Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mara (Unusuals, #1)” as Want to Read:
Mara (Unusuals, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Unusuals #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  32 reviews
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 a ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 3rd 2013 by Black Hill Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mara, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mara

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  92 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mara (Unusuals, #1)
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Characters: Mara, a surly 17 year old girl with a dark past is the main character. The novel is in her point of view. Other important characters include a group of teenagers in her town - Miles, Alex, Terry, Miyuki, and Chris - Mara's sadistic older brother, and the equally sadistic, pathetic town leader working with a man known as The Stranger to carry out a sick, angry agenda. Due to multiple instances of abuse in her past, Mar
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.

Mara is fast-paced and dangerous, a thrilling tale of unusual teens and their unu
originally posted at:

I have been finishing some superhero books recently and when I went through them on Goodreads I was recommended to read the novella Mara. When I read the synopsis of the book I was more than eager to dig into it. It somehow reminded me a bit to Firestarter from Stephen King. The promise that the synopsis holds for Mara is more than proven true, more than once Veronica Bane managed to surprise by the power of her story, it's far from o
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think I started this book for the first time 3 years ago and finally I got all the way through it. If I were to describe this book it would be Avatar the Last Airbender but rated R for sex, language, and violence. This was a super easy book to fly through considering how short it is plus every page is filled with action and suspense. I wasn't a huge fan of the actual writing style I don't know exactly why but it just wasn't doing it for me, which is why I'm only giving this 4 stars and not any ...more
Francine Soleil
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted here:

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
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Mara is more gritty, badass, and intense than many other YA novels in this genre, and I’m surprised by how much energy and violence is in this story despite its short length. This is a fast-paced and exciting story, but I wish that it was longer so that parts of the story can be fleshed out even more. On a side note, if Mara was a movie it’d be like Kick-Ass (but probably not like Kick-Ass 2, since I heard that that one was pretty bad...)

Mara Tucker faked her own death and moved
Leonor (Ner)
Also published in "A Cup of Coffee and a Book"

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from the author, Veronica Bane, herself in exchange for an honest review.

Let me begin by saying that unfortunately I couldn’t read and review this book when I was invited to be part of Mara Book Tour planned by Francine @Always Lost in Books. I posted an excerpt and giveaway (go here to see it) but I couldn’t express my thoughts about it. And it’s really a shame because I enjoyed this book very much.

Mara tells th
I am so very glad that I had the opportunity to read Mara. This novella was intriguing, and captured my interest from the moment I started reading. I devoured it in one sitting, and could have easily kept on reading more of this story. Mara is a unique novella that truly captured the essence of a group of unusual teenagers.

Most of the novellas that I have read have been part of a series of books. Mara stands on its own two feet, and presents an amazing story in such a small number of pages. The
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

This book got me hooked from page one! Let’s just say it has a killer opening act. I didn’t want to stop reading, and I hated anything and anyone who interrupted me.

The premise of this book is so cool, teenagers with unusual powers coming together to fight whatever evil is chasing them. I know, it sounds like a teenage version of heroes! But I liked that it isn’t. They were just regular kids, with issues. Big ones! And they acted out on them, especially Mara. So the plot is enticing a
Lisa (Lisa Likes Books)
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Thanks to the author for giving me this ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.


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.) W
Book Review originally published here:

Mara tells the story of a group of teenagers, Unusuals, who’ve just begun to learn about their powers and abilities. Mara is the main character, and other notable characters are Miyuki, Chris, Alex and Miles. Mara’s past is riddled with dark mysteries, from how she escaped her home to how she fled away from her brother. She’s a little on the dark side as far as teenagers go – she’s tough, not afraid to fight anyone wh
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Mara is a thrill ride of emotion that will appeal to those who enjoy Avatar: The Last Airbender or Legend of Korra.

I really enjoyed the plot and pacing of Mara. I’ve fallen in love with the idea of being able to control the elements thanks to the two shows I mentioned above. It’s so cool so see someone take something as wild and dangerous as fire and learn to control it, so it’s no surprise that I really loved that portion of this book. The characters really personify the element that they have
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog-review
Veronica Bane’s MARA is an intriguing tale about a group of misfits finding common ground and friendship amid social tensions in the town of Jericho.

As for characterization, it’s a bit weak, but again, it’s a novella and you can’t go into in-depth character development otherwise you sacrifice other aspects such as narrative. Our main character is Mara who has the ability to control fire and comes from a troubled past. We get to meet her brother briefly and it’s pretty apparent they have a rocky
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mara takes place in a small town where a group of strange kids/teenagers have special powers. We (the readers) are introduced to a whole cast of awesome characters. These characters can control the elements, but there are people after the kids, action...stuff happens. I don't want to spoil you! :)

So Mara is one of the main characters and she's awesome. She's such a bad-a and she kicks butt! But she does have her bad days. She's violent, often lashes out and she's somewhat selfish. She's a well r
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

High schooler Mara Tucker can create and manipulate fire, for years using it to harm those who have hurt her in some way. She thinks that she is the only person out there who can do what she does, but she is about to be proven wrong. There are numerous "unusuals" living in the town of Jericho where she has lived for years with her Uncle. At the same time she discovers that she is not alone in having special powers,
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Book Title : Mara (Unusuals #1)
Author: Veronica Bane
Publisher: Black Hill Press
Release date: August 3rd 2013
Format: Paperback ;176 pages


Mara is a novella which revolves around a group of teenagers who seem to have special powers, but focuses more on Mara rather than the entire Group !

