****IF YOU HAVEN'T YET READ BOOK ONE IN THE SERIES, STOP HERE!! SPOILERS INHERENT IN THE REVIEW.****
Vivian has run away after the show-down with Hoyt, the one that destroyed her prom night, ruined the lovely dress Aunt Charlotte had worked so much overtime to afford, and worst of all, left Vivian alone in the world since Hoyt deliberately killed Aunt Charlotte in the battle. She left town to ensure that none of her friends, Abby & Coop, or her amazing boyfriend Easton, would ever be hurt due to Hoyt's obsession with get her.
Working as a waitress at a small diner on Route 66, Vivian begins to make some friends. She knows she should continue heading out west and continue searching for her dad, but she is actually making good money here, and has found a semblance of happiness.
Then one day 'it' happens. Easton, Coop, and Abby walk into the diner. And just like that Vivian's life goes spiraling out of control, again. Hoyt locates them all and kidnaps Abby & Coop to ensure Vivian behaves. And since Easton won't leave Vivian's side, he ends up as a hostage used to force Vivian to cooperate with this nefarious organization.
Once they are locked into the enormous facility, Vivian is quickly separated from her friends. Easton, Abby, & Coop are all left locked in cells, while Abby gets a comparatively luxurious room. Though Vivian is under guard at all times, she quickly begins to learn that she and Hoyt are not alone in being 'gifted.' There are others there with powers, all referred to as 'Elementals.' Some control Earth - meaning they could cause earthquakes, or make mountains rise, have magnetic properties, etc., while others, like Hoyt, control Air - capable of causing tornadoes, windstorms, dust clouds, and so on. However Vivian is the only living double-Elemental, able to control electricity and water. And she apparently possesses even more 'gifts,' which is a why Hoyt is obsessed with controlling her. Once he had control of her 'gifts' he would be virtually unstoppable.
While Vivian has been told the reason for the existence of this secret organization, she suspects there is far more to it all than she, or even the majority of those involved, have been told. Certainly there appears to be far motivating Hoyt than the organization's "mission statement."
This book takes the solid foundation from the first book in the series and builds on it quite well. The pacing is much smoother and more consistent, and the new characters are almost seamlessly introduced, with each adding something of importance to the scene or story in a very natural way.
Ms. Murray seems to have more confidence in her own abilities, as is clearly demonstrated time and again in scenes that could have easily come across as false, or trying too hard. Instead those scenes add a sense of continuity to the story, yet still manage to maintain the mysteries surrounding Vivian and the others. All this leaves me eager for the third book in the trilogy. The only question left now is, do I get some sleep first, or do I just read the third book right now??