Title: Elemental Ride
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: November 9th, 2016
Shelves: Urban Fantasy; LGBT+; M/M Romance; Novella
Format: eBook (65 pages)
Rawley isn’t the type to crush hard and fast on anyone, but he’s somehow helpless when it comes to the new mailman. Even his bikes and his job as enforcer for a local motorcycle gang, the center of his world, don’t compare to his interest in Reign. Unfortunately, Reign doesn’t seem to be as interested—but secrets and magic have a way of turning everything upside down.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Less Than Three Press in exchange for an honest review.
Rawley is a mechanic, and an important member of the local motorcycle club. He is also a Pure Elementalist; a person who has the four elemental sprites in his body – earth, water, fire, and air. Opening his apartment door and seeing Reign, the new mailman, Rawley is instantly attracted to him. But Rawley is also suspicious of this mailman’s sudden appearance around the rough apartment complex he owns. Is Reign truly who he says he is?
I’m underwhelmed with this novella. It’s so short, and as a result, the story was nowhere near as developed as it ought to have been. I honestly thought that this novel was part of a series, but discovered during my search that it’s part of Less Than Three’s Roughhouse Raiders: a collection of queer urban fantasy motorcycle club stories (which sounds fantastic – and you can view the collection here).
I feel like I can’t say much about the characters as they just weren’t fleshed out enough. Rawley is a hard-working mechanic and Sergeant of Arms of the local Elementalist Motorcycle Chapter. He is also the landlord of the run-down apartment, but refuses to spruce it up as he wants to use the money on his garage. He’s clearly a badass. I also think he’s quite romantic which is very cute! I love when the bad guy goes all soft for his loved one.
Reign is the mailman who volunteers to deliver mail to Rawley’s apartment building as he is strapped for cash. Rawley views him as being very innocent, and while he is attracted to him, he is also suspicious that Reign is an undercover cop looking for a reason to arrest and disband the motorcycle club chapter. Reign is very sweet. There’s a scene where he and Rawley save a puppy from abuse which was cute – but again, I’m struggling to come up with opinions on these characters. I would like to know more about them though.
This world is a pretty interesting one, and we at least receive basic knowledge of the sprites. Rawley reveals that there are over a hundred different kinds of sprites, and that some live in a symbiotic relationship with humans. Due to the increase in the amount of adolescent sprite deaths, scientists discovered that they could be implanted into humans for a span of approximately ten years – so many people in this world live with sprites in their bodies, and can use their powers. In return, these sprites have around ten years of life until they have to leave the host and become dependent. I was really curious about the sprites, but again, despite playing a significant role in this novella, the reader only sees a tiny sliver of this world.
In terms of plot, there was quite a lot going on. Firstly, there is the motorcycle club aspect. The members of the MC chapter are concerned about the Mayor’s recent decision to renovate the shadier parts of town, and this includes Rawley’s apartment complex where many of the members reside. There’s also the romantic aspect between Rawley and Reign, the mystery surrounding Reign’s character, as well as a murder mystery of sorts after one of Rawley’s customers gets killed following an altercation outside his garage. I was disappointed with the lack of romance in this, but I was interested in the motorcycle club aspect as I’ve recently come to enjoy novels about MC’s. I’m sounding repetitive now, but I’m struggling for opinions that go beyond “this novella had a lot going on considering how short it was, and while it definitely piqued my interest, it just wasn’t developed enough for me to properly enjoy it.”
I’m curious about this world of sprites and humans living alongside each other, but the novella feels very undeveloped – both because of its length and the author’s attempt of including numerous plots into such a short story.
Would you read this novella again? No, but I would absolutely read a sequel or a full-length version!
Who would I recommend this novella to? Fans of MC novels, fans of Urban Fantasy