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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.


Scorch - Gina Damico

The predecessor to Scorch, Croak, ended in a cliffhanger and Scorch picks up right from there, so Croak should definitely be read before this book. Teenage Lex is working as a junior Grim reaper, but she’s just discovered she has the very scary ability to damn souls, and worse than that she unintentionally passed that skill on to mentally imbalanced Zara who has gone on a soul cursing spree. Consequentially, Lex and the other junior Grim Reapers are now considered a menace and have to flee the little town they are based in, meaning that trying to stop Zara has become even harder than the almost impossible that it would be under more ideal circumstances.


Scorch has a few wonderful new characters, I particularly like the two new juniors Pip and Bang, but in most ways it’s a lot like Croak, with all of that book’s plusses and minuses. On the plus side are the imaginative premise and setting, the snappy dialog, the ongoing dark humor, and the burgeoning romance between Lex and Drigg. The negative is I can’t completely believe in Lex or her family, including her somewhat clown like Uncle Mort. Lex’s sister is killed because of her in the last book, and Lex is mostly just bummed. In part this is because she can visit Cordy in the afterlife, but that is another weakness because too many of Lex’s actions ultimately have no real consequences. Also, Lex doesn’t call her devastated parents for months after her sister’s funeral, but wouldn’t they try to contact her? It’s still a fun read, but given its life and death subject matter Scorch would be powerful and moving if the characters felt more real.