Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Croak #2


Rate this book
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.

To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?

332 pages, Paperback

First published September 25, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Gina Damico

11 books785 followers
I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe that may or may not have sparked my interest in wildly improbably bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker, and breadmonger.I live in Western Massachusetts with my husband, two cats, one dog, and and obscene amount of weird things purchased at yard sales.

NOTE: I don't check back here as often as I'd like to (OR write reviews), so instead of sending me a friend request or following me, why not hit me up on Twitter instead? @ginadamico

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,512 (36%)
4 stars
1,665 (39%)
3 stars
792 (18%)
2 stars
176 (4%)
1 star
47 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 490 reviews
June 16, 2015

Lex sighed and readied her scythe. “Yeah, well, love doesn’t always beat out fear.”
“Sometimes it does,” he replied with a smile, pecking her on the nose.
“Christ, Driggs. You’re turning into a Lifetime movie.”
“Your defense mechanisms are captivating, as always.”

Aaaah this series. I am so in love with this series. I repeatedly explained in my last review that this series was perfect for when you’re busy, down, or just need a laugh. As it turns out? I’m all three. Which I also wouldn’t shut up about in my prior review. But, and this is a large but, I am beginning to see how this might not be such a light and fluffy series.

Lex smiled and looked up at him. "It was beautiful."
He smiled back and kissed the top of her head. "It was for you."

 photo tumblr_mx52viPXJt1r6daipo1_500_zpscbylsyy6.gif

More and more we are beginning to see the death toll increase (ironically, in book one, despite being aptly named Croak, not that many people really died). And its not even minor characters. We are starting to see main characters hacked and slashed and its getting harder and harder to pretend that something bad might not be coming….because I’m not so sure anymore. Not only are Lex and Driggs continually being threatened, they are constantly getting hurt. It’s beginning to scare me. And, to top it all off, all my wonderful friends and reviewers on GR have written reviews for book three that are nothing if not painfully clear on who or what is knocking on death’s doorstep (again, no pun intended).

Driggs whispered to Lex out of the side of his mouth as they walked, “I never got grounded before you came here.”
“You never touched a boob before I came here either.”
“Touché.” He flashed a goofy grin as Uncle Mort shoved him into his room and slammed the door. “Worth it!”

That’s not to say I don’t immensely enjoy every little bit of these stories-on the contrary, I actually devour these. For as little time as I have to read, this series is like book crack. Driggs and Lex’s banter is still as fresh and funny as ever and I can’t keep a smile off of my face no matter how hard I try. I don’t laugh out loud (much) for books, so, for me to be cackling out loud at the smart-assery that is Lex and Driggs’s personalities, that is truly something.

Three seconds of silence followed, which was way too much time to go without making out, so they dove right back into each other’s faces. But after a minute or so, Lex pushed him away. “Stop.”
“Why?” He looked horrified. “What’s wrong?”
“Was it that thing I did with my tongue?”
“Um, no. Your tongue and its many talents are perfect. Keep up the good work.”

My favorite character, still, by a landslide is Driggs-duh. His adorable ways of bitching at Lex and inhalation of sweets (most frequently Oreos) make it impossible not to love him. It’s not so much that he matches Lex’s wit, it’s how he matches it-it’s his mannerisms and way of phrasing things that makes him a refreshing (and again, adorable) breath of fresh air.

Lex shouldered her bag and grinned. “I’m not.” She bent over Driggs to kiss him, slipping Bone’s key into his pocket for safekeeping in case she ran into trouble. “See you later.”
“Okay, muffin,” he said robotically, his eyes glued to the screen as he smooched the air. “Be safe and so forth.”

And then, Lex-I still adore her anger and ability to shut out any and all warnings so she can help with the greater good (at least in her mind). Her stupid (and not so stupid) decisions are evened out with her Uncle Mort and Driggs’ levelheadedness and will to keep her alive. I don’t know where her path is leading…but I hope it’s not what she does for a living (cough, dead, cough).

 photo grim_reaper_by_sseanboy23_zpsacbzzjwi.jpg

He did a spit-take as she approached. “Holy shitballs,” he said, scanning her up and down. “You look gorgeous.”
Lex laughed. “Thanks.”
“You’re wearing a dress,” he informed her.
“And yet I haven’t burst into flames. I’m just as surprised as you are.”
“Well, warn me next time so my heart doesn’t explode.” He got up to pull out her chair.
She snickered. “Pretending to be a gentleman, are we?”
“Gotta try at least once a year, or I’ll lose my license.”

So, ya know, there isn’t much to say. It’s a funny series and there is a little bit of something for everyone. Despite what I had originally thought when I saw the cover, that it was cheesy, it’s anything but. The writing is superb and the characters are fleshed out and completely hilarious. Uncle Mort living with a couple of horny teenagers proved to be something of a hilarious main plot point (ever vigilant and on the lookout) and it added some cotton candy to what is starting to become a very dark trilogy. And, I’m just guna come out and say it, because I’ve already eluded to it a million times: I don’t think I could handle it if a certain (adorable) one blue, one brown eyed boy didn’t survive. How could I live in a world knowing he ceased to exist? I couldn’t, I tell you!! So…I am a wimp. I shall wait. And ponder. And pick a better time…because I am a coward who needs to get her gumption up before I finish this series. But don’t worry, Lex and Driggs-

 photo Illbeback_zpsowyt8ksc.gif

For more of my reviews, please visit:
descriptive text here
descriptive text here
Profile Image for Inge.
347 reviews885 followers
December 19, 2014
THIS is how you successfully avoid Second Book Syndrome. There is no need for those filler books in between the introduction and the finale. You can perfectly add a second book to your trilogy without losing your pace, your integrity, and everything your readers fell in love with in the first place. And Scorch manages to do that beautifully.

Case in point: even though Lex has been through a lot, she’s still the same:
"You look slammin'," Elysia told Lex. "That shirt is gorgeous on you."

"This is not a shirt. This is a napkin with armholes."

“You look sophisticated.”

“I look like a clown whore.”

And still hilarious and awesome. Lex is quite possibly my favourite main character of the year. Meeting her was such a breath of fresh air: she’s not afraid to say what she thinks, and she’s absolutely badass, and I’d probably be terrified of her if she were real, but I’d also love her to bits (you know, from afar).

