Friday, May 7, 2010

Elemental by TallulahBelle






AU/AH: When the Swans return to their birthplace, Bella learns she is no ordinary teenager, and Forks is no ordinary town. Can she fulfill her destiny with the powerful Edward Cullen, or will the dark forces that threaten their families destroy them all?


Full disclosure: this rec is severely biased as my relationship with this fic goes way back. I've loved it for a very long time. I also love the author, TallulahBelle. I just wanted to get that out there. This rec won't just be a bunch of clit-licks, but there will be some heavy petting. M'kay?

I started reading Elemental decades ago in "fic time." I heard about it and was pretty excited that the premise was different from any other twific I had read. The characters are witches but the really cool, non-Halloween witches whose powers come from earthy elements: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. The way TB began setting things up was like a great scary movie. Tingles started prickling on the back of your neck, and the hair on your arms stood up. Shit was going to get real, you just knew it. Oh, and Edward was an ├╝berdick. I loved hating Dickward. I professed my adoration for the story through reviews and through a common connection was asked to become a part of "Team Elemental" as a pre-reader. I was stoked. I would get to read the chapters before everyone else, and who doesn't love being on the inside track of a story they love?

So began my friendship with TB. Let me first say, as an author, she's fantastic, but as a person, she's at the pinnacle of marvelous. She knew I loved her story and the characters, even that douchbag Edward, and trust, I told her just how much I disliked him. All she would say to my incessant whining about him is "there is a reason he's the way he is." Okay...fine!! P.S. She wasn't lying.) I would make notes here and there about the story, and when a chapter would get posted and I'd see a suggestion of mine for all the world to read, I felt awesome. TB trusted what I had to say and allowed me to be a part of her amazing fic. Being on "Team Elemental" was one of the most rewarding things I've done in the fandom, and that is because TB is just that fucking cool. She loves her story. She puts her heart and soul into it, and it's obvious when you read her words. Her story and her readers mean the world to her.

Okay, so why did I love this fic so much? Well, beyond the excitement of reading a storyline that hadn't been done in the fandom, there was this undesired UST between Bella and Edward coming out the wazoo. They disliked each other immensely, but there was something there that neither could deny. I don't want to spoil anything in regard to their relationship, as I think how Elemental becomes a B/E story is key, but when I saw the direction they were heading, I was impressed. TB was going there, and there had to be done just right. For those of you who understand what I'm talking about, trust me when I say "there" was thought out and written with great care and a lot of discussion, and I think it came off perfectly. Now if that doesn't spark some interest for those of you saying "WTF is she talking about?" I'm not sure anything else I write will. Trust me, you want to find out just exactly what I mean.

So, what are some other reasons you should read Elemental? Well, if you enjoy a mystery, it's got that. If you like an adorable Emmett, this story has one of the best. If you want to read a Rose you'll actually like, and if you like your Carlisle with a dash of "strong and powerful leader," it's got that too. It's also got a messed up Renee that I'd like to bitch-slap, but then again, I might have mommy issues. There are secrets upon secrets, and also what I refer to as "The Big Bad." For a nemesis, um, The Big Bad is as big as it gets. Ho-ly Shit! We all talk about which fic we'd like to see become a movie. Because of all of its "elements," Elemental gets my vote hands down.

Now, to continue in the vein of full disclosure, I was a little surprised when I was asked by the Pervs to write a rec for Elemental. I mean, they are the Pervs, and Elemental is light on the smut, but while they might be the perviest bunch in the fandom, they also know a good fucking story when they read it. Elemental being "citrus lite" was actually fine with me in the beginning. I'm a less-is-more kind of gal usually, except something changed for me with this fic. OMG I want smut in every chapter now! I bug the shit out of TB with my concern for the state of Edward's poor, unused junk. Yes, I've done a 180° in regard to Edward, and it is my mission in life to get that boy regular poon. Don't let the fact that TB has gone easy on the lemons so far stop you from reading. As I mentioned above, the UST is off the charts, and I know, I just know, that when Edward and Bella do get around to the horizontal mambo (or vertical, I won't be picky), I'll be weeping tears of joy, as it will be as beautifully written as the rest of Elemental has been.

feathers_mmmm rec'd this fic to me a while back. I read the first chapter (prologue), and was very "this is interesting", but didn't get a chance to read past that at the time. This time around, as I read more and more of it, I fell in love with this world. It's complicated and fascinating seeing Bella thrown into and trying to adjust to a world of autocratic rules. She has been given no information and no choice, but most of all, any other path she tries to take will cause physical harm to thousands of people and an entire ecosystem. She also, days before her eighteenth birthday, learns that their coven inherited imprinting from the Quileutes. The icing on her cakes is that the total tool bag in her community turns out to be her soul mate. This all happens over a fairy short amount of time. So, in a matter of a month, she has to adjust to the fact that she is a witch, she has to use her power to help her community and the world around her, AND that she is suddenly "mated".

I am enjoying how she is writing Bella and Edward adjusting to each other. It is not easy, and she initially loathes him. For once, Bella and Edward are not love at first site, yet they are still thrown together "romantically". It is for all intensive purposes an arranged marriage. Problem is that he, and 98% of the community, have had their whole lives to adjust to the idea of imprinting. Bella had a week. So, there is lots of fighting, but I love that this Bella is trying to accept her situation. It may not always be easy, but she is trying.

This story presents a fresh universe for me. It makes me think, and I love that. I am looking forward to seeing the B/E relationship grow and to see the community prepare for a looming threat.

4 out of 4 Elements (5/5)

I'd seen Elemental around for a while and finally decided to bite the bullet and read, even though the many people I asked couldn't assure me that the E/B relationship was on steady ground (one of my rules for starting a WIP fic). So, I went in hesitantly at first...and as reluctant as I was, it sucked me right in.

The world that TB has created is so utterly unique and unlike anything else I have ever read (fandom or otherwise) that I couldn't help but be smitten with Elemental. Everything is executed beautifully, down to the tiniest of details and it seriously blows my mind when an author is able to do that. I mean, for the smallest of puzzle pieces to click together takes a lot of hard work, dedication and planning...basically, it takes a great author.

The premise for this fic is a world of Witchcraft and one that I got swept up into immediately. Truth be told, my extent for knowledge in the Wicca world comes from reruns of Charmed *giggle*, but I really enjoyed everything that TB did within her world. Those parts of the story are unique and so interesting to me to read, but besides that, I love that Bella is learning right along with us.

Now, on to the characters. Poor Bella...seriously, the girl is completely clueless in the beginning of the fic, getting thrown into this chaotic world - not by choice, but by sheer need. I love seeing it through her eyes, learning the things as she does, getting angry at the people surrounding her for keeping secrets and revealing only half truths. Plus, I kinda love when we only get one side of the keeps me guessing.

And, of course, I can't forget to mention Edward - after all, he's the reason I read fic, yeah? Well...hmm...this Edward is... Well, he's a shit. A complete and utter shit. In the beginning, I loathed him - but I loved to loathe him. Bella doesn't bend over backwards for him either, and that's always something I find interesting in fics - where the characters have to actually work for a good's not love at first sight. Finally we're at a point in the story where I can see the good in Edward and I'm begging for more of it to come out.

Now, this fic may be rated M, but as of yet Elemental is light on the citrus. However, the closeness needed (yes, I said needed) by Edward and Bella is something I love reading about, and as ScarlettLetters said, I can't wait for these two to get a little more comfortable around each other, grow to actually like one another...and then do the hippity dippity. *waggles eyebrows*

If you're looking for an extremely unique read, something that is heavier on the plot than the smut, then Elemental is right up your alley.

3.2 out of 4 Elements (4/5)

I went into this fic not really knowing what to expect, other than knowing it was highly regarded in the fandom. I love TB, but to my shame had not got round to reading her stuff yet, for some strange reason I thought she was a HF/Angst writer! Silly me!

I really enjoyed Elemental, once I got my head used to the very different world that TB has woven for her Bella & Edward and the Cullen et al's. I really really really enjoyed the magic and bond to nature that permeates the tale and I like how we are as unclear as Bella in experiencing it and understanding it. TB has created her own world of magic, so like Bella we can not understand everything immediately. I like that feeling in a story where I do not know exactly what is happening or what will be next! I really really like this Bella, she is fallible, earnest and likeable without being a do gooding pain in the arse! She really is thrust into this world without understanding or context. I think this is done really well, & the scenes where TB writes about her imprinting are done particularly spectacularly! Her confusion and pain are handled magnificently. My heart was literally in my throat as I read on, so glad that I had more chapters ahead.

I really appreciate how well developed the supporting cast is. I don't think a single character is underdeveloped or 2D. I particularly enjoyed Emmett & Rosalie's characterisation and Bella's bond with them. I also really enjoyed Elizabeth & Edward Sr's dynamics. I am interested to know how the other coven members and Bella & Edward will interact going forward. Will Edward be protective, jealous or indifferent with regard to how others respond to Bella or how Bella responds to them?

I love the canon construct of Mates developed into the concept of Mates in Elemental. I think it works brilliantly. I am very intrigued by Bella and Edwards chemistry. Its not quite UST. But is beginning to burn a little. I get the impression that the more they use their elements together the more it will surge. But its obviously tied in to their emotions and feelings which need to be developed and worked through. I get the sense though that there is more there for Edward than there is for Bella despite her earlier thoughts and perceptions of Edward.

I love the connections between the different characters, particularly those between family & those special ones between mates. I love how different feelings manifest in different ways. No surprise to know that I particularly loved the honey feeling ones. Of course that particular one is still at a tentative if not developing point.

I really really enjoyed Elemental and know that this story is going to flourish and grow leaving me addicted and begging for updates. Its a slow burner of a story, but I can tell its really going to kick off soon. Its really well written and the characterisations are strong and the plot is very unique and thoughtfully considered. I can't wait to see where TallulahBelle takes this story!

3 and a pinch elements out of 4 from yours truly! (4/5)

I love stories that are different, stories that challenge me, and stories that make me think. Elemental meets all of those criteria, thankfully.

TallulahBelle drops Bella into a completely foreign and unfamiliar world, with her parents moving the family from Phoenix back to Forks. Bella finds out she's a Witch in a very powerful coven of thirteen families.

There are a lot of great twists on canon here, which is something I absolutely love. One great example is imprinting. Witches imprint, once they've over eighteen years old. They may have to wait until their mate is over legal age as well, but once they do, it's a bond for life. Rose and Emmett have imprinted, and Alice and Jasper are imprinted, so TB stays very true to canon pairings.

Edward and Bella, however, are a pretty contentious pair. Bella doesn't understand why Edward hates her all the time (we learn why this is in the most recent chapter, I believe), and when certain things happen between them, they are forced together.

This is really where the story shines, imho – the banter and interaction between Edward and Bella are by far my favorite moments, even when there isn't lemon juice being spritzed on them. I find myself pulling for these two, wanting them to be together, wanting them to each understand each other.

I'm also eager to get to the prologue, ngl. It was very action-packed, and I'm excited for that. I'm also eager for more citrusy goodness. This story balances on its own merits and shines without it, but I really find myself aching for them to be together and intimate in that way – it's the last way for these two connect, and I'm confident, after where the most recent chapter left off, that we'll get some soon. It doesn't even have to be graphic, I just want the two of them to experience that kind of pleasure and connection together.

3.2 out of 4 elements (4/5)

I'm not going to lie, this was the most unique fic I've read in a long time. The premise alone sounded interesting, and the more I got into the story, the more my interest was piqued. I've never read a fic piece that focused on magic, so this was all very new to me, and I found myself very pleasantly surprised by what I read.

Tallulah's incarnations of our favorite characters gave nearly every one of them a new twist. They were close enough to canon to be recognizable, yet not quite. There's an Edward who appears to be completely put off by Bella, but it feels like it lasts a much longer time than it did in Twi. Initially, Bella is completely turned off by Edward's aloof behavior, so they don't connect at all. In fact, their relationship, if they have one at all, is at best, polite indifference, and at worst, filled with animosity. Just underneath the surface, however, you can feel a kind of energy or tension between them, and it leads the reader to suspect that there is more going on here beneath the surface.

Emmett, Jasper, and Alice are all fairly recognizable. Rose, however, is someone Bella views as an ally, which is most unexpected and refreshingly enjoyable. In fact, Bella feels like she is the only person who will give her the straight story. Charlie is almost earthy rendition in temperament, but he is still the great Dad that Bella relies upon. Renee is preoccupied and self-absorbed, but we aren't sure what is behind all that. These twists serve to draw you in, pique your interest, and lead you to uncover bits of information as Tallulah doles it out.

Since the story is told from Bella's perspective, the reader spends just as much time in the dark as she does. In the beginning, all she understands is that the family has returned home to Forks, after having lived for years in Phoenix. No real explanation was given to her. From the time she arrives in Forks, her life becomes a complicated web, with bits of information unfolding slowly, so she feels lost and alienated, and part of a confusing new world. Her life as she knew it has changed completely, and she finds out that she is--as is the rest of her family--a witch.

As information is meted out bit by bit, she learns that witches in their coven are "mated" with each other, similar to the imprinting process Stephenie Meyers portrayed in Twilight. This occurs only after a witch reaches the age of 18. There is no control or choice in the matter; nature chooses the two of you to be joined together. What I loved about Tallulah's idea is that it was so similar to an arranged marriage--you don't know who your mate will be, but you are suddenly forced to bind together during a ritual. the way she describes the discovery process between a mated pair is spot on; it captures all the awkwardness of getting to know someone who you will be linked to for the remainder of your life. Turning down a mate is simply not an option, and there is no independent choice.Bella is extremely resistant about her impending 18th birthday, and the idea of being mated with someone else from the Coven. I won't spoil the surprises by revealing more than this; it is so worth the wait to discover it for yourself.

As I read along, I found myself drawn in more and more; I wanted resolution, but just kept getting sucked in deeper and deeper. Naturally, I also wanted sweet, juicy lemon goodness from my favorite pair, but Tallulah Belle is an epic tease and keeps us poised on the precipice chapter after chapter. Usually, I start to get annoyed with the teasing after awhile, but not in this story. It makes perfect sense in the way it all unfolds in front of you.