At first, we clearly see that Mara has a troubled past, but exactly how? This is what you find out as read the book.The story keeps on giving you these small clues about her past, then leaves you starving
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mara can create and manipulate fire. She's used this in the past to harm people that have hurt her. However, Mara thinks that she's the only one like it.
After an incident when she was younger, she now lives with her uncle in a town called Jericho. Where she learns that there are others like her.
Mara seems to have a really tough time making friends. She can be rude and doesn't always care about other peoples feelings.
I must admit that this book took me a few attempts to read, and the only reason
Bruce Gargoyle
Full review at http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress...

I received a digital copy of this book for review as part of the "Miyuki" blog tour.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Cranky teen with fire-wielding power seeks out others in Jericho with similar talents. Unfortunately, others are also seeking Mara's ilk, for nefarious purposes.

Mara was a quick, edgy read. I felt that this was a lot different from a lot of the YA that I have read recently, as the atmosphere was quite dark and menacing for the most part. A
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-read-books
Mara is a really unique novella about a group of misfits who are hunted down due to their powers. This fantasy novella has some really great themes that are intertwined within the story like being proud of you are and finding your inner strength. The tale is a bit quirky but I found it refreshing. One reason I love novella's is that they are not wordy or weighted down by pointless dialogue. I am also able to easily admire the elements of good writing because of it's length. I think Mara could be ...more
Anna Carolyn McCormally
Mara by Veronica Bane is a project of Black Hills Press–an independent publishing company dedicated to the novella. So Mara was short, but there’s more coming. The sequel, Miyuki, will be out in 2014.

Mara is the first book I’ve read that could be classified as “suburban” fantasy–the titular heroine and her fellow Unusuals live in the small desert town of Jericho, which segregates the “Natives” from the normal folks. The first book in the Unusuals series, Mara is about a group of high schoolers w
Brendan Mitchell
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novella for many reasons. I love books that have a young protagonist, and the protagonists in this book are layered and interesting. Also, the world in Mara is really well built, and I'm always a fan of angst among teenagers. This book doesn't pull its punches in regards to violence and other issues. The dialogue is well written and snappy because the teenagers sound like real teenagers. Excellent read and looking forward to more. ...more
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this novella. It included a very great story which includes my favourite thing, supernatural powers! This book screamed out to me from the synopsis. The characters were good an the writing was very smooth and enjoyable. Can't wait to read more form this author. Would recommend to anyone interested in a supernatural book. Great short read!

I won this book in a goodreads first reads Giveaway.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: Graphic Novel Wallpaper
BFF Charm: Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: And Now … The Weather
Bonus Factors: Superpowers, Diversity
Anti-bonus Factor: Cliffhanger
Relationship Status: Looking Glass

Read the full book report here.
David Silberstein
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awkward teenage angst, mysterious small town, and superpowers!

Well executed story. I could not put the book down. Am I a sucker for mysterious villains? Yes. Teens with elemental powers are fighting for their lives while having to deal with their pasts and personal pain. The town of Jericho will never be the same.
Christine Musgrove
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The descriptions are just the right balance - enough for me to get a vivid image in my head, but not so much that I forget what was happening in the actual story. The book is easy to read and keeps you wanting to know what's coming next. Nice! ...more
Jerry Bridges
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I started it and could not put it down. I read it almost straight through, finishing in just under 24 hours. The story has plenty of action and enough mystery to keep the reader turning pages without becoming wordy or tedious; an all around good story and a great read.
Emily Linacre
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
little baby superheroes (okay, young adult superheroes, but still), figuring out their powers. dark and depressing though; wish there'd been something besides some awkwardly funny dialogue to brighten it up a bit. good, quick read; interested to see how the story continues! ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I met Veronica during a journalism class, and since we have become friends, I definitely wanted to give her book a try. It was a fast and very enjoyable novella. I look forward to the sequel!

Check out my review here.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My friend from college wrote this so you should read it in support of her. :) It's a fun, quick read. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Writers & Lovers
  • Wilder Girls
  • Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)
  • Untamed
  • A Good Neighborhood
  • Permanent Record
  • Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle
  • The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1)
  • Truth and Beauty
  • Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove, #4.5)
  • Once Upon a River
  • Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (The Vanderbeekers, #1)
  • Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers)
  • Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • Shout
  • Hex
See similar books…
I grew up in San Diego, California and spent my days writing in local coffee shops and at the beach. My writing was and has always been fed a healthy diet of chai tea lattes and film scores.

I studied Creative Writing at Chapman University and now live in Los Angeles.

My book Mara was released August 2013 and is now available. The sequel, Miyuki, debuted April 2014.

Photograph property of Jessie Fel

Other books in the series

Unusuals (2 books)
  • Miyuki (Unusuals, #2)

Related Articles

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
60 likes · 9 comments
“None of them noticed the girl covered in ash as she
snaked along their gardens, setting fire to their begonias.”
“Friends and fire didn’t go well together.” 1 likes
More quotes…