Author: Elle Cosimano
Audiobook Length: 13 hours 20 minutes
One cold, crisp night, Jack Sommers was faced with a choice—live forever according to the ancient, magical rules of Gaia, or die.
Jack chose to live, and in exchange, he became a Winter—an immortal physical embodiment of the season on Earth. Every year, he must hunt the Season who comes before him. Summer kills Spring. Autumn kills Summer. Winter kills Autumn. And Spring kills Winter.
Jack and Fleur, a Winter and a Spring, fall for each other against all odds. To be together, they’ll have to escape the cycle that’s been forcing them apart. But their creator won’t let them go without a fight.
Seasons of the Storm is the first novel in a duology of the same name. Before I even read the synopsis, the cover drew me in to give this novel a try. The concept of the Seasons as people that live in an endless cycle is original and interesting. The story has a lot going for it with a unique magic system, adventure, romance, and friendship. The ending is both a cliffhanger and yet self-contained meaning that a reader could potentially read only this one or could continue to read the sequel, Seasons of Chaos.
Jack Sommers is hanging between life and death after a skiing incident. He is approached by Gaia, the master of all the seasonal magic/elements, to choose to either die or become a Season. Each season is given an element: Winter has air, Spring has earth, Autumn has fire, and Summer has water. Jack agrees and becomes a Winter. Each season also has a handler to watch over them and is immortal. When Jack agrees to become a Season, he becomes a Winter and he obtains a handler, named Chill. There are ley lines across the world and there is one of each Season assigned to each region and similar Seasons are grouped and trained together. Within the region, each Season is “released” when it is their time and as their allotment ends, they are killed by the next Season. When the Season is killed, they are sent back to the ley line to “recharge” and to wait until it is their season again. Jack (Winter) is killed by Fleur (Spring) who is killed by Julio (Summer) who is killed by Amber (Autumn). After growing weary of being killed time and time again and having growing feelings for Fleur, Jack begins to question the Seasons and the inner workings of the system.
While the plot on paper is not overly complex, it somehow confused me in multiple parts with its execution. I think the book started off on the wrong foot with me as it seems to start in the middle of the plot rather than setting up the characters. The beginning does set up Jack becoming a Winter after the accident, but there is not a lot of background to set up Gaia and Cronos. The only part that is given is the set-up for how the seasons change via killing the previous. The romance is established right from the start as both Fleur and Jack have feelings for the other from page one. While I did not mind this, I do wish there was a little build up so it did not feel as much like straight exposition for their subplot.
When there is talk of Fleur being terminated, Jack decides now is the time for the four of them to band together. Once the four of them escape, they spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do next, including arguing and keeping secrets from the others. This was a little distracting as it did take up a lot of the novel and, for me, would have been better to shorten a little. Now that the four of them have escaped, they are chased to be brought back or killed. It is an interesting adventure that takes them across the US.
Overall, this novel has a ton of potential, but just something was missing in the execution. There are a ton of subplots, including romances between Fleur and Jack and another between Amber and Julio along with looking into their different pasts. Jack’s character was a little confusing as his motivation may or may not have been against the system, yet it seemed to be for only Fleur. I wished that it was a little clearer just to align his motivations with the rest of the story. Even the ending is a little confusing, but does wrap up some storylines. Even with writing out my thoughts on the novel, I still do not fully know how I feel about it. However, I think I am curious enough to check out the sequel to see how the author wraps up everything officially.