As is her boyfriend, Driggs. They had this really funny and awkward relationship developing in the first book, and we see them expand on that now.
“Hope you’re okay with boyfriend-girlfriend-leniency rules not applying here,” he told her.

“Hope you’re okay with getting your ass kicked.”

There’s still the friendship and playfulness between the two, but as their relationship progresses, we see them really falling in love, and I thought that was really cute. Although we also see them struggling quite a lot with their teenage hormones, while Uncle Mort was doing everything in his power to avoid any hanky panky underneath his roof. Hilarity ensues.
"And if I hear any article of clothing being unzipped, unstrapped, unhooked, or unbuckled, you will lose the body part that it corresponds to. Understand?"

Mort, you beautiful bastard. I’m so glad you made a comeback in this book. I’ve missed you.

There’s a lot of drama in this book, granted. Scorch is basically the “Everybody Hates Lex” show. But I was okay with that, because the author makes damn sure to infuse a more-than-healthy amount of humour into her story, making me smile and laugh like a lunatic. It’s just magnificent to have a seemingly standard YA story and then have it turn out so differently in all the right ways. I love it when a story can make me laugh.

The Afterlife is still one of my favourite locations. Edgar Allan Poe is still the morose author we left behind last time, and people still hide his cane and throw things at him. On top of that, King Tut is also in the Afterlife. He’s a teenage boy with shining skin who can bench-press a camel and calls Lex a peasant. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

If you haven’t picked up this series yet, do it. You will be rewarded with an awesome story, with a kick-ass main character, but also with a lot of side characters who are weird and lovely in their own ways, and who will make you laugh almost constantly until the very last page.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
July 6, 2012
Ideally, sequels not only expand upon the stories and themes introduced in their preceding books, but they also improve upon them. Scorch does a great job of upping the stakes for a group of young grim reapers in an entertaining way, in both the action and character development departments. This sequel features tighter plotting, is faster and funnier, and makes you enjoy your time with its likable protagonists even more than you might've the first time around.

I really liked: Uncle Mort's hilarious attempts to minimize Lex and Drigg's makeout time, jellyfish venom, the further developments of Lex's (and Driggs') powers, and a really cool twist at the end that changes the direction of the story and an important relationship.

And my favorite quote:

That doesn't mean you get a free pass to ride the baloney pony whenever you want to. Got it?

Heh. Definitely check out Croak and Scorch if you enjoy humor mixed with your YA urban fantasy.

An advance copy was received by the publisher for this review.
Profile Image for Reut.
312 reviews
November 28, 2013
Originally reviewed on reutreads, a young adult book blog.

The follow up to March's first installment in the Croak series, CROAK, is that rare second book that is like most middle-books in trilogies, a bridge from setup to finale, but also manages to improve on the first book. I can now safely say that CROAK and SCORCH are two of my favorite books from 2012. 

While the synopsis makes it seem like most of the book takes place in DeMyse, this is pretty misleading, since it's to DeMyse that the characters run to after the rising action which mostly happens in my much-loved town of Croak. There's some really interesting stuff at work here, from the social and political scene of an extremely small town to the development of the "bad guys" and more. There are ideas presented in SCORCH that alternately broke my heart and made me want to sleep with the lights on.

If I had to pick one word to describe SCORCH it would be intense. I laughed, I almost burst into tears on a few separate occasions, and when it was over I sat in silence trying to formulate my thoughts before walking aimlessly around my house for around ten minutes banging my head against various objects and saying "no, no, no" under my breath.

Damico achieves a fantastic balance of answering just enough of a question, wrapping up plotlines, and introducing more twists and more turns. I have honestly no idea how some things in this series will wrap up, given what some of Damico's choices were in SCORCH. Let me just say: Driggs. I love you so, so much.

I was putty in Damico's hands as she led me through laughs, heartbreaking moments and  soul-crushing twists. She did it once and she did it again: Gina Damico has absolutely slayed me (pun very much intended) with SCORCH. 


Favorite quote:
“Broccoli spaceship. Broccoli SPACESHIP!”
Profile Image for Bookphile.
1,775 reviews96 followers
August 17, 2012
When I finished the book, I thought I would need some time to reflect on it and decide what to give it. I was very conflicted, because there are some things I really like about the book, yet I also felt it had some deep flaws. I was uneasy about Croak, but this book just made me even more unhappy with some of the series' flaws. There will be some pretty major spoilers (for both Croak and Scorch) in this review, so be forewarned.

My biggest, hugest beef with this series is the consequences of Lex's actions just aren't serious enough. In the first book, Lex's actions get her sister killed. Yes, she is angsty over it, but that angst doesn't stop her from continuing down a path that is only going to lead to more regrettable actions. Yet, in spite of this, nothing really ever seems to be all that bad for Lex. Cordy is happy in the Afterlife, effectively letting Lex off the hook for her death. When Lex Damns Corpp, Dora immediately forgives her and, once again, Lex is let off the hook. Various and assorted other characters die or are injured during the course of the book, but Lex never really has to feel badly about this because their deaths are all for the cause. Most egregious of all, Lex doesn't really need to feel badly about what happens to Driggs, because she decides at the end of the book that she's going to fix him. All of this is what seriously hinders these books from rising above a form of entertainment and into the realm of books that are a little more serious.

The second flaw of this series is that I am starting to have a pretty adverse reaction to Lex. It's easy to identify her and to understand her righteous indignation in the face of what she must do. It certainly wouldn't be an easy thing to witness heinous crimes and to just walk away from them because interfering would mean bad things for the universe. I can see how that would wear away at a person. But when it's finally revealed that Lex has been doing some Damning of her own and conveniently allowing the blame to fall on Zara, that's where my disappointment with Lex really knew no bounds. I feel like this series tries to ask some really hard questions about morality, but Lex is so blissfully free of having to pay for her choices that it's hard to really take that aspect of the series seriously. If Lex is going to go down the path of declaring herself judge, jury, and executioner, there needs to be consequences to it. I'd feel better about her character if this was the case. As it is, Lex is delving into an extremely gray area of morality here, but she's none the worse the wear for it, and that bothers me a whole lot.

Mort also receives a share of my ire. He falls into that category of adult who keeps things from the kids just because they're kids and because it's convenient for the plot. I can buy Dumbledore keeping things from Harry because Dumbledore was in denial about the effect that would have, but I am so impatient with Mort. Rather than telling Lex why everyone resents her presence in Croak, rather than warning her about Grotton, he allows her to bumble about in the dark, eventually leading her to the steaming heap she ends up in at the end of the novel. That's just unforgivable. At the end, Lex is happy because Mort has her back, but all I could think was, "He does? Since when?" I really like Mort, but it is so disappointing that, at no point, did I ever feel like he was really doing what was best for his niece.

This book also had the same problem as its predecessor: the secondary characters are often interesting and have unique personalities, but they're essentially just there to further the plot. I can't help but feel like they're just walking plot devices rather than people in their own right. This wasn't the case for Driggs in the first novel, but I felt that's what he ultimately becomes in this one.

In fact, not even Zara is spared from this fate. For two books, she is the big villain and, yet, the end she meets is decidedly anti-climactic, not to mention rather absurd. Why does everyone spend so much of the book just running away from her when they could coordinate their efforts to catch her? They know where she's going to strike, because they know she will come after Lex and Driggs. Plenty of other characters are allowed to effectively become canon fodder, but not Lex and Driggs. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to be used as bait? If one was lost in the process, wouldn't that have been a whole lot more meaningful--and saved a whole lot more lives--than simply allowing person after person to be sacrificed?

And, lastly, I just cannot stand Norwood and Heloise. Yes, the reader isn't meant to like them, but they are just so campy, cartoony, over-the-top that it was impossible to suspend my disbelief. There is something so great about when a villain is done well. There is something so awful about when they're just outright bad, and Norwood and Heloise fall into this category. The psychology is there, and I could buy it if they just acted in a more subtle way. Instead, they often seem like deranged toddlers, and that just made it too far-fetched for me. Do I believe a bunch of townspeople would follow insidious bad guys who fanned the flames of fear and paranoia? Yes. Do I believe a bunch of townspeople would follow shrieking, hysterical bad guys who practically smack them over the head with the absurdity of their off-base accusations? No. And, yet, this is precisely what almost all of the residents of Croak do. Apparently, good judgement isn't a requirement for joining the Grimsphere.

Yet even with all this criticism, I do not actively dislike this series and, in fact, I plan on reading the next book. Why? Because it is so imaginative, and the world building is just so awesome. I loved DeMyse, loved the idea of a town whose residents prefer to live an amusement park life of blissful ignorance. I love what this says about human indifference.

I love the Afterlife, love seeing figures like Poe and Tut pop up in unexpected and amusing ways. Every time Lex walks into the Afterlife, I know I'm in for a treat of the imagination, and the book never fails in this regard.

But the fact of the matter is that all of this great imaginative power isn't enough to save me from feeling supremely disappointed with the book as a whole.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Anzû.
548 reviews1,108 followers
October 19, 2012
Scorch was a really disappointing read. I was pretty excited about it, to tell you the truth. I loved Croak, I found it entertaining and rather funny. The characters were cool and the whole grim theme that was going around suited me just fine.

But this! This is simply horrible! I mean the story takes either a completely idiotic path, or a too serious one. I liked the too serious one though, I guess this was the only thing that saved Scorch from a one star rating. My main problem is with the idiocy, which lasted for about 70% of the book.

Now this idiocy is mostly related to Lex and Driggs' so called relationship. Yes, I don't know what kind of relationship these guys have, but the sloppy make out sessions only managed to disgust me. Kissing is more than shoving one's tongue as far as one can go down another one's throat. I think the sloppy kissing was supposed to be funny. How is that even funny? It's not. It's extremely idiotic.

Anyhow, the first half of Scorch is also very slow. The first chapter is serious, and then BAM! Lex is back in town, so everything revolves around sloppy kissing, failed attempts to get laid, useless rants and running around in circles. Where’s the fun in that?

And the ending!

Oh that dreadful facepalm-worthy ending! Horrible!

I’m not sure whether I'll go on with the series or not. We'll see.

Review also posted on
Profile Image for TL .
1,819 reviews35 followers
January 10, 2015
Okay,that ending... holy crap on a few points! Figures, when I wasn't into you for the majority of the story (but still enjoying it) you go and pull a few rabbits out of your hat :-P.

But yet:

Wonderful second installment, no lagging or filler... just a good story. It took awhile for me get into it (over half the book) but the last 40-50 pages suckedme in and I couldn't read fast enough.

There's a traitor (or more) in the Grimsphere and things are unravelling. Lex is trying to find the Wrong book to stop Zara, and Zara is Damning people and is desperate to get the book into her hands.

I did like how we got to hear more from Zara in this one, to see her motives. She is willing to do ANYTHING to reach her goal, and will stop at nothing. I had a minute where I felt sorry for her when we saw how the Damning power was affecting her but it was ripped away seconds after.

Norwood and Heloise,snakes and leeches they are... many many times I wanted to kick them or drop em in a lake.

The traitors, wow... One I suspected but Zara's accomplice, that I didn't see coming.

There are a few deaths in this book but one is a bit puzzling as to what exactly... happened. I'm guessing more answers will be more forthcoming in the next one? *pouts*

My thoughts are scattered at the moment haha, but would recommend this. Some answers and half answers but still alot of questions *looks at Mort, waiting for answers*

Happy reading!

Uncle Mort's secret keeping was annoying but his reasoning made sense...
Profile Image for Booknut 101.
849 reviews921 followers
November 4, 2012
Holy reaper scythes covered in BBQ sauce - Gina Damico has done it again!

Gotta love them reapers! Especially Lex and her Damning abilities which are all like:

And I have to give a special mention to the best relationship EVER...Lex and Driggs! Seriously, every single time I spotted the word "Driggs" I was like:

Sad...but true.

Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
592 reviews3,540 followers
March 20, 2015
"Wait. You mean you don't let anyone know what's happening on the outside?"

"Princess, I do what is necessary to keep order in my town. My only job is to protect my citizens. I do that by providing a luxurious, carefree lifestyle."

There we have it, folks. The Grims' version of Ba Sing Se. If you've watched Avatar: the Last Airbender, you know nothing good will come out of this arrangement.

The reason Lex and gang are in this lovely city is because they got kicked out of their own. Someone got a little power-hungry and decided to take over, labeling the Juniors and the fabulous Uncle Mort as accomplices to Zara, a Grim who can Crash at will (teleportation) and is running around the country murdering people, good and bad. Oh, and there's a mysterious dude in a tuxedo that keeps following Lex around. And I have it on good authority that it is not Tuxedo Mask, so don't get your hopes up.

