Here we go…
I am not an avid fan of sci-fi. Although I have read a couple of books that I can count on my ten fingers since I started reading. However, Human Element had me hooked. It was as if I was running hard on the field – eager to find what is waiting for me on the finish line. It was exhilarating ride from start to finish.
The story started in Coopersville Lake in the summer of 1979, where Ben who was then 9 years old and his parents were enjoying their summer vacation. Ben ran away from their cottage and went into the lake, leaving his parents to worry for him. He didn’t like to learn a musical instrument and was ‘teaching’ his parents a lesson. Then suddenly, a blast of green hit the area and young Ben lost everything. The following year (1980), a virgin gave birth to twins: a boy who was way larger and way far from normal and a girl who was so small and almost perfect. The two events strangely related to each other changed the lives of those who are involved. Ben’s world had ended; the twins were separated and grow up in two different worlds.
Ben was first introduced as a young boy who hated musical instruments as much as his parents loved it. The green blast took both his parents and made him an orphan. He was transferred from one foster home to another until he was finally old enough and has saved enough to run away from home. His experience with foster homes made him hate everything around him. He joined the navy, met Andy who became a good friend and once again found himself in danger of dying – but this time someone saved his life. It was a very mysterious man in black. I think Ben is a lost soul who is constantly moving from one place to another, afraid to stay and engage his feelings to anyone. Until he met Laura, a girl he saw in his dreams.
Laura’s sunny disposition is a breather in this sort-of-heavy novel. I like the way she view life, her kindness, and the love that she willingly give to anyone who comes her way. Even as a child, she just knew that she was different from anyone. Then, tragedy started to happen: deaths of her loved ones, headaches, accidents that were surreal. The only one who remained was Mr. B – the solitudinarian she met when she was a child, and the mysterious person in black who seemed to show himself every now and then. I find her sweet, but a little bit dramatic for my taste.
Mr. B is not a hermit but a solutudinarian. After his wife died, he lived alone in his cottage near the lake with his dog. He met Laura, and everything changed. She was the daughter than she never had. I love him, and I love the care and devotion he gave to Laura. The way he was willing to risk her life to save her was admirable. It was clear that she was the light of his life when he lost everything around him. I love their playful banters and word play – yes, both of them were word whores that love to get their hands on thesaurus.
X-10’s intense passion on violence and revenge was overwhelming that you can feel it palpating in the pages of the books. Unlike his twin, Laura – he didn’t grow up in a normal environment. Instead, he was caged like an animal and was a guinea pig for science experiments of the government. This pushed him to haunt Laura and seek revenge for everything she has and everything he didn’t. Yes, he was scary and he’s the type of character that can give you nightmares.
The Man in Black is the mysterious guy who seemed to be everywhere. Who is he? Is he one of those people that save the world from aliens? Is he a friend or enemy? This question hunted me for some time while reading A Human Element . His character is vague at first that you’d want to learn more about him and what is going on inside his mind – and boy, I was in for a big surprise with the sudden twist in the story.
This story is more of a sci-fi rather than romance – for those who are expecting a great love story, then you will be in for a disappointment. But for those who are in for adrenaline rush pumping – I’d have you read this one. Only thatthere are times I couldn’t keep up with the time pacing. Especially when I stopped on the previous chapter and the next chapter holds a different year. I wish there was a year below each chapter title. It would have made my life a little easier. Nevertheless – I didn’t regret I went out of my usual genre to read this one.
It started in a strong note. So strong that its heartbreaking. The first part was high emotional and definitely not for the weak of heart.
"Then there is me, Darcie Claiborne, once known as Margaret Darcia Claiborne-Stein. I’m a seventeen-year-old orphan, thinly built, green-eyed bitch."
Darcie had been too much at a young age. She had been through more than hell and no one, even Hades wants to go in there. But thank God, she was saved by her knight and shining armor. Now, at 16 - she can't control her temper. I wanted to hate her, really - but she doesn't know what's at stake when she gets into trouble. All she knows the moment that her temper flares that she was never going back to her past - helpless and afraid.
There's Reggie - the knight in shining armor.
He's the oldest among the bunch and I admire him so much for ALL and EVERY sacrifices he made to keep his family together. You knew there was something between them. You could feel the heat and tension simmering. Reggie, nine years her senior, tried to stop his lust and hunger for his young ward. He was her savior and there was nothing he would not do for her. I love Reggie (not only because of the sacrifices) but because he tried his best not to act on his emotions. He wanted to wait for her until she's ready or the moment she turned 18 (whichever comes first).
The rest of them.
Her family is amazing, especially when they included Presley. They may come from different backgrounds but they have each other's backs once help is needed. They can act like children and throw out punches - but at the end of the day, they are still family and they stick together!
"Something I’ve learned over the past few years is family isn’t necessarily who you’re legally tied to, it’s the people you want to surround yourself with. The people you know—with every fiber of your being—will do anything for you. That’s what family is and that’s who we are."
There's Jeremy - the silent type and the best drag racer in town until an accident happen. Jake - who's foul mouth parallel's Darcie. He's the troublemaker among them. Drake - the womanizer who fell in love with Presley. And of course, there's our Presley - the girl she saved from the mean girls - what Darcie didn't know is that Presley is more than just an ordinary girl, and their connection might be something more than friends.
I hated Robert with all of me. I hated Grady second. He's worthless and he deserves what happened to him - maybe even more.
First few pages and I'm truly, truly heartbroken. Wow. This novel started out strong - I wonder if Ms. Brannon would be able to keep the tone? Oh yes, she did. Surprisingly, the intensity of the novel didn't falter until we reach the final page - emotions were overflowing. I wonder if any of the siblings would be getting their own HEAs too. :)
Scarred Love is about survival, family and love. It will have your heart aching for the little girl trying to get out of the hell she has been through and the strong young girl who is ready to face everything that life will throw at her.
*ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.