Published: the 1st of June 2019
Written by: Avery Song
Series: Jade Storm Tracker Series
Length: 414 pages
Source: Free copy generously provided by the author.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to receive a free copy in exchange for my honest review. However, please note that all opinions and views are my own and I purchased the book myself after it was released.
I’ve dealt with my share of homelessness. I’ve endured being the bad gal in the room. I’ve taken a lot of life’s punches on the chin. But never did I expect to be forced to attend an academy full of power-hungry delinquents.
Born with powers far too great to control, I ended up homeless at eight years old. With my family gone, I lived on the streets, learning quickly that the world was just as cold as my beating heart.
Because I carry all eight magic elements, enemies sought me out from every dark corner. Luckily, I was saved and taken in by Alaric Masters, headmaster of Tracker Hive Academy.
My name is Jade Storm, and I’m the youngest recruit to become a Tracker.
Now that I’m eighteen, Alaric is insisting that I attend the academy. I’ll do it, but on my own terms. My only goal is to learn just how powerful I am and breeze through the next four years. I have no interest in joining any cliques, and I’m not here to make friends. If there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that I work best alone.
However, the Troubled Four — Zeke, Zion, Zackery, and Zeus — have other plans. Quadruplets who together carry all eight elements, the boys are desperate to make me submit to their trickery. They’re stupid to think I’ll play by anyone’s rules but my own.
I can handle whatever threats, traps, bullying, and schemes are thrown my way, because I’m not here to be a good student. I’m here to keep my secret safe from those who will do everything to see me perish.
It’s the year 2504 and Jade is living on the street, after her family was killed. Not only is there nowhere for her to go, but she’s also being hunted for her powers, by people that want to sell her on the black market. With only the company of the elements she commands, she’s barely surviving – and the people she sees on the street treats her as she’s something yucky under their shoe. This makes it hard for Jade to recognise friendliness and kindness when she finally sees it. However, Alaric Masters takes Jade in and offers up his home and protection, but Jade is afraid it will all come tumbling down on her, when he learns of her destructive elements. Enter Shadow Jade. Jade’s element of Darkness likes to take on the form of Jade, and has her own eerie and childlike persona. Shadow Jade is one of the best characters! Ever!! All she wants is to protect Jade, destroy and kill things and collect as many dolls and plush toys as possible – which makes her extremely easy going. In order to hide how powerful Jade’s Dark element is, Shadow Jade is enrolled as her twin.
For the first 30 percent of the book, I did not like the heroine, Jade, at all. As in not even a tiny little bit. What was an attempt at snark and sass just seemed like pure rudeness and childish opposition, at least to me. Especially in regards to Tanner, one of the grownup’s who actually helps take care of her. And I was so disappointed the other adults didn’t just encourage it, but also helped facilitate it. There was no real reason for Jade’s dislike of Tanner, which almost borderes on bullying when her adopted dad and his girlfriend joins in. It seems that the fact that it entertains Jade and pisses him off is enough.
BUT THEN… OH MY character development!! I LOVE that Jade isn’t one of the typical virgins in distress, but more of a romance novice. Reading about how she’s slowly opening up (very slowly), which stays true to all that she’s been through – and the trauma and scars she surely feels from her tragic childhood. As for the guys… well for once I didn’t love them completely. Their relationship with Jade is filled with instant and sizzling attraction, which is fine. But the way it developed felt somewhat sloppy to me! It went from light flirting, a few stolen kisses here and there, to the biggest love declarations, all in a span of a few chapters.
I was very pleased to notice, that the author has toned down on the amount of blushing, whining and pouting done by the characters. Yumo is notorious for having characters in their 20’s that do all three things, in extreme excess. So the fact that she’s cut back on it makes it makes the characters more wholesome and emotionally mature. If I could rate based on the characters alone, I would give Shadow Jade a fantasillion hearts. She’s the absolute best!! But since that doesn’t seem fair, so instead I’ll give the book four hearts.
Do you like academy books? How do you feel about characters that are being obnoxiously rude? Let’s chat in the comments!