Thursday, September 17, 2015

#Review - Smoked by Mari Mancusi (Young Adult, Paranormal)

Series: Scorched # 3
Format: E-Galley, 384 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Once upon a time the world burned.
Until a girl and her dragon smothered the flame.
But the spark that ignited the apocalypse never went out.
And the Scorch is about to begin.

When Team Dragon rescues Emmy from the government lab, they think the future is finally safe. But they soon discover that Emmy has a secret--a secret so dangerous it could trigger the very apocalypse Connor and Caleb were sent back in time to prevent.

As a dragon hunter, Connor has committed his life to saving the world. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to complete his mission… even if it meant betraying his brother and losing Trinity’s heart. Even if it meant doing the unthinkable. But a desperate choice meant to prevent The Scorch, may become the spark that sets the world aflame once more.

Smoked is the final installment in the Scorched Trilogy. For Trinity Foxx and Team Dragon (which includes Connor & Caleb Jacks, the Potentials, and the Dracken), it has been six long months since Emberlyn (Emmy) was captured by government agents along with Scarlet and taken away to a place where nobody could find them. As if that weren't a challenge enough, Caleb Jacks lies in a coma after being stuck in the Nether, and nobody knows whether or not he will ever wake up. As the story kicks off, Team Dragon has located Emmy and Scarlet and breaks them out of a secret government bunker where both dragon and human were lab experiments.

Feeling good about saving Emmy and Scarlet, Team Dragon let's it's guard down a bit. Naturally, Mancusi tosses all that good feelings out the door when she reveals that Emmy has a major secret which may push the clock towards the Dragon Apocalypse they've tried hard to stop. There is a whole lot to say about this story, not all of it all good, nor all of it bad. I dare say that nearly every single character annoyed me in one way or the other.

But my main targets are Scarlet who makes the biggest blunders of all. Connor who lets his hatred of dragons tear him and Trinity's relationship apart and nearly causes a catastrophic event to unfold. I'll add Caleb to that list as well because his actions both in being stuck in the Nether, and getting involved with Emmy's secrets, causing a whole lot of pain and suffering to those he is supposed to care for. 

The Good: I loved that two new dragons are introduced in Zoe and Zavier, as well as 13 other Dragons who ally themselves with Team Dragon. I loved how amazing Zoe was, and how not unlike a child getting a look through fresh eyes sees things around her. I loved that she was actually trusting, and could see the good in people who wanted her dead. I loved how much Trinity really cared for Emmy, but was torn apart when she was ignored and didn't tell her what was really wrong with her. I found Trinity to be an amazing character who had the entire worlds fate put on her shoulder, but did what she could do save the world this time around, instead of destroying it. 

It's interesting that for each part of the story, Mancusi goes forward in time to 190 Post Scratch. I think that readers will finally get the answers they were searching for on why Conner was sent back in time to find Emmy and Trinity, and how much both brothers were manipulated. I think you will find that neither brother is truly bad, or good. They believed in what they were told, and in the end, they found themselves finding common ground to save Emmy, Trinity and the new world they now find themselves in.

I appreciated that Mancusi resolved the triangle issue. I think the pairings between Caleb/Scarlet and Trinity/Connor, were what was best for all four characters. Right from the beginning, the triangle was a mess until Caleb found common ground with Scarlet. I also appreciated that Mancusi didn't shy away from making the future aka Post Scratch look unpleasant to the mind. She created a world that was dark, dangerous, and filled with Dragons who destroyed the world. Although a bit predictable, I leave this series behind with no regrets about starting it.

**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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