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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Born of Air by A.L. Knorr is the fifth book in the Elemental Origins series. Petra has her life planned out and has a fierce determination to make all her dreams happen. The only thing lacking is the money and experience it takes to get her into Cambridge. Now if only she could find a way to get rid of the telepathy she's struggled with for years. She gets a shot at making her dreams come true when she takes a position on an archaeological excavation in Libya. She soon bonds with her dig-mates, especially the charming Jesse, but everything changes when she uncovers a mysterious cave with strange stones and her powers begin to manifest. Her growing powers catch the attention of people who think this makes her a threat and are willing to take drastic measures against her.
This installment of the Elemental Origins series moves away from the core group of friends and introduces the new character of Petra. A.L. Knorr begins with the mysterious circumstances of her birth which play a key role in Petra's eventual destiny. Knorr quickly establishes Petra's character through a conversation between her and her therapist about her academic goals and her telepathy. Unlike the four other elementals, she keeps people at a distance and doesn't have significant connections. Throughout is a connection to her dig-mate Jesse who is charming with a talkative and inquisitive personality. He adds a spark to her life she doesn't expect and becomes a connection that goes deeper than romance. He becomes a friend who is understanding and isn't afraid of her growing powers. Petra's adventure has a deep connection to history while also weaving in magic and dangerous stakes.
History is a key element Knorr incorporates through the literal digging up of the past and through the personal journey Petra faces to understand her own history. Magic is carefully woven into the story through her telepathy and then magic comes to life. Those who love history and mythology will adore Petra's journey which is rooted in a past full of secrets and danger. The end of the story sets up an exciting threat and a way to weave each of the origins together, leaving you to eagerly await the adventure that brings them all together. Born of Air is another unique adventure in the Elemental Origins series, set apart from the previous books while loosely tying them together with similar themes of magic and danger, but with a deeper connection to history and Knorr's lighthearted humor.