But don't worry, there's still plenty of humor inside. And hormones. Lots and lots of hormones.

No reason the two can't go together.

"I call shower," they said at the same time.

Eyebrows were raised. A wacky idea took place.

And by the time Uncle Mort figured out that the water had been running for far too long and that he had made the critical error of not installing cameras in the bathroom, it was too late.


“We were just showering," Lex muttered.

"Of course," Uncle Mort said. "Everyone knows how impossible it is to zestfully clean without assistance.”

The plot twists near the end had me going like, "Whoa." Lex truly becomes an anti-heroine here. She does some shitty stuff, but whether or not it's justifiable depends on you.

My verdict? It's not war without sacrifices.

Could've done without the slut-shaming on Sofi's part, but I guess you can't have everything in life. In Croak, she was shown to be a lovely person with a crush on Driggs. Here, she's become totally unrecognizable and partially because Lex stole her man.

I leave you with this fantastic quote from Gillian Flynn:

I particularly mourn the lack of female villains — good, potent female villains. Not ill-tempered women who scheme about landing good men and better shoes (as if we had nothing more interesting to war over).

Now on forth to the next book!

My review of Croak
My review of Rogue
Profile Image for WhatIReallyRead.
685 reviews495 followers
December 3, 2017
What a steaming pile of crap this was... Mind you, I loved the first book of the series and gave it 5 stars. But this one let me down in more ways than I can count. But I'll try (possible spoilers).

1) Humor was one of the things I loved the most about Croak. Scorch was not funny at all. I didn't laugh even once. Was it written by the same person?

2) The unique, subtle, awkward, shy, cute relationship between Lex and Driggs was another thing I loved about Croak. In Scorch Lex completely overshadows Driggs. He used to give as good as he got, but in the second book for some reason he doesn't dare to even peep while Lex basically orders him around.

3) Plot holes. A lot of them. Unrealistic and plain dumb situations. Like, Driggs has been sliced open by a scythe, was stitched back up, and THE SAME DAY, only a few hours later he GETS IN THE SHOWER WITH LEX and they make out there.... Like, WTF people????!!!! First off, you can't wash a fresh wound for some time after an operation. Secondly, what kind of girlfriend would see a fresh wound and think "he's hot, let's make out!". Thirdly - isn't he supposed to be in pain? I mean COME ON!!!!!

Scythes are operated by computer-like devices. What about 50 years ago? What about the Middle Ages? This book mentions Grims of the Middle Ages, so they had to work somehow. And they say the souls have to be collected right away, or they would be eternally trapped in a dead body. So... um, I can't see how it could have worked. Etc., etc.

4) Lex is a murderer and no one seems to mind at all. Not one person is creeped out by it. Not her boyfriend, not her uncle, not her friends. They all are so chill about it, like she's going through "a phase", like she joined a communist party or something. Like, she's wrong, but she's still our Lex and a good person.

She showed the tendencies in the previous book. But it's one thing to wonder about how the justice system operates and quite another to go cruelly murder people you think did wrong. And it's supposed to be okay. By de-humanizing criminals you corrupt your own humanity. Okay, so what if that person is a criminal. What right do you have to decide if he lives or not?

5) People show inexplicable, bizarre and immediate devotion to Lex. Like, a guy she met a couple days ago plunges to his death (for no reason at all, it was unnecessary) instead of trying to escape (which he totally could do). Another guy gets killed for helping her escape prison. A douchebag who previously showed no inclination to even say hello to her. There is zero character motivation for that. WHY???!!!! ARE THEY DOING IT???

6) Emotional manipulation. Cordy's death, admittedly, had a little taste of that too. (She's a twin sister, but she is not featured or even mentioned in the book much at all except to get killed - as if it's her only purpose there). BUT WHAT THE AUTHOR DID IN THIS BOOK HAD ME BURNING WITH RAGE.

Oh, so we find out that Driggs sacrificed his food for Lex (obvious and unnecessary martyrdom) so that

[image error]

7) And there is no plot. No pace, no rhythm, nothing propelling the book forward. It was boring, it dragged along and nothing happened. Excuse me, but a "strange white figure" Lex once saw in a forest in the previous book is just not enough to keep my interest for the whole second book. Obviously, it will be revealed to mean something, because it is mentioned like a hundred times. But a mere far-off long-ago sighting of something IS NOT ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO KEEP RANDOMLY REMEMBERING IT FOR NO REASON.

I am so bummed.

Now I'm torn between not wanting to touch the third book with a ten foot pole (because of the second one) and wanting to give it a chance to redeem the series (because of the first one).
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,414 followers
April 9, 2013
Silly, sweet and lots of fun, yet with a pleasing underbelly of bite. Newly minted grim reaper Lex returns in this sequel to Croak. Like most sequels worth reading, the stakes have become higher, and the world-building a little more fleshed out and fully realized.

Things I liked:

The Junior Grims of Croak actually act like normal teenagers. They don't know everything and can be impulsive and smart-mouthed. The chemistry between Lex and Driggs continues to be made of win. And while the copious make-out sessions had me rolling my eyes, what else would two hormone driven teenagers living in such close proximity get up to? Plus, hilarity ensues when Uncle Mort has to play chaperone all the time. His vigilant attempts to halt any over-enthusiastic pawing sessions did make me laugh.

Speaking of -- Uncle Mort. I keep picturing him as Woody Harrelson. He's brash, funny, sarcastic and a welcome adult presence in a world populated with angsty teen Grims.

The world-building. This version of the Afterlife rules, even if it is a little too rainbows and lollipops sometimes (Edgar Allen Poe needs a bigger part in the next book). Zara's plan, the search for the Wrong Book, Lex's exploration of her Damning capabilities - - all add up to a nice bit of escapist reading. I'll be definitely seeking out the final book in the trilogy.

Here's my review for Croak (Croak, #1)
Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,236 reviews382 followers
April 6, 2015

Lex and the gang are back, complete with snark overload. Other than that, I literally don't know where to start or really what to say -- I despise Norwood and Heloise, Zara has really gone off the deep end, and I'm not the biggest fan of Ferbus in this book. He really needs to get over himself. Or whatever his issue is.

