Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Scorched

SCORCHED
Mari Mancusi
Paranormal Young Adult
352 pages
Sourcebooks Fire
Available September 3rd
Source: BEA

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Trinity
Don’t leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...

Connor
He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

Caleb
He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed.


MY THOUGHTS
Scorched is a story that has our undivided attention from the beginning thanks its dragon-focused premise, dragons being a mythological creature that hasn’t quite yet taken the young adult fiction market by storm. As a result, an air of mystery is created for us readers before we even get to the first page, wondering how Ms. Mancusi is going to bring her beasts to life. Part of the appeal of this story aside from the creatures themselves is that Trinity’s world is in fact ours, no acclimation period necessary as we are instantly at home and comfortable with our surroundings, and we simply get to watch, riveted, as something out of myth and legend finds a new home and begins to thread together a story that doesn’t begin with “once upon a time”.

Trinity is a young women we have a few concerns about after reading the synopsis, worrying and questioning whether or not she’s going to be one of those girls who waffles between two boys, dragging us deeper into her romantic drama when what we want most is to learn about her role in the birth of a dragon and the subsequent end of the world. Luckily for us, Trinity has a good head on her shoulders, though she can be a bit quick at times to dismiss Connor when he tries to explain how he came to be in her time, but honestly, it would be far stranger if she simply accepted what he told her at face value and then jumped in with both feet, especially given her precarious family situation and difficult history.

It doesn’t take her long to be persuaded however, and when she is she proves again and again that in her story there’s no tower in which she idly waits for someone to arrive and set her world to turning, instead she beats all the men in her life to the punch, kicking a new life into gear and fighting tooth and nail to protect what’s most important to her. While she does have romantic moments with both brothers at different points in the story, it makes sense in the context of this tale specifically, with each brother on opposite sides of the battle for the life of Trinity’s dragon and each approaching her with very plausible and equally horrifying versions of the future if she doesn’t listen to their advice. There’s none of the game playing that so often accompanies a love triangle, and there’s no pitting one brother against the other, in fact there’s no declaration of love (or anything even remotely close) of any kind, removing any irritation we might feel at the setup before it can really take root.

There’s certainly potential for the situation between Trinity, Caleb and Connor to turn into a true triangle in future books, but in this first installment the relationships between the three of them are handled beautifully, our allegiance to each brother shifting back and forth along with Trinity’s as more and more about both of them is revealed. While the romantic element is certainly present, it remains secondary to the dragons and the role they are to play in the future from which both Caleb and Connor hail, and we find ourselves easily swept up in trying to figure out if it will be life or death that saves the world, all the while knowing the decision is not quite as black and white as it seems.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Mari:


This book was given to me at BEA free of charge by the publisher for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

38 comments:

  1. I almost requested this one and then didn't. Now after reading your review, I am a little sad that I didn't. I think this will end up being one that I will have to pick up. I think I have only ever read one other dragon book and I enjoyed it, it was nice having something different.
    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed the dragon aspect, I just can't get enough of books that feature them:)

      Delete
  2. It's good that there's not a lot of romantic angst at this point. The story sounds really interesting and Trinity quite fearsome, so getting to explore both without the love triangle interfering is nice. I know a few people who will love this one just for the dragons - and you're right, they haven't really become hugely popular in YA (Seraphina; Firelight; Eragon--that's all I can think of).

    Also, is it just me or has there been a rise in the number of romantic interests (in a love triangle) who have been brothers? I blame the success of the Vampire Diaries (which I love but still... :D).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly. While she has moments with both brothers, it's not as frustrating as it sounds like it would be. She's getting hugely contrasting stories from both boys, and I can see how she would develop feelings for one then the other.

      I can't think of any other triangles that feature brothers, my mind is drawing a blank, but I know I've read several blurbs with them:)

      Delete
  3. Ohhh awesome cover, dragons :D We all need more dragons in books

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, a love triangle that doesn't feel like a triangle? Hehe. I'm glad to know that there's romance in this fantasy tale and the MC isn't some airhead who doesn't know what to do and always acts reckless and oblivious to everything going on around her. I'm happy to hear that the brothers aren't rivals when it comes to romance. I'm reading Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck and I'm sooooo scared that Kishan and Ren will become enemies of sorts thanks to the previous happenings in the past and now with KElsey. I'm only 96 pages in the first book, but so far so good. Have you read that series? If so, whose team are/were you in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! The triangle aspect didn't really bother me at all in this one, especially because there was no grand declarations of love from anyone. It was really nice:)

      I have not read the Tiger's Curse series though I've been told I should! It's one of the many on my "I need to make time for this" list. *sigh*

      Delete
  5. Please allow me to stare at the cover some more. I love stories about dragons I really do and this one sounds amazing. I mean I usually get annoyed but love triangles but sometimes they're really well done so I don't mind. Plus here seems to be some really nice romance besides the story. Great review Jenny :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? That is one badass looking dragon on the front! I usually get very annoyed by triangles too, but I liked how everything in this story played out.

      Delete
  6. I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds really interesting. I'm going to wait and see if this becomes a love triangle, though, so hopefully it won't. Wonderful review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hoping a decision will be made quickly in the next one Keertana! I don't really want it to be drawn out forever and ever.

      Delete
  7. You know how much I love your reviews, Jenny, but I do believe you could have pulled this one off with no more than three words: There be dragons!
    Still, I'm glad to have the additional details, most of all your reassurance about the love triangle. The book description scared me a bit so I was relieved to read that it didn't fully evolve in this book. No sense worrying about the second one now.

