Destiny, personal responsibility, what the future holds – common concerns for anyone graduating high school. But usually not because of a cosmic war between timeless beings where you’re the central player.
As the end of school quickly approaches, and Cooper Bailey watches his perfect world slip away, his only concern is savouring every last minute of his high school career. For his best friend, Reid Patterson, graduation is a doorway to the future, where his discipline and focus will finally allow him to meet his true potential.
When a mysterious mirror-masked man begs for their help to stop a dangerous heretic, Cooper and Reid find themselves thrust into unknown worlds, wrestling with a destiny as old as time itself. As the truths about their roles in the universe unfold, and enemies disguise themselves as allies, their only hope is to trust each other – and learn fast! Far from home and in mortal peril, Cooper and Reid attempt to hone their newfound abilities and come to grips with their purpose for being.
Inspired by classic and modern science fiction and fantasy, and drawing upon timeless themes of destiny and personal responsibility, The Elements of Time is a series written for anyone who loves an escape into a rich and deep world. With references to Star Wars (the Original Trilogy), The Last Bender, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, and much more, The Elements of The Winds of Change is fun action-adventure, with it’s own unique magic system, and themes that touch what it means to grow up and take on the challenges of life.
First off, thank you to Sam Paisley for sending me a copy to review. This of course in no way affects my thoughts and opinions.
I first started seeing seeing posts about The Elements of Time on social media and the cover really caught my eye. A few people had also recommended it, so it was already on my radar by the time Sam contacted me. Turns out the plot has one of my favourite fantasy elements – portal fantasy, a type of fantasy I actually haven’t come across in years. Safe to say, I was excited to pick it up and try it out.
The story opens up in our world and revolves around two teenage boys – Cooper and Reid, just weeks away from graduating and heading to university. The two friends lead a very normal life, until they come across Paks, who tricks them into helping him. Within moments, the two are thrown into a completely new fantasy/sci-fi realm, facing a trial that could mean their deaths, while powers far larger than them are at play. What no one bargained for is that these two have some tricks up their sleeves.
The scope of the world Paisley has created is huge and was a bit daunting at first with all the lore thrown at me. I do think Paisley handled the lore really well so as to not overwhelm the reader. I also really enjoyed nods at different popular fantasy and sci-fi fiction. The breadth of the world is amazing and opens the series up for lots of exploration and multi-verse situations.
The elemental magic system was excellent in this book, taking some ideas from other popular fiction, whilst giving it a unique twist. It was also done so well that it didn’t feel cheesy when both main characters gained their own power.
The characters were a definite strong suit in this book. Both main characters, Reid and Cooper were likeable and had an interesting companionship, filled with funny and teasing moments. In other words they were believable best friends, who cared for each other. If you enjoy a good male comradeship then I would say this alone makes it worth reading. Side characters were also excellent and quite unique. I especially liked Stinger, who started off a bit rocky with Cooper and Reid, eventually forming a strong friendship with them. One character also really shone and that is Sofyross, who has a strong character development. I won’t go into too much detail about him though!
This is quite a long book, but I never got bored as the writing was paced really well. There was a nice amount of lore, mixed in with a witty and enjoyable dialogue. That especially goes for the dialogue between Cooper and Reid, a nice mix of witty, banter, genuine affection and brotherhood.
All in all, this was a fantastic debut novel from Sam Paisley, that mixes sci-fi and fantasy perfectly. It’s a whooper of a book, that managed to keep me interested the entire way through. If you love a good male friendship, filled with danger, wit and some good old portal fantasy, then this is definitely the novel for you.