So I’m really into books about dragons (nerdy, I know). And I know a girl who’s about six years younger but reads the same books as me, so we can discuss books together for ages. Recently she told me about this book series about apocalyptic time travelling dragons and I was like yoooooooooo hook me up because that is 100% what I look for in a book. So once I finished the school year and had a bit more free time, I borrowed the books off her. I was super psyched to read them and was just off a book high from reading Seraphina and Shadowscale so I was ready for this awesomeness.
Too bad I found these books to be awful.
Like, really bad.
Part of me thinks it’s my own fault for reading books that my 13 year old friend is reading, but then I think no, these books are really just sucky and I can read what I want. Even my friend agreed. I’ve ranted about these books to two other friends, but imma do it again for you. Maybe you’ve read them and can discuss with me?
So these books are by Mari Mancusi. She’s written many books so it’s not like she’s new to the game. She specializes in nerdy books for girls. In a couple of her books, she references an online game called Fields Of Fantasy that she made up. As a gamer herself, she likes to have the protagonists do so as well. I haven’t read anything else by her.
Perhaps you’ve heard about this new dislike for YA dystopian books due to the annoying cliché-ness of them? (See this hilarious twitter account for more info). Well, Scorched and Shattered have similar qualities. The series is about, according to Amazon: “Trinity Foxx is used to her grandfather’s crazy stories, so she doesn’t believe the latest treasure he brought home to their failing West Texas museum is a real dragon’s egg. Not until Connor Jacks, a dragon hunter from the future, tells Trinity that the world is about to be wiped out by a fiery dragon war—unless they find a way to stop it.”
Trinity is your typical one-sided hipster-nerd white girl with a traumatic past. At age sixteen she’s managing money for the museum and driving trucks without an adult. WOW. Totally legal. Totally relatable.
Connor and Caleb are super hot buff white twin boys with complicated pasts of their own. But which one is the bad twin????? I guess Trinity is going to have to kiss them both numerous times to figure out, which is great because both boys totally have the hots for this ideal girl who is also the chosen one. If you thought the love triangle in The Hunger Games was bad (which, personally, I didn’t at all) then prepare yourself for this, because not only is this triangle so very unnecessary for the situation, but it’s done in a trashy teenage way.
As for the dragon, its name is Emmy, which is, in my opinion, a pretty awful name for a monstrous beast. The thing that drove me insane about this dragon was that I could never tell how smart she was. When Trinity spoke to it, sometimes they’d talk in full normal sentences, but sometimes they talk as if the dragon was a toddler. Not that I would mind, but it went back and forth and it bugged me.
All the other characters were pretty one-sided and annoying.
So aside from the characters, why did I dislike this series? It wasn’t because of the plot, I’ll tell you that. The plot was interesting and unique and had someone else written it, they could be really good books. But instead it was written with forced slang that NO ONE uses (“I sound completely crazysauce” was a real line said once, as well as the worst of them all: “we gotz mad skillz”….) and references to nerdy hipster things that I doubt most people caught. Example: “styled hair not unlike the tenth Doctor”. Like, I don’t watch Doctor Who, but I’m familiar enough with the internet and the fandom side of it to know that it meant David Tennant, but that’s just me and coincidence. I doubt most of the readers would get it though. There were several more references of the sort that angered me more than anything.
I guess it’s because the book was set in present time, where social media and TV exists as prevalently as they do now. So mixing that with a fantastical world of dragons just didn’t do it for me. I once thought a combination of the worlds would be cool, but when done in the way it was, it was not.
Maybe I’m cynical and used to a certain style of writing. I did look up reviews on these books and some people did seem to like them. Like I said, the plot is cool. That’s what carrying it, for me. The third book in the series comes out in September. I’m debating reading it. Part of me wants to finish it and know how it ends, but another part of me doesn’t want to waste any more of my life on it.
Either way, these books just didn’t cut it for me. They’re the worst books I’ve read by choice. As a dragon fan and avid reader, I was disappointed. What these books are good for are stepping stones to reading. They weren’t complicated and I think that they’d be decent gateway books into better dragon/fantasy books.
That’s all for now!