It was cool getting to see somewhere besides Croak in this book (because as much as I LOVE Croak, when you know there are other cities out there like this one, you naturally want to see them too). I picture DeMyse like the Capitol of Panem:

Also, forewarning you guys: if when you read this book, PLEASE make sure you have Rogue ready to go as soon as you're done. I'm thanking the gods I bought both at the same time, because I'm gonna tear through this bitch as soon as I'm done typing this. Overall, prepare to get your heart shredded and your mind fucked.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
August 17, 2012
I'm not sure why, but I'm having the hardest time trying to figure out what to say about this one.
Scorch is an amazing sequel, much better then the first. I admit, I read the first book so fast that it got dulled down by all the morbidness. There is only so much death I can stomach. So learning from my mistake, I took my time with this book and enjoyed it for everything it gave us.
The plot line steps up a notch. Zara is still on the lose with her new found damning powers that Lex kindagaveher. Now Lex is pretty much the most hated girl in Croak but she's determined to fix things before it's to late. There are some really great developments and twists that I never saw coming.
The writing is just so sensational. It's fun and easy to lose yourself within this world and it's quirky characters. But I think the best thing about this book is the incredible amount of zingers and banter that come from Uncle Mort, Lex and Driggs. So so much fun. It's like eating word candy that gives you perma-giggles. Those three absolutely owns me!
I loved the book, but I didn't like what happened to one of my favorite characters. Which makes the wait for the last book unbearable. I still have hope that Lex will fix this and by this I mean what happened to one.of.my.favorite.characters. No, just no! It can't stay that way:(
Morbidly fun and wonderfully witty! The next book can't come fast enough!
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
534 reviews652 followers
February 24, 2019
Color me surprised, becase I did not expect this book to go into this direction.

First of all, I love these characters! Especially Driggs and Uncle Mort. Edgar Allan Poe and now King Tut (Tutanchamon) in the afterlife are always a fun addition!

The tone of this sequel is quite different from book one, which is both a pro and a con for me. A plus because the storyline is different and new and interesting. More fast paced. And yes, more dreary, but still somehow loads of fun anyway. As to why the different tone is a a bit of a con too, is becase I really really enjoyed the story and tone of book one. How dark, but also very quiant and slowly revealinng the plot - and the setting of the little Croak town - was. Here we travel away from Croak and get to know more about the Grimsphere. The stakes are higher, and the last part of the book, I did not expect things to go there. I have no idea how the last book is going to go. 3.75 stars

Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews153 followers
August 8, 2012
“Three and half stars: The stakes are higher in this darker toned sequel.

It has been three weeks since the traumatic revelation of the Croak traitor and murderer. Lex and Uncle Mort are on a cross country road trip to retrieve some new junior recruits. Lex is not okay and her anger simmers inside. She is determined to track down the killer. Once she arrives back in Croak, Lex is relieved to find that Driggs and her friends are still on her side. Unfortunately, the rest of the town seems to be behind two of Croak's more odious citizens: Norwood and his wife Heloise. Tension is running high in the town, and no one feels safe with the wayward Grim on the loose damning fellow Grims and innocents alike until she gets her way. Soon disaster strikes in Croak and it becomes apparent that conflicting opinions have split the town, turning the Seniors against Uncle Mort and his Juniors. Can Lex hunt down the murderess Grim and help restore Croak back to the cozy town she loves?

What I Liked:
*I was pleased to note Lex's tremendous growth in this book. She has shed the rebellious, disrespectful attitude and transformed into a capable and determined young lady, ready to step up and track down a killer. She is smart and quick to use her problem solving skills. Yet, she is struggling with the recent devastating loss she suffered and worried about her unique damning ability. I liked the new more complex Lex.
I was excited to see that Uncle Mort played a much bigger role in this book. He is quick with his memorable quips that lighten up the book. He also deals with some difficulties and he stands up and takes them head on. Uncle Mort never takes anything lying down!
*Once the atmosphere becomes chaotic in Croak, the group of Juniors flee with Uncle Mort to another Grim settlement called DeMyse. I liked seeing the gang outside their normal confines. I also was pleased to see the addition of a couple of new characters, the most memorable being Broomie. I only hope that Broomie will be along for the next book.
*The plot of this book drives to solving the mystery surrounding the notorious Grim, Groton and catching the killer. There are some big surprises in this one and the ending was an explosion of reveals with some agonizing, jaw dropping moments and a painful cliffhanger. I was stunned by some of the revelations!

And The Not So Much:
*This book takes on much darker and more serious tone, in contrast to it its predecessor. While this isn't a terrible thing by any means, I found myself missing some of the light hearted antics that went on in Croak. This book is thick with tension and suspense.
*The romance between Lex and Driggs is no longer in its fledgling stages. The awkward, antagonistic phase has moved into lengthy make out sessions. I actually missed the quibbles they used to have. The relationship, though, is strong and they care very deeply for one another. It is nice to see they always have each other's backs.
*I was disappointed to find that there was no resolution between Lex and her parents. After the disastrous misfortune and hasty parting, I was hoping to see Lex reach out her parents and be a source of comfort, unfortunately that does not happen.
*The pacing of this one dragged a bit for me. As I noted, this book has a much darker and serious tone. There is plenty of tension but the overall pace does not pickup until the dramatic finish and then it is rapid fire until the dreadful cliffhanger ending.
*There was a couple of instances where things were quickly brushed over and not thoroughly explained. Some examples: what exactly was the plant that Lex used that worked as a neutralizer and how did it work? What was the relationship between Mort and the mayor of DeMyse? How did Norwood cull his new ability? What all was Uncle Mort hiding? These were just a few of the many lingering questions that remained.

Scorch is a solid follow up to Croak. This book takes the plots in new directions as it takes on a more dramatic, tension filled tone. The ending is jaw dropping and will leave you hungering for the next book. If you are hankering for a book featuring a new twist on the classic Grim Reaper, check out this series!

Favorite Quotations:

“And as much as I’d love to continue exploring the existential implications of Damning roadkill, the truth is” he plunged his hands into his hair until it stuck up even more than usual---‘you’ve been back here in my presence for two agonizing hours now, and if we don’t properly make out soon, I’m going to hurl myself off the roof.”

“Well,” Uncle Mort said, “looks like the crazies have arrived. Much earlier than usual, it would seem.”

“Tell you what, next time we’re being chased by a murderous criminal, I’ll try to schedule in a little more time for sightseeing.”