    I find both dragons and your reviews irresistible. Enough said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about just writing those three words and leaving it at that. They say it all really. I will say the blurb made me a touch nervous since the triangle setup is so obvious, but the romantic drama was fairly low key and I loved that about it:)

      Delete
  8. I completely agree with Maja! Those 3 words would have been enough to convince me (and I'm pretty sure a lot of other readers) to read this book.
    I was a little worried when you mentioned the love triangle, but you definitely helped to calm me down. I'm glad that the love triangle hasn't really taken form in the first book.
    Even then, I would have read the book because just look at that stunning cover.
    Anyways, thanks for the beautiful review, Jenny! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me, I see even a hint of a love triangle and I run screaming, but this wasn't a standard triangle and given that I switched allegiances between the brothers a time or two, I couldn't really blame Trinity for doing the same thing.

      Delete
  9. Super freaking cool! I love dragons and I this author. I'm totally going to have to read it now, Jenny! Thanks for the awesome review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. READ IT SAVY! You will love it I think:)

      Delete
  10. I wasn't sure about dragons in YA until I read Firelight. Now they are definitely growing on me. I will have to check this out- it seems like the start to a promising new series! Great review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love all things dragon Christina! There's just something fascinating about them for me:)

      Delete
  11. Oddly enough this is on my limited YA list just because I love Mari. I set with her at an event and she was just the sweetest darn thing ever (her mother was there too).

    This is what sold me though: Trinity has a good head on her shoulders, though she can be a bit quick at times to dismiss Connor when he tries to explain how he came to be in her time, but honestly, it would be far stranger if she simply accepted what he told her at face value and then jumped in with both feet, especially given her precarious family situation and difficult history.

    I like when young protagonist have good heads and have reasons for their "teenage" behavior :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I really liked Trinity, she was a fighter through and through, and while I wanted to be frustrated with her for being hesitant to believe Connor initially, I of course had the benefit of knowing he's being truthful whereas she doesn't, so I couldn't blame her for being so cautious.

      Delete
  12. I have such mad love for Maas and her series that it has me exploring other fantasy in YA, so your review has me dancing and there are dragons! How cool is that, I am so glad this rocked for you Jenny and that cover is vibrant!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm glad the romance takes a back seat in this one - it would certainly be terrible if dragons weren't front and center! And if Trinity has a good head on her shoulders, I think I'll enjoy this one. Awesome review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! You can't promise dragons and then not deliver, and I thought Mari delivered beautifully:)

      Delete
  14. Everyone likes dragon sex! Wait. This is YA, isn't it? Then, um, dragons are hot!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Seriously, why aren't there more Dragon books? LOVE them and this is also why I was so excited about this one! Just like you I really liked and enjoyed the book, and hell yeah, we were always shifting our loyalties between the brothers. I am still not sure which one I love more, or .. which one to trust :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I haven't read a dragon book in awhile and I am so happy to hear this one pans out since I am reviewing this soon! Yeah for no love triangle, let's hope it stays that way.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ooooh, dragons! I love anything with dragons. I'll have to be on the lookout for this one! Thanks for sharing your review!

    Laureen @ Ms. Bibliophile.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm still a little worried despite what you've said about the love triangle aspect, but DRAGONS! Come on!! There is no way I can pass this one up...The Inheritance Cycle was one of my all time fav reads!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dragons! Okay, you had me there. :D Seriously why are there not a lot of dragons in books? Oh and I don't care for triangles, but I don't mind them as much as cliffies so I can deal. :) Brilly review as always!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I seriously hope we avoid a love triangle in future books. When I see there's a girl and two guys, I instinctively flinch these days (darn you, YA, for conditioning me like Pavlov's dog!) but, really, we can have three characters who don't have to all fall in love with each other! Love that this lives up to the hype I've built up in my mind (dragons? Always hypeable!)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I actually haven't read a dragon book in such a long while!!! :( And that cover is just gorgeous! This is my first time hearing of this series (surprisingly!) but I love the sound of the premise. Although, even if the love triangle isn't an issue in this book, I am still kind of wary. They annoy me to no end, but hopefully the author keeps the romance as it is with obvious developments of course. I love Trinity's character! I think she'll grow on me very fast. And I'm soo happy to hear that the dragon aspect is kept at the forefront. I am really going to enjoy reading this! Glad you enjoyed this Jenny! Fab review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've been so excited to read this one so I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I'm very happy she has a good head on her shoulders, so hopefully she won't annoy me to death. :-) Wonderful review!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think this one sounds interesting - yeah, dragons still haven't become a YA trend which is always a plus point - and I like that there's no love triangle in this installment which is what I was concerned about after reading the synopsis. I haven't heard much about this one and so will try to check out some more reviews before I decide whether I want to give this one a try. Great review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm such a forward thinking when I read, so knowing that there's the potential for a brother love triangle (one of the worst types), I avoided this book all together. I like that there's no declarations of love and that it didn't feel like a triangle, but stories like this always seem to turn into them. However, I do like dragons and I'll be following your progress through this book to see how it develops in the future. Glad you found it to be a fun read!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so excited to read this! I love stories with dragons, and I can't believe there aren't more of them. The last really good one I read was Seraphina and that was a long time ago. So glad to hear Trinity's relationship with the brothers isn't a full-on love triangle yet and that it's handled well in this book. That was my only concern really, so I need to get my hands on this! Lovely review :-)

    ReplyDelete