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Bring A Fire Extinguisher

The second and third books in the Scorched trilogy, Shattered and Smoked, move the plot along, but never quite rise to dragon levels of excitement. (And dragon levels should be pretty darn high.)

Bring A Fire Extinguisher

BOOK REPORT for Shattered and Smoked (Scorched #2 and #3) by Mari Mancusi

Cover Story: SyFy Movie
BFF Charm: Roger Murtaugh
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: They Said
Bonus Factor: Nerdy References
Anti-Bonus Factor: Love Triangle
Relationship Status: We Can Be Facebook Friends

Danger, Will Robinson! Shattered and Smoked are the second and third books in the Scorched series. If you have not read the first book—Scorched—turn away now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If you have read the first book, however, feel free to continue below. I will refrain from major spoilers in my review, but there might be hints at plot points and details about the story.

Cover Story: SyFy Movie

Although I am a big fan of many of the ridiculous movies SyFy airs,* there is a particularly cheesy quality to the plots and special effects of said movies that both gives them charm and makes them terrible. These covers look like posters for this kind of movie. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on if the designers were trying to be serious or cheeky.

*My favorite: Stonehenge Apocalypse. You’re welcome.

The Deal:

Trinity Foxx is the proud guardian of the world’s last dragon, Emberlyn (a.k.a. Emmy). But being Emmy’s guardian isn’t all fun and games; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Ever since Emmy hatched from her egg, people have been after them both—be it agents of the present-day government or a band of apocalypse-seeking wackos from the future—and they’ve been forced to go on the run.

Trinity and the rest of Team Dragon (her grandfather and twin brothers from the future, Caleb and Connor) must do their best to survive while keeping a fast-growing Emmy out of the hands of nefarious individuals who would do her harm and figuring out a way to keep the apocalypse from destroying their world.

BFF Charm: Roger Murtaugh

Although I enjoyed Trinity in the first book in this series, I got annoyed with her in the second and third books. Although she was still willing to do nearly anything for the people she loved, she never stood back and looked at the larger picture, which made her decisions feel repetitive and immature. There was little growth in her character, which I both expected and wanted to see.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

The Love Triangle aspect (see below) of Trinity’s relationships in Shattered and Smoked definitely detracted from what could have been some decent swoon. Additionally, the angst between Trinity and the brother she eventually chooses (no spoilers) felt all-too juvenile for me to really enjoy the times when they were together. I suppose their relationship was more realistic than others in YA books, but where’s the fun in that?

Talky Talk: They Said

There are a lot of characters in Shattered and Smoked, and after a while, they all seem to blend together. The girls have similar personalities to each other, the boys’ thoughts tend to sound the same, and the occasional peek into Emmy’s head doesn’t really stand out, either. (It certainly didn’t help that, at one point, one of the twins describes something as “icky,” which seemed so far out of character that I thought the dialogue had been attributed to the wrong person.)

Although Mari Mancusi has created an interesting world in the Scorched series, I found myself tiring at the repetitive plot circles, and the tension that seemed more manufactured to fill pages rather than real.

Bonus Factor: Nerdy References

Although it felt a little awkward at times—like name dropping rather than references that really fit with the story—I do appreciate a book that includes nods to video games and Doctor Who.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Love Triangle

The back and forth between Trinity and the twins that began in Scorched eventually worked itself out in Smoked, but the angst caused by their situation lasted much longer than I needed it to.

Casting Call:

I cast Trinity, Caleb/Connor and Grandpa Foxx in my review of the first book in the series, and I’ll add:

Jennifer Hale as the voice of Emmy

Relationship Status: We Can Be Facebook Friends

Our dates were nice, Book, but nothing that I’m going to look back on as shining examples of the best of times. We can still be friends on Facebook, however. I’ll occasionally Like one of your posts.

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought a copy of Shattered and received a review copy of Smoked from Sourcebooks Fire. I received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Both Shattered and Smoked are available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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