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I was pretty much intrigued by this book the first time I saw it, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to read it. It surely did not disappoint.
“Friends and fire don’t go well together.”
Mara Tucker has always felt like she didn’t belong anywhere. She had the ability to control fire, which she stumbled upon during one unfortunate situation. Because of this abnormal ability, Mara has never felt safe. Mara thinks of herself as a weed that can only cause devastation. She thinks she’s too destructive to have friends and has always kept her distance. She thinks that no one could like her or love her. And it’s worse that her own brother makes her feel that way and much worse. So she ran away to a small town. She ended up in Jericho where people have their prejudices against certain types of people. It’s not really a great environment, but at least her brother wasn’t there nor her past.
Soon enough, Mara finds that she isn’t the only one with special abilities. She meets a whole bunch of people, the unusuals, who could do all kinds of things. They control different elements like fire, earth, water, air, electricity, etc. When some of the unusuals start getting abducted or killed, Mara and her newfound friends must learn to stick together to protect each other. But it’s not that easy, especially with Mara’s explosive personality, and the personal fears that each teen feels.
I like how they were all somewhat on equal ground. Mara may have been given more focus in the story, but each character has a unique ability and/or personality, and there were parts where the focus was pointed to some other characters so you get ideas about them too. I think it was pretty cool that no ability was better than the other. It was all on honing their skills. They didn’t really know much about how they got their abilities. Each one didn’t really have a clue on what to do about their situation. I think that I could actually feel them trying to get a grip on things they couldn’t understand, and it was even harder that their was a dangerous threat against them. They all even tried to train together to better understand what each one’s capability was.
Personally, my favorite characters were Miles and Chris. They didn’t have special abilities, but they stuck with the group to help in any way they can. Granted that they may like certain girls too. Miles is a comic book nerd so when he meets Mara, he jumped at the chance to see and know the real thing. He first forced himself into Mara’s life, considering how Mara didn’t want anyone to get close to her, and he became a really good friend. He doesn’t just support Mara, but he also knows when to be brutally honest. From his quiet little life getting lost in comic books, he will learn to step out and become very brave to prove himself. Chris, on the other hand, just brings in comic relief, but he also has this sweet and sensitive side for Miyuki.
OVERALL, Mara is a perfect blend of action-packed scenes and fantasy elements with a little humor and drama revolving around very different and unique teenage characters. It is a fantastic read about the unusuals who can control natural elements (fire, rock, water, electricity, etc.), and an unknown stranger/s threatening their lives. It is also about being strong, finding friends, and learning how to belong and rely on them. I definitely enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to any other book Veronica Bane might release in this planned series. (I hear we might see a sequel next year so yay~) It is a book I personally recommend to anyone who likes reading about YA characters with special abilities. And maybe even for those who like Avatar (not the one with the blue people!). Only Mara is in a contemporary setting that focuses mostly on teens.
SIGNED copy of Mara by Veronica Bane
$25.00 Amazon Gift Card
- This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
- I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.