Note: This review contains no spoilers of Scorch, but may contain spoilers of the first book in the series, Croak, a review of which can be found here.
Croak, about the teenage grim reaper Lex, absolutely blew me away with its intensity and hilarity, and so I was incredibly excited to pick up the sequel Scorch. It did not disappoint!
In Scorch, Lex is left behind to pick up the pieces after Zara– off on a murderous rampage– takes her twin sister's life, and her own ability to damn. Combined with Zara's thirst for vengeance, things aren't looking good. But Lex has her own craving, and no matter what it costs, she's going to make Zara pay for killing her sister.
Like the best sequels, Scorch builds on the foundation Damico laid in Croak but ups the stakes, the action, everything. The result is incredibly exciting, but also clever, well-written, and heart-wrenching. It's the kind of mix that Damico manages to balance so well. In less skilled hands, Scorch would have been a confusing mess. There are a lot of elements at play, and a lot of twists and turns along the way. But what Damico has written is a complicated and thrilling story that will keep the reader turning the page, and will definitely offer up some surprises in the well-structured plot.
There's a lot more history and background in Scorch, and the reader also gets a chance to visit another Grim city, which I loved– although it was around then that I found the story slowed down and became temporarily about Lex getting dressed up and not about catching a serial killer. Luckily, the pace picks right back up, and ends with a huge punch in the gut that has left me gasping for the final book in this trilogy. There is an element of the story, that whole punching in the gut part, that I'm not totally in love with yet and so I'm excited to see where Damico takes it and if she wins me over like I expect she will. After having been thrilled by the awesome wit and exciting story that Scorch provided, I will absolutely be picking up the final book in 2013. So far, this is a great series from a talented new author. Damico has definitely earned her place on my 'must read' list.