“I miss Mom and Dad. The way Mom would put those silly ‘Made with love’ notes in our lunches, the way Dad honked the horn in the school parking lot extra embarrassingly whenever the football team ran by.” She let out a small laugh. “Other things, too. Sneezing. the smell of gasoline. That blurry feeling between being asleep and being awake. The way you can hold your hands at just the right angle in the shower so that it looks like beams of water are shooting out from your fingertips like a superhero.” She looked at Lex. “None of it’s the same. I’ll never get any of that back.”

I received an ARC copy of this book courtesy of the publisher all quotes are from the ARC and may differ. I received no compensation for my review and all opinions are my own.
Originally posted @ http://rainydayramblings.typepad.com/
Profile Image for Meghan K..
229 reviews57 followers
July 19, 2018
Daaamn! V tomhle díle se toho stalo tolik! A ten konec! Na jednu stranu zlomené srdce, na tu druhou... to snad bude dobrý. Další díl, prosím! 👻💀
Profile Image for Rose.
182 reviews78 followers
June 30, 2014


Nevertheless, I love these characters so, so much and no matter what kind of pain Damico puts me through, I'm here for it.

BRB, forever sobbing because Driggs is everything.
Profile Image for Debra Barstad.
1,388 reviews11 followers
February 23, 2019
There were good parts and then there were bad parts. I felt the book fell short in the middle but than picked up again. Use your imagination and think a hormonal teenager being the grim reaper. it was an okay read for me.
Profile Image for Jenni Arndt.
438 reviews331 followers
October 15, 2013
My hopes were really high going into Scorch after having loved Croak immensely and I was not let down at all. Sure this one didn’t feel like it packed quite the same punch as Croak did, but I think that can be said about any middle book. They start out with a bang, keep you entertained in the second book and then in the third they go out with the bang that you remember from the first.

Once again we are met with an extremely lovable cast of characters. Lex is back and snarky as ever and her relationship with the ever sexy & sweet Driggs is reaching molten hot levels. These two are the definition of a relationship that I ship in novels. They are so into each other and yet they manage to maintain their individuality and independent thought, that isn’t seen often in relationships in YA novels. The secondary characters in this one continue to bloom as well. I came to really like Elysia and the new rookies that are brought to Croak as juniors in the beginning of the novel. Every character in this series elicits some sort of emotion from me which is a definite sign of strong character building. Lex, Kloo, Bang, and Uncle Mort (to name just a few of the characters I like) always have me laughing and rooting for their well being. Even Pandora and Corpp who are always in the background of scenes but never too huge became people that I truly care about. Then there is Heloise, Norwood and Zara, I hate these characters with a fiery passion. They make me feel so much rage and really wish that I could grab their little necks and damn them myself. So, see what I mean? Good character building!

We get to travel to DeMyse in this one and are also treated to glimpses of Lex’s family throughout. The world of the Grimsphere is really opened up and we get to see that not all of the sections are the same. The contrast between DeMyse and Croak is quite stark. DeMyse is all about the nightlife and the high life whereas Croak is much more down-home-country feeling. The new setting also brought forth an opportunity to meet more Grims and see how other factions are run. What was nice is that Lex’s home life wasn’t completely forgotten about as we were immersed into the vast Grimsphere. Her parents make an appearance and her sister is still a constant in her life.

Once again I felt that this one was incredibly predictable, I had all the puzzle pieces worked out from very early on in the novel but I still very much enjoyed making my way through it. I’m not sure if it was my intense need to find out how the series ends that made this one feel as if it dragged a bit or if it really did but I did find myself bored at times while reading through it. It was definitely more tedious than Croak but as I said before I think that can be attributed to the fact that it is the middle book in the series. Maybe in an ideal world all series would be two books long instead of trilogies. Then it would be BANG-BANG instead of BANG-carry on and extrapolate- BANG! But in the first instance I guess you wouldn’t come to care about the characters as much as you do in the second, therefore making the final bang have less of an impact on the reader.

OK, that was me babblinging there. So in conclusion, this is an awesome series full of fantastic characters and a super sweet romance. It has family dynamics, all the snarkiness you can handle and just the right amount of darkness to balance everything out. Gina Damico knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat (for the most part) and how to build complex characters that draw all of the feels out. I can’t wait to get started on Rogue and see how this series wraps up!

You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
250 reviews330 followers
February 11, 2013
I honestly don't understand why this series is more popular. It hits Twilight and other sappy, lame books like that right out of the park! (Sorry for the offence, Twi-Hards. But that's how I feel.)

The characters are very lovable, the plot and world-building has an surprising amount of complexity and the writing is fluffy but is not afraid to get dirty and bloody.

Lex has changed a bit since Croak (book #1). Some of her sassy snark is gone, and she's gotten a bit more serious about stuff. Her twin sister is dead, Zara is killing innocents, most of the Croak community hates her and she's finding it harder and harder to control her Damning powers.
Yikes! Poor Lex. She is suffering with a lot for her age. But with the help of cheeky Uncle Mort, her sexy Driggs and other Grims, she finds the "light at the end of the tunnel" and gets things done. Even though she's more serious, Lex still has her sharp tongue and dry humour.

The best thing about the Croak Series is the wide range of lovable characters. We're joined with old ones, and new. It took me a few pages to remember the old ones, but I soon remembered them and was glad to see them again.

The Villains - might I add, they deserve the title 'Villain,' each and every one of them - are terrific.
Zara gets much more voice then she did in Croak, and I for one am glad. The way she thinks is just fascinating.

Norwood and Heloise are not as nasty as before. Hell no, there nastier. I'd love to explain the full capacity of there 'nastiness,' but I'm afraid I'll be spoiling the ending for you.

May I say; I've missed you the most, Mort. It is no secret that I adore Mort, and I'm not afraid to say it.

By the way; the Grim Gang don't spend the entire book in DeMyse. The blurb lied to you - to all of us.

So, Scorch lived up to my expectations. It was just as funny as Croak and has the same amount of originality.
I cannot WAIT for the next book in this Drop-Dead fantastic series.

