Random Reads Review – Scorched by Mari Mancusi

August 31, 2014 Random Reads, Reviews 11 ★★★★½

Random Reads Review – Scorched by Mari MancusiScorched by Mari Mancusi
Series: Scorched #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on 9/3/13
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
My content rating: PG (Nothing more than kissing; Some dragon violence)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

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.

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My Take

I bought this book when I went to the Barbara Vey Reader’s Luncheon back in April. I have to confess that it was the cover that really drew me in. Mari was super sweet and she was so excited over the cover – the actual hardcover (under the sleeve) is texturized and feels like dragon scales!  Plus it’s awesomely beautiful. I also bought Mancusi’s The Blood Coven Vampires, so watch for a review of that one coming up at some point (has anyone read this series?).

Anyway, back to Scorched. I was excited when this one popped up as my Random Read because I’ve been wanting to read it – I’m a big fan of dragon books! The book is told from three perspectives – Trinity, who is Fire Kissed and destined to unleash dragons on the world; and twin brothers Connor and Caleb, who have traveled back in time to change the past. Connor wants to stop dragons from ever being born and Caleb is helping a group that wants to use dragons to save the world. Trinity doesn’t know what to believe!

What I loved:

  • Who are the bad guys?  This was one of those books where there was no clear right and wrong and it was really hard to tell who the bad guys were (at least all of them – I had a good idea about at least one of them that turned out to be correct). There were so many factors at play here – after all, dragons DID destroy the world, so we should be on Connor’s side, right? But what would he need to sacrifice in order to rid the world of dragons and is it worth the cost? Trinity is torn because of her connection to her dragon – and Caleb insists that the healing properties of dragons could actually save the world if dragons are brought into the world properly. So, what’s the right answer? The characters all struggle with this throughout the book – even Caleb and Connor, who each believe they know what’s best, falter occasionally. I love this type of story because it keeps you guessing and makes you think about what you might do in the characters’ place.
  • The characters. These were great YA characters. I instantly felt sympathy and connection with Trinity because of her circumstances – she is living with her eccentric grandfather, trying to keep them financially afloat, after both of her parents died (I won’t spoil the circumstances of that, but I will say that it definitely gained my sympathy). Trinity is a very practical girl, so the idea of dragons is completely unbelievable to her – not to mention visitors from the future. She takes a bit of convincing. Then there are the brothers – both believe strongly in their cause (even though they are on opposing sides of the fight!). They each have deeply personal reasons for their beliefs – and they both have a connection with Trinity because of who she is in their history.
  • Dragons!  I love dragons and this book did not disappoint! This book melded fantasy with reality in a really unique way. I loved how Mancusi blended the current, real world with the Nether (a sort of dream world where dragon souls live) and with the futuristic world where dragons have destroyed everything. The end result is something new and unique and lots of fun!

The negatives:

  • Aspects of the romance.  The romance aspect of the book was actually relatively minor, which was just fine with me. There was a little bit of a love triangle between Trinity and the brothers, but not much of one. One of the brothers, she didn’t really have enough time to build much of a connection with – I’m interested to see where Mancusi goes with things in the next book, though. Right now, I’m definitely rooting for the one of the brothers, but we’ll see. I wasn’t totally invested in Trinity with either of them yet.

I think that this book would work really well for the younger YA set (could even work as Middle Grade, assuming the future books in the series stay equally tame in the romance department). Scorched was an exciting mix of time travel, fantasy and YA romance! I loved that book #1 felt like a complete book, but set us up well for another book in the series. I’m eager to see what happens next! (The next book comes out on Sept 2nd, so I guess I don’t have to wait for long!) 4.5/5 stars.

Books in the series:

About the Author

 

MariMancusiMari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small–so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys.

When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys goth clubbing, cosplay, snowboarding, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure—playing videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their dog Mesquite.

Mari is pronounced like the name Mary. Mancusi is pronounced man-COO-see. 

Author Links:

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11 Responses to “Random Reads Review – Scorched by Mari Mancusi”

  1. Lola

    I really like this cover as well and once won a magnet of this book that’s still on my fridge. Is the time travel a big aspect of the story? I am not a fan of time travel in books.
    Just like you I love it when it isn’t clear who the bad guys are, I like it when you get multiple point of views and who the bad guy is might seem different form each point of view. Great review!

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #89
    • Nicole

      Time travel is definitely a major element to the story, but the book takes place completely in the present (with a few glimpses of the future).

    • Nicole

      Oh, yes – dragons!! I was completely sold the first time I saw the cover, to be honest. But talking to the author made me even more excited about the book.

  2. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I’ve heard great things about this book and it was already on my tbr, but you just gave me the push I needed to move forward a bit faster. I love books that exist in gray areas, without a clear right or wrong, and I tend to enjoy books that are a bit easier on the romance. It doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Nicole

      Yes, you should definitely check it out. The romance was definitely there, but it didn’t overwhelm the plot at all (which can’t be said for a lot of books).

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