Seasons of the Storm, Book 1

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Seasons of the Storm, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Solid, darkish, myth-based fantasy has some violence.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

Making choices takes courage, because choices have consequences and your happy ending isn't guaranteed. Not being willing or able to imagine different outcomes limits your choices. You can't change the past but you can try to heal the damage you caused. Working together using individual talents in cooperation with others makes you stronger.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jack becomes a good role model for bravery, perseverance, leadership, and being willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. Fleur also models bravery and perseverance as well as loyalty and empathy. The large cast of other characters offer a wide range of behavior and motives. Identity by race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality isn't mentioned. All romance is between opposite genders.

Violence

Most violence is a blend of real-world and fantasy. Fights and battles include using magical abilities to attack as well as weapons like knives, guns, and arrows. The main premise involves characters killing one another violently, but the characters are immortal so instead of really dying they return to a central location to recharge and wait for their next turn. There's no gore, but pain, bones breaking, and blood are mentioned or described briefly. Some specific descriptions include twisting a knife into a gut, slitting a throat, slashing with a scythe, and hitting with the butt of a rifle.

Sex

Immortal teens kiss, undress, and slide onto a bed. Sex is implied but not narrated. A few kisses, some mentioning tongue. Romantic dynamics and some talk about relationships and whether some characters have had sex or not.

Language

"P---y," "f--k," "s--t," "motherf--king," "ass," "asshole," "hell," "screw you," and the middle-finger gesture.

Consumerism

Doritos and Starbucks mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Boarding-school boys have contraband rum, whiskey, and beer. They drink to excess and consequences are severe. A scene takes place in a roadhouse-type bar where teens drink whiskey and beer. The designated driver drinks soda. Mention that weed is smuggled into a closed compound, and some frat boys smell of weed and cigarette smoke. A minor character smokes and frequently flicks a lighter.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Seasons of the Storm is the first in a planned fantasy duology about immortal teens that's based on Greek mythology. The main premise involves murder. Each teen is a physical representation of a season, and the seasons change when the next season comes along and violently kills the current season. But since they're immortal they don't really die and come back to kill and be killed again every year. Other real-world and fantasy violence includes fights and battles with guns, knives, arrows, and magical abilities. Pain, broken bones, and blood are briefly described. Strong language is rare but includes "p---y," "f--k," and "s--t." One couple kiss, undress, and slide onto a bed. It's implied they had sex but it's not described. There are a few other kisses and some romantic dynamics. There's a scene in a roadhouse where the teens drink whiskey and beer. The designated driver drinks soda. There's brief mention of contraband weed and some unpleasant characters smell like weed and cigarette smoke. One minor teen character smokes. Boarding-school boys have rum, whiskey, and beer, drink to excess, and consequences are severe.

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What's the story?

SEASONS OF THE STORM tells about Jack, who was near death alone on a snowy mountain after a skiing accident. The goddess Gaia came to him and offered him the choice of immortality under her terms, or death. Jack chose to follow Gaia. Gaia's terms mean he's now a Winter, the physical manifestation of the season on the East Coast of the U.S. But that means that every year he has to start his season by killing the Autumn before him, and to end the season when he's killed by Fleur, the coming Spring. Over the years Jack and Fleur start falling for each other, and trying to prolong their short time together each year. Eventually they dream of escaping together, but a bargain made with Gaia can't be undone easily. And Father Time himself, Chronos, is determined to stop them at any cost.

Is it any good?

Fantasy fans will enjoy this solid, slightly dark story that does a good job combining elements as different as Greek mythology, dystopia, and magic based on the elements. Seasons of the Storm's plot moves along well, except in a few places where it bogs down while characters try to figure something out. Speaking of characters, there are a lot of them, and veteran author Elle Cosimano does a good job fleshing them out into believable people teens will relate to. She also does a good job creating the fantasy world the Seasons live in during their down time so the reader can really envision their lives. It's a well-written book that doesn't quite rise above the fantasy genre, so it doesn't have a lot to offer readers who aren't already fans. Some violence, especially the main premise behind how the seasons change, and strong language make it best for teens in high school and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Seasons of the Storm. How much is too much? Does it matter if it's fantasy or real-world violence? Why, or why not?

  • Were you familiar with any Greek myths, especially about Chronos or Gaia? Would you like to find out more now?

  • Storytellers have been borrowing from ancient myths, or using them as a jumping off point, probably since people have been telling stories. Did you like the way this book brought ideas from ancient mythologies into the modern age? What did you like or not like about it?

  • Would you rather be a season or a handler? Why? If you were a season, which would you want to be, and where?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and mythology

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