Author: Veronica Bane
Publisher: Black Hill Press
Publication Date: August 3, 2013
Opening Sentence: “The fire crackled, spitting and hissing as it consumed the bed frame and drapes.”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon
For years, Mara Tucker has used her power of manipulating flames to punish those who have done her wrong. But things are changing in the town of Jericho. Rampant disappearances have forced Mara to seek out others with special powers. In a story that confronts the violence and turmoil of adolescence, Mara and a group of other “unusuals” like her grapple with new alliances and the villains pressing in all around them.
“A tale of teenage rebellion in the tradition of classics ranging from The Outsiders to The Hunger Games, Veronica Bane’s fantasy novella explores the timeless themes of growing up, finding one’s inner strength, and discovering where one belongs. The titular antiheroine and her flawed-but-lovable band of “unusuals” are characters that will resonate with teen audiences and older readers alike.” –Ashley Heaton, Editor
You give me a chance to read a book about special powers and I’ll be hard-pressed to say no. Such was the case when Mara by Veronica Bane rolled my direction. All the time I run into books where people can randomly time travel with no tools to assist them or they are literally strong enough to take Atlas’s place holding the planet. (P.S. Go search “earth’s mass”. I mean, come on… that’s a lot to hold.) While those are fun to read about, I don’t really find them realistic.
Mara is full of characters that can control the elements. Mara herself can control fire. Another character named Miyuki can control water. Lightning, earth, rocks, et cetera… if there is an element there is probably someone who possesses the ability to control it. I don’t know about you, but I find it SO possible for someone to draw on and control nature. I want to pull water from a pond with my hands. I want to set things on fire with just my hands. Reading Mara is basically vicariously having those powers. It’s so accessible that it makes you feel like maybe, if you try hard enough, you’ll be able to do it too.
I think the accessibility of the story is my favorite thing about Mara. Obviously I’m not about to go outside and move a boulder just by waving my hands, but I know that I do not have to be an alien from a different planet to do it. (I mean, that dream is pretty hopeless anyway, but you get what I mean.) Everything the characters can do in the book can be done even though they are just human… really cool humans.
As if the super powers aren’t enough, in the town of Jericho there are also social and cultural tensions and a lot of little subplots sort of make the book feel almost contemporary. Those other points aren’t fleshed out enough to hold a candle to the main topic (READ: super powers), but they are definitely there.
As a whole I wish Mara had a little more to it in the way of depth and world building. It was a good read, but I felt a little bit left out of the situation like a child who was told only half of the story. Still, it’s short and sweet—okay, well… it’s not sweet per se, because the story is sort of dark—and very interesting.
Mara is a very fast paced novella that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat and ready to read more. If you’ve ever wished to have a cool power I especially recommend it to you.
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
About Veronica Bane:
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November 19, Tuesday: Michelle @ In Libris Veritas
November 20, Wednesday: Kayla @ The Thousand Lives
November 21, Thursday: Lisa @ Lisa Likes Books
November 22, Friday: Lou @ Relaxed Reads
November 23, Saturday: Francine @ Always Lost in Books
November 24, Sunday: Megan @ Make It Count
November 25, Monday: Christine @ Readerly Musings
November 26, Tuesday: Suzy @ Fiction Dreams
November 27, Wednesday: Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity
November 28, Thursday: Jess @ Literary, Etc.
November 29, Friday: Farzy @ Books Keep Me Sane
November 30, Saturday: Ner @ A Cup of Coffee and a Book