Author: Sarah Raughley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.
When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.
But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.
Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.
Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.
Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?
This reminded me of Avatar the Last Airbender combined with the Powerpuff Girls combined with Pacific Rim.
Maia is an average girl who isn't well known in her high school. So when NYC is attacked by phantoms, and she knows she's a new effigy, she doesn't want to go fight. She hasn't had any training to deal with these things that have strange powers. She doesn't really have the ability to. She goes outside anyway when she sees a little girl hiding, probably going to be killed by the phantom.
There were a lot of things that were interesting about this book. It only takes place over like two weeks (or something short like that), so there isn't much time for Maia to grow physically. But she grows a lot in character. At first she starts out trying to be brave, wanting to be better. By the end, she's figured out who she is and can hold her own. At least mentally, that is.
The other effigies were really great to read about. They come from all over the world, and none of them take an initial liking to Maia, especially Belle. But when NYC is attacked again, showing that their devices to keep the phantoms out aren't working as well as they should be, all the girls need to figure out how this is happening and try to stop it. The girls were really interesting. From super physically strong to super celebrity. From cowardly to incredibly brave. They complimented and foiled each other perfectly.
Another thing that I found really interesting was the lovecraftian feel. No one really knows what the phantoms are or why they came to being or where they come from. They just are. And they are super creepy. I love stories of the unknown, and this was no different.
There was no actual romance in this book (bummer for me). But it did only take place over a short period of time, so I can be okay with that. Instalove is not cool. And there are hints at possible romance in future books. That's how I like my slow burn.
I really loved this one. It was different and quirky, and it combined a lot of things that I already loved. I'd definitely recommend this one for fantasy fans.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.