When Francine contacted me to ask if I wanted to join in on the tour, I was absolutely ecstatic! Not only could I help a friend, but I also got to read a novella that I’d had my eye on for a while! And even better – Mara was incredible, and left me wanting more!
Author: Veronica Bane
Publication Date: August 3, 2013
Publisher: Black Hill Press
Planned series, more info to follow
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
I normally don’t read novellas, unless it’s something like Destroy Me where it’s a simple bridge between novels, but Mara was a stand-alone (as of right now), and yet I still loved it! I’ve always been interested in super powers, and with this motley band of kids who figure out they’re the next X-men, I was immediately hooked.
Mara, the title character, isn’t your normal teen girl – she’s isolated, moody, and quite snarky, not to mention she has some serious family issues. I really wanted to punch her brother – just sayin’. Despite her past, and her strange ability that can cause a lot of damage should she choose it, Mara is strong and ultimately becomes a leader for the group. The other characters were very unique, not only in the power they had, but also their personalities. I never mixed them up, because they stood out from each other. Alex was another of my favorite, out of the main five. His background is never fully revealed, and I really hope Veronica continues this series because I want to find out more about this boy! He’s roguish and a bit wicked, but towards the end of the novella he’s shown to care about a lot more than himself.
Even in the small number of pages (less than 200), there was a complete and intriguing plot. At times it became a bit confusing, because I was trying to catch up with the story while it kept barreling forward, but I think that was more of a reader issue rather than a writing issue. I can be a bit dense unless something is laid out step by step for me! The story is fast-paced and suspenseful, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
The only thing I’d say I wish was a bit different would be the setting, as far as clarity. One character seems to be Asian, and I got the sense that she was in a sort of set apart camp for their culture. But then on another page it seems like they’re in a rural, tiny town where they’re all mushed together. One of the main plot points is racial tension, so I would have liked just a bit more clarification and world-building.
Meet the Author:
Veronica Bane grew up in San Diego, California and spent her days writing in local coffee shops and at the beach. Her writing was and has always been fed a healthy diet of chai tea lattes and film scores.
Veronica studied Creative Writing at Chapman University and now lives in Los Angeles.
The Giveaway: A signed copy of MARA + $25 gift card to Amazon
- 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