Oh, yes.
I forgot to warn you all of the major cliff-hanger at the end.
Good. God.
*falls off cliff and shouts "YOU WERE WARNED....."*
Profile Image for Natalie.
75 reviews63 followers
October 27, 2012
Have you ever read a book that you cant help but love? A book thats characters are smart mouthed and damaged and strong and so perfectly un-perfect you cant help but fall in love with them over and over again (yes, even the bad guys). A book thats plot is so well thought out, and intricatly woven that it has you biting you nails even though you are wearing nail polish and has you mad at youself that you didnt see "it" coming sooner. A book, so funny that you find yourself smiling stupidly in the middle of math class and laughing out loud at very inoportune moments.A book that makes you cry even if you deny it. A book thats ending rips out your heart and tears it into tiny pieces and just when you think all is lost,a flicker of hope arises.....annnnd... The End! THAT BOOK IS THIS BOOK! (Both this book and this series) My heart is currently outside my body, in a bloody half mended pieces just waiting untill the next book comes out.

You need to read it! And if you dont. If you choose not to read this book because it wont change your life, or isnt on the best sellers list, or just cuz you think the chick on the cover looks like Justin Beiber... Well then its your loss!

Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,474 reviews170 followers
July 10, 2012
Thank you to Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to read this ARC. I read Croak and I liked it. I was not really sure a second book was needed but hey I am not an author I am a reader. So I decided to give Scorch a go. I'm glad I did because Croak is action packed and full of surprises.

Lex is a teenage grim reaper who can damn souls. She has a unique quality to her and all she wants to do is blend in with her fellow students. See after accidentally giving away her ability to Zara Lex becomes the towns pariah and she wants to get away. So her friends decide they are going to take a road trip. They go to DeMyse to have fun but while there Lex is conflicted and she decides that she has to stop Zara no matter what happens to her.

What is a girl supposed to do when no one can help her but herself? Will Lex be able to defeat Zara? Or will Zara have other plans? This story is full of action and suspense right to the end. If you enjoyed Croak you will definitely enjoy Scorch. I am looking forward to the third book to see where all of this goes.
Profile Image for Jessica.
721 reviews611 followers
November 25, 2012
4.5 stars

Holy.Shit. Remember when I said that book one had a juvenile feel to it? Well, this certainly doesn't apply to the sequel. Things just got a whole lot more serious all of the sudden. After the happy (almost fluffy) and fun read that Croak was I never in a million years expected to find myself perched at the edge of my seat, heart beating wildly and full out sobbing while reading the sequel Scorch. I'm amazed at how attached I got to all of these wonderful characters; Mort, Lex and Driggs being my favorites and I cannot believe that I have to wait for God knows how long to see how everything plays out and if there’s some way to fix this freakin mess.

I cannot believe what just happened...

I cannot believe those people...

I cannot believe what Lex did...

I cannot believe that Gina Damico would really do this to us...

Please, I need book 3!!!
Profile Image for Hanka.
269 reviews52 followers
August 29, 2013
what the f was that ending? i can't believe what i just read. you better fix it all, Gina Damico or else... damn, damn, damn... one hell of a ride, this book, one hell of a ride, indeed.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,637 reviews161 followers
October 12, 2015
I didn't love book 1 so I don't think it's a huge shock that I didn't love book 2. I found something things funny but most of the slang and silly remarks were just distracting.
Profile Image for Artemis Crescent.
870 reviews
September 19, 2021
2021 EDIT: I skimmed this after rereading the first book. It took hours, and I've read enough.

SO MUCH SLUT SHAMING AND INTERNALISED MISOGYNY IN THIS SERIES! It's ridiculous. Plus I was right: Norwood and Heloise are too much. Good and funny parts aside, 'Scorch' is infuriating to no end. There's no enjoyment to be had here; misery overwhelms absolutely everything. In fiction, particularly "comedies", I really don't want to be reminded of anything relating to real life in terms of politics and how humans in groups (read: mob mentality) work. I don't want to be reminded of how evil people are. I don't want to be reminded of how stupid people are. Reality is already mean-spirited and imbecilic enough.

And I hate Ferbus so, so much.

Final Score: 3/5

Original Review:

A dark, hilarious and shocking follow-up to 'Croak'. Readers may have to be patient throughout most of ‘Scorch’ - it seems at first to suffer from the clichés/symptoms of sequelitis that pervades most middle books in a YA trilogy. Read on though, for the original, show-stopping climax makes it all worth it.

'Scorch' is clever, witty, funny - so funny I laughed out loud several times - and that's the dialogue and character interactions, which are even sharper than in its predecessor. It is also more gruesome, violent and terrifying with its subject matter of death, which goes hand in hand with the lives of our Grim Reaper teen heroes, known as the Juniors. There is also a light-heartedness in the form of the glitzy DeMyse (which I'll talk about later on), and the cotton-candy sweet Afterlife, a paradise where the dead can do whatever they want. But they can’t experience the more beautiful and tangible little things life offers, plus they have to put up with other dead people, so there is not much convenience or freedom even in death.

'Scorch' cares not at all for consistency in tone. And I like it.

Life sucks more than usual for Lex Bartleby, our protagonist, when the town of Croak - the only place that (to an extent) she and the other Junior Grims have to call home - turns against her and her friends for something they have no control over. In the last book, a fellow Junior, Zara, had turned traitor. She stole some of Lex’s soul-Damning powers after killing the heroine’s twin sister Cordy, adding to her grief and guilt. Now many people - like the Senior Grims Norwood and Heloise, who turn tyrant in the small, easily-led town - believe that all Juniors are not to be trusted. It is both frustrating and endearing to read the troubles the Juniors face everyday just for doing their jobs like everybody else. Adults can be such heartless bastards.

Zara is far from finished from her twisted goals, which include Damning innocent souls and seeking the keys to a lot of old mysteries Lex also wishes to discover.

Soon a mob mentality will blow up and win over the poor Juniors: promising blood despite the help and reassurances of Uncle Mort, Croak's mayor and Lex's mentor. But he himself is keeping dangerous secrets.

Former delinquent Lex will stop at nothing to find out just what the hell is going on - regarding the abnormalities within the Grimsphere, and the origin of her own special Damning ability, which is getting out of hand the more her temper gets the better of her, threatening the very lives of those around her...

Let's talk about Lex, shall we? She is astronomically different from a lot of the YA female leads out there on the market, so as to be from another milky way. She is brash, impulsive, a quick thinker, a smart and snappy talker, and is really just like any other sixteen-to-seventeen-year-old.

