Mark of Four (Guardian of the Vale Book 1)

Young Adult

PARANORMAL:  Alayna Worth is an Elemental Water-Wielder who wants nothing more than to control her powers and live a normal life. However, when a feared criminal escapes, her family and future are threatened. Secret pasts, strange powers, it’s all present in this young adult novel featuring a girl desperate to discover who she truly is. 

In Alayna’s world, most people can wield one element – Alayna, however, can wield all four elements. Why she can do that is the premise the book is based upon, and she too is desperate to find an answer. In typical YA fashion, there are love interests, friendships, magic, and a heroine struggling with her own identity and finding a place where she belongs. 

The book reads like a mix of “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games”, and “Divergent”. There is some lack of originality, but the author does include some refreshing ideas and an engaging plot. The world building is solid, and leaves room for more books in the series. The writing is okay, but not outstanding. The book heavily relies on the story and characters, which is not bad, but with better writing, this would’ve been outstanding. 

As it is, it’s still an intriguing blend of genres with a great cast of characters. 

Majanka Verstratte