Joelene Reviews: A J Aarts - "Jove"

Aarts_joveJove Boyd is an ordinary Australian teen, except that water has always behaved erratically around him, and there has been a recent spate of suspected gang related activities in his small town that increasingly seem to be directed at him.

When Tia Favon, the hot, new girl at school protects him from a fire-wielding creature, his suspicions are confirmed. Now he must leave everything that he knows behind to escape with Tia and her father, Auster, and discover the truth about the world – and about himself.

Jove: The Human Chronicles introduces a world in which other species hide in the places that humans cannot find them. Each one controls an element, but they can’t match the technology that humans have invented. To balance the world, the species have created a being who wields all of the elements – fire, water, wind and earth. He is the Incarnate.

For a debut novel, Aarts has built up a pretty complex world here. There are five different species, each with their own cultures and values. None of them are deeply explored in the first novel, but the glimpses we get of them make it obvious that all of their societies are intricately woven. Each of the four species that are not human, seem set to be explored in more depth in later novels, and it will be interesting to see how Jove will react to them.

The characters are what keep this novel moving. Jove is for the most part an average teen, perhaps a little sweeter and with a firm handle on his morals. Tia, while older than Jove, has a cheerfully optimistic personality. They make a good team; neither of them getting bogged down in angst, but meeting their heavy obligations head on. It’s refreshing too, that romance isn’t a central aspect to this story. Tia isn’t willing to put her duty aside for it, and Jove respects that. The most compelling character, however, is one of the sea-dwellers called Maré. He brings a great sense of fun to the novel.

While the characters were easy to spend time with and the world was exciting to visit, the pace could have used work. Without the threat of immediate danger for much of the novel, I didn’t feel a sense of urgency about Jove’s situation and obligations.

I’ve always been partial to stories about the elements, and this one has some fantastic fresh ideas on elemental lore. So, if you’re a fan of The Last Airbender or Captain Planet this may well become your new favourite series.

 Jove: The Human Chronicles – A.J. Aarts

 Book Pal (August 27, 2013)

 ISBN: 9781742843254

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