Today I am guest reviewing Deviate for the YA Epic Reads Tour hosted by YA Bookish News.
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Page Count: 356
Tormented after a daring escape, Cora Sandoval must find a way to stop the Arrazi from murdering innocent people and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers. She must also accept one bitter betrayal: Finn Doyle—the Irish boy who has both a piece of Cora's heart and soul—is Arrazi...
On the verge of extinction and sought by those who would either consume or destroy them, Cora and the remaining Scintilla survivors must solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.
No longer will she hide.
No longer will her loved ones be hunted.
And she will have her vengeance...even if she shatters her heart in the process.
I have really mixed opinions on this book. I think that this is a truly magic concept, with a writing style that it so vivid and beautiful; yet the pacing was killing me. I loved everything about the book apart from the pacing and the characters (although they did improve greatly, so much that I’ve grown to love some of them). The dual POV was a little confusing at times, but the main thing that I think needs improving is the pacing. Apart from that I really enjoyed the book.
My favourite aspect of the book was the writing style. I feel like I can’t justify my love for the way Tracy Clark writes - she is so talented, and even though I didn’t give this book a very high rating, I know I will be picking up other things she writes because I just love her style. The concept was also very unique and original. I have never read anything like it - these days, many authors make it seem difficult to come up with original concepts (we’ve all read hundreds of books where the protagonist can do magic, or where the world is split into 2), but Tracy Clark makes me realise that YA fantasy/paranormal is not dry, and I definitely commend her on that.
My main problem with this book was the pacing. It started off strong, with new things happening and a few new characters being introduced, but it was just a downward slide from there. In the middle of the book, nothing was happening - there was no goal that was going to be achieved / have progress made towards in the foreseeable future, and nothing was happening. At times, there was a massive info-dump, which made it just boring. At least in the end something interesting was happening, but for me, it was too little too late.
Another thing that I really enjoyed was the characters. Cora was still a little irritating, but she changed into a much stronger person over the course of the book. She developed into a much more determined person, and although she moped around a bit at the beginning, this soon changed and she rarely complained towards the end.
Also, Cora didn’t just abandon her best friends (which happens a lot!). They had a big part in the book which I really enjoyed because it added a new layer to her character. Mari and Dun (Cora’s best friends) were some of my favourite characters so I was really pleased when they featured in the majority of the book.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t much romance in this book. I was really pleased because I found the romance in the previous book, Scintillate, a bit cringey. As you will know from the last book, Cora and Finn weren’t together (which I was super happy about because I hate them together), so Cora had the chance to rely on herself and be much more independent. I enjoyed the mystery aspects more than the coming-of-age parts too because it was much more exciting.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but found it to drag incredibly. The concept of the book was fantastic, but the pacing killed me so I can’t give it a very high rating. The world-building was done in too much info-dumps, and there was no climax. While reading it, I could really tell that it was the 2nd book in the series, and suffered from second-book-syndrome. I think I will pick up the next book, just because I like the writing style so much. Hopefully the pacing will be better!
About the author:
Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through: they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.
Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer