort the truth from the lies because they all look like candy-coated bullshit. Her friends have lied to her, her family has withheld secrets, humans fear her kind, and the world is on the brink of war. How does one possibly go about fixing a problem of that magnitude? She doesn’t know, but she makes a vow (to herself) to strive to do what’s right and good.
This, of course, provides its own set of complications. How can anyone be 100% sure that what they’re doing is actually good? I mean, if you see a starving wild animal, the good thing would seem to be to feed the poor creature, but in reality, that’s more harmful. If you have the chance to murder a murderer, the good thing – the higher path – would be to show him/her mercy, but what if they go on to murder even more people? Would you have done a greater good by eliminating them in the first place?
There are a TON of gray areas in life. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that one choice is better than the other, because I have no idea.
That’s what I like about this theme. The numerous, unanswered questions. The vast array of paths your characters can take, and the unpredictable outcomes. How it mirrors real life, yet gives it imaginative scope. The possibilities are simply endless!
About the Author & Links:
Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.
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