In 'Scorch', it would appear at first that Lex has learned to control her violent urges from her last ordeal in 'Croak' - at least to an extent - and this is especially important since her urges are linked to her power to Damn souls. Her self-control is literally a matter of life and death. But a twist towards the end of the story reveals just how different Lex Bartleby is from your average YA heroine. She is not perfect, she makes mistakes and pays the price for them like every human: a human teenager at that. But her mistakes can be fatal. The ultimate price? Her own soul; making her much the same as the villain, Zara, who let her powers and ambitions wither her humanity away.

The town of Croak could have every right to fear our tortured heroine after all. Lex could be one step closer to joining the dark side...

Her relationship with her boyfriend Driggs, fellow Junior Grim and roomie with her Uncle Mort, is beyond adorable. They make out every chance they get and go even further on occasion, just like a real teenage couple would. Lex and Driggs still like to exchange insults, and banter childishly, but it is affectionate and only makes their relationship all the more interesting to read. They are a team. They bond over past tragedies, and clearly see each other as equals, despite the life-threatening difficulties they face; they will risk life itself to keep one another safe.

I love the main romance in this series, and I care about Driggs deeply. He is much more than a designated male love interest, and to call him so is an insult bigger than anything Lex could ever come up with.

I also love the many hilariously convoluted ways that Uncle Mort tries to keep Lex and Driggs from making out at his house (the shower sex scene is one of the funniest things I've ever read). That man, who, like his niece, takes crap from no one and is as snarky as the rest of the cast, is really a big daddy at heart.

The rest of the characters range from: just okay - like Elysia and the newbie Juniors Pip and Bang; to abhorrent - like Ferbus, Norwood, Heloise and Snodgrass (seriously, that's his name); to awesome-sauce - like Broomie.

I deeply disliked Ferbus for most of the book. He finds every reason to blame Lex for every bad thing that happens, even though they are both Juniors and need at this crucial time to stick together and support one another. He is probably inspired by Ron Weasley, but he has none of Ron's boyish charm or his proven loyalty and care for his friends. I think Ferbus's animosity stems less from his distrust of Lex and her Damning powers and more from his secretly being in love with Driggs. He is jealous that Driggs spends a lot of time with her and gets mad when his best friend defends her. However, Ferbus and his Butt Monkey status did get a chuckle out of me a few times, especially when he's drunk. A romance between him and Elysia looks to be on the horizon, though it's only hinted at once near the end of the story and comes out of nowhere.

A new character that I love and hope to see in the next book is Broomie. A heavy-built Asian woman who was raised in Australia, likes to drink, has a raunchy attitude and brims with confidence? Win-win!

That just leaves Zara, the rogue Junior Grim and ongoing threat to Lex and the Grimsphere. If she were any crazier she would be licking her own scythe to taste the metallic blood of her victims. She is Lex's opposite, yet isn't. With this in mind, I was a little disappointed to learn later on that Zara is not her own master; she isn't the main villain, and is a pawn to someone who is supposed to have died decades ago. Gee, how original.

Still, at least we get a battle of wills and wits between Lex and Zara - two sides of the same grimy omen. The climax is horrific, intense and brought me close to tears, which is something almost no book has ever successfully made me do. Zara is wholly aware of Lex's weaknesses, and will exploit them within an inch of Lex's suffering, as well as her sanity. Tragedy strikes both characters in the end, due to their respective impulsive desires. Desires which have nothing to do with them being in love with the same guy (they're not), thank the Void.

Another thing that separates Lex from most YA protagonists is that she actually suffers terrible consequences for her actions. She learns the hard way what her recklessness does to those she loves, and from which, despite everything, she may refuse to learn from due to her hunger for revenge. This should make her unlikable and reprehensible, but in context it is understandable, even human, tragic as it is...

'Scorch', like 'Croak', has a strong 'Harry Potter' and anime feel to it. More shonen than shoujo, I love its cast of genuinely active, passionate and relatable female characters. Harry Potter, like Lex, had to deal with adults fearing and distrusting him in his time in his story's supernatural world, due to the actions of the villain who, in the minds of complete bastards, got away all because of the hero. Part of being a dynamic hero is suffering through the ignorance and self-righteousness of rivals and authority figures - on top of fearing when the bad guy will strike next and being unable to do anything about it.

Such responsibility, including the protection of loved ones, can be too much for one human teenager, and can bring him or her to madness and to a level of moral dissonance not so different from the villain's own way of life. A self-fulfilling prophecy on the authority figure's part if there ever was one.

The themes of death and grief are also written with finesse, with some wonderful yet chilling in-context observations. The author doesn't skip out on the more emotional scenes; Lex is made more sympathetic due to her self-awareness and reflections, not to mention her guilt over her actions and how they affect others (this includes her practically abandoning her parents in their own grief over her sister's death). Most of what transpires in 'Scorch' is as much her own fault as it is Zara's and Norwood's. And, true to her character, Lex's path towards redemption might become her path to self-Damning-destruction; her penultimate fall from grace...

Another thing to note about 'Scorch' is how the Las Vegas-like city of DeMyse works. When Lex and her friends flee there to escape the brainwashed masses of Croak, they find the city is also run by a mayor with ulterior motives, and the citizens are oblivious to the chaos of the outside world. In DeMyse, everything is a happy, colourful and artificial (not to mention outrageously expensive) facade, a lie created for the "good" of its people. This totalitarian context is another theme the book delivers in the same creepy - and even a little subtle - vibe as the other themes do.

Time to wrap this review up. 'Scorch' is slower than the first book in the 'Croak' series, but it reads extremely quickly and easily, not because it is too simple but because it is so enjoyable and gets the point across always. Each chapter ends with the reader dying (no pun intended) to know what happens next. It builds up in terms of development competently and excitedly - more so with its characters than the plot, but the book is well-written nonetheless.

Great characters, great emotion, great snarky dialogue reminiscent of Joss Whedon (there are also similarities to 'Buffy' in this series), and great horror and laughs. 'Scorch' even has gay characters. It has a bit of everything, including shocking twists shot out from the Void: the space between spaces.

Even keeping in mind that the books are fundamentally about death, will the 'Croak' series turn out to be one of YA's unexpected attempts at a teen tragedy? I'll find out with the last in the trilogy, 'Rogue'.

Final Score: 4.5/5
Displaying 1 - 30 of 490 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.