I feel like every chapter that provided me with semi-answers to the questions I had only served to create new questions in my mind. It is that approach that keeps you at the edge of your seat, imagining how the story might play out. When I reached the end, I was not only disappointed, but so hungry for more. I'm going to be a very naughty reader, and leave the kind of comment that drives authors to drink; if you are listening, Tallulah Belle, I'm shouting this from the rooftops: UPDATE SOON!! PLEASE! TYVM. I'm so enjoying this story and I cannot wait for more!

4 out of 4 Elements (5/5)

I found this and TB on my thread on Twilighted lol. Her story banner looked interesting and after talking with her a bit, I started Elemental...

So glad I did.

It's different, interesting and something that sucked me in straight away. Having zero knowledge of anything witchcraft or supernatural related had me worried in the beginning thinking I'd be completely lost. It's one of the great points of TB's writing, while it's beautifully detailed, it's not overpowering and confusing to a layman.

It's a mystery and that being said, I'll tread lightly on what I do and do not give away but it's a magical mystery that can't be missed. I found myself reading and re-reading sections on the edge of my seat out of frustration between Bella and Edward (since they've got such an unusual and not often done relationship). Renee gah, nevermind. Carlisle... nuff' said from me. Rose and Em all of them are perfectly done.

Elemental to me is an onion fic, layers and layers of fine details, witty banter and burning tension. The revelation of Bella's earthly powers (and those of her parents) is a great twist, the canon parallels and what UST is there is fantastic. I feel like in reading Elemental, I'm *in* the story, it's that in depth.

The characters: Edward was such a huge shithead in the beginning, and again with the layers, he evolved so much and I still think there is a ton left to come from him. Bella is a character that I struggle with when it comes to certain characterizations but TB doesn't disappoint. She's realistic even in a world that is so magical. I love that aspect of her work. Their relationship though is something that I can't seem to get enough of.

I'd like to thank TB and her amazing readers as well for their commitment to FGB! Once again Team Elemental is in full force! xo

3.2/4 Elements (4/5)

As one of the honorary pervs this month, I was excited to delve into our new fic recommendation. Elemental is a title I’d seen around the fandom from time-to-time.

Tallulah does a good job of setting up the story with all the necessary details from the beginning but without giving too much away. One of the things I enjoyed about this was the mystery of it all. Her exclusive writing from Bella’s POV keeps us in the dark as we learn more about what’s happening in the suspiciously sleepy town of Forks. The story takes a direct turn into AU from the start with revealing that Bella is a witch (an Earth witch to be exact) -- as are her mother and father. As the lovely Ms. Kathy mentioned, Tallulah does a great job of taking canon pieces and tweaking them to create something new and unique. Everything from imprinting to Edward’s immediate dislike of Bella comes out to play in Elemental.

The story can drag for those who are impatient to unravel mysteries (like me) and for those who are looking for lots of lemonade and UST. There is very little of the citrusy action but if you enjoy well-written Bella and Edward banter it should hold you off until things progress a little further. It’s well-written and the chapters are relatively long for those who enjoy a long read.

2.4 out of 4 Elements (3.5/5)


MsTallulahBelle said...

Ladies, I am so honored by your thoughtful reviews of Elemental.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and pimping it to others in the fandom.

Much love to you all!!

xoxo & boob gropes


BACsmedea said...

I LOVE Elemental! Each chapter leaves me impatient for the next. MsTallulahBelle is a phenomenal author!

Anonymous said...

I am another fan of this fic. It's really different but in an approachable and fascinating way. My one gripe is--duhduhduh--the updates are few and far between. For such an engaging, can't put it down story, the infrequent updates are the one detriment to TB's storytelling prowess. Oh, and I really, really, really can't wait for E and B to get to the sexing. Because of the storyline, I can tell that when they do, it's gonna be a joy to read.

SmuttierThanYou said...

I absolutely LOVE this fic! I really hope to see an update soon but would rather be patient and wait then get a rushed half-ass update. So while I have the urge to get all whiny ass fangirl, I'm going to behave and delve into some other nom nom nom fics while I wait on the wonderment of the Elemental update :)

Anonymous said...

You need to put a warning that this fic may not be suitable for some people. The 'smut' chapter reads to many like it is not fully consensual and those with any experience of this will have a hard time reading it, no matter how it is sugar-coated. If I had known what was to come, I would not have read it, despite the story itself being unique an well written.

Anonymous said...

I read this after a friend recommended it to me. I love it. I couldn't stop reading it-which was bad since I decided to read it trying to combat my insomnia. Uh, yeah, it didn't help it at all! i ended up staying up until 7 am (thank God it was a weekend) to finish it!! I am eagerly waiting for the updates. I hope it's more than just a chapter though-but that's the impatient reader in me. =) But at this point, I'll take whatever she gives!