Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Lex's life has completely changed. Not only is she a Grim that helps bring souls to the Afterlife, but her life has turned upside down with the betrayal of Zara, the Culling of her power to Damn, and the death of her twin sister Cordy. When she returns to Croak, her welcome is less than warm. Most of the Seniors and residents hate the Juniors and especially Lex, blaming her for Zara's crimes and the following mayhem. As Zara's attacks get more frequent and the inhabitants of Croak get more hostile, Lex, Driggs, and her fellow Juniors flee to DeMyse, Las Vegas on crack and another Grim city to regroup and follow the clues to the Wrong Book, which may hold the key in beating Zara. Hopefully she can stop Zara before she Damns her closest friends and family.
Scorch starts up shortly after Croak left off with the wake of rage and guilt that Lex feels over the death of her sister and her unintentional complicity with Zara. This book is much darker than its predecessor and is in short supply of its fun and lightness. However, that happy go lucky element is replaced by character development, plot twists, deepening relationships, and even deaths. There are some truly heartwrenching moments here that just pull at my heartstrings, which I didn't really expect. The snappy, clever dialog is here again, but toned down because of the dark and serious tone of the novel. I still laughed out loud at certain moments and I love how sharp and quick-witted Lex is.
The characters are fully realized and just awesome. Lex is deeply conflicted and guilt ridden while she struggles to solve her problems. Her relationship with Driggs deepens and intensifies as they support each other for all the bad times. I love their relationship and their silly banter even in the most dire of situations. They are the glimmer of hope in all the horrible things that happen. Uncle Mort is much better than in the last book where he was fairly forgettable except for being odd. There is a method to his madness and he shows he knows much more than he lets on. New characters Pip and Bang are dynamic and interesting, proving to be needed and wonderful additions to the novel.
There are a few things that bother me and make the novel a little less than perfect. The actions of characters are weird and the resolutions just don't seem to measure up to the epic lead up. The villains, as much as I love to hate them, are pretty one dimensional and flat. This makes it easy to hate them, but could be written a little better. Other than these few problems, I love Scorch and the unique world Gina Damico has created. I eagerly await the third installment.
My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins