Dangerous by Alycia Linwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Preserve one’s own element, stick to it, don’t intermarry between elements: sounds a simple enough rule, doesn’t it? Maybe in an ideal world, people would have continued to heeded this small stricture of the God of Magic, who provided the elements initially. But any society is hardly ever ideal-and when people forget, or turn to science, or embrace the concept that such rules are simply legend and myth-then people forget, and intermarry, and elements mix. So offspring were born who possessed an element, but only weakly; and sometimes there simply was no element at all in a particular individual. So Magic itself began to decline, weakening and diluting. Sometimes, those without an element found they could acquire one-if only temporarily-by murder. As we all know, murder rarely satisfies a killer for very long-and elements acquired by murder don’t remain-so those under the control of “magic disease,” discovered to be contagious through intimate transmission, are almost always feared and dreaded-even to the point of becoming murder victims themselves.
At the University of Magic, our heroine Ria, who possesses Element of Fire, and her best friend Paula, of the Element of Air and a scientific research-oriented mind) are first-year students, with the goal of learning to use their elements. Paula wants also to find the cure for “magic disease” and eventually eradicate it. All four elements (fire, air, water, earth) attend the University, so naturally the odds are they will encounter individuals who hold other elements, and even feel drawn to some of them. A “magic disease” carrier, Adrian, is also a University of Magic student, perhaps because he had been orphaned and society really knows nowhere else to place him.
Going by the settings, the characterizations, and the issues, I believe this novel would appeal to readers who enjoy YA Paranormal, and perhaps YA Fantasy.
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