At age sixteen, Mink Jollè still hasn’t discovered his Elemental affinity, which is an identity crisis unheard of on the planet Georra. He has endured constant bullying while being held back in school, and his parents have come to employ drastic measures to help him mature. Their current ruse is a camping trip on Rift Ridge, where they test Mink to the breaking point, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Mink and his parents run across a Machinist scout searching out a mother lode of ore, who finds more than he bargains for. An immense geode buried deep in the ground is fabled to be the Tear of God, and the first nation to claim it will hold power and protection unrivaled on Georra.
The race is on as Mink’s parents stand guard at the Tear of God, sending Mink back to his homeland for help. Defying the odds and surprising himself, Mink succeeds in delivering the news to his people, and is chosen to assist a Team in returning to the site to relieve his parents and acquire the Tear of God for Octernal. Along the way, Mink is forced to rely on his strengths without an Element in order to win respect and ultimately discover his true identity.
Raymond has enjoyed writing from an early age. He lives in Coastal North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. His character driven stories reflect the diversity of the places he has lived and the jobs he has had, focusing on animals and film.
Here, Mink's parents have to work out a solution for beating the Machinists to the punch. Mink is obviously disturbed by the direction the conversation is going, but choices seem very limited. The debate over when it's necessary to kill another person, even your enemy, is just as fraught and murky on planet Georra as here on Earth.
By this point, I feel the characters in the story are developed enough to throw them a curve ball and force them into an uncomfortable place. Their ensuing reactions and decisions propel the plot, rather than have them dragged along by it. As a reader and a writer, I always feel this is more engaging. To say the least, it ushers in a point-of-no-return that causes ripples throughout the series.
Tear of God – Elements
Nyam spoke to Juré in a hushed tone, hesitant for Mink to hear. “We need to kill the scout.”
“I agree,” nodded Juré. “Too much risk.”
“Hold up,” Mink interjected. “You don’t have to kill him. Dad, you can put him in a coma.”
Juré shook his head. “I won’t have enough strength for that until tomorrow, and by then he’ll be long gone.”
“Then what about making him feel like staying here for a couple more days without telling anybody?”
“His desire to become famous is too great. Even if I could convince him to finish his speech here, that wouldn’t take long enough. We need to allow almost a week for us to get back with the news and have a team come out here. Trust me. We don’t have another way of buying time to prevent the Machinists from claiming the Tear of God. We must secure it for our country.”