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[Book Review] - Scorpion Shards by Neal Shusterman

Title: Scorpion Shards
   Author: Neal Shusterman
   Series: #6 - Star Shards Chronicles
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 7th, 2013
   My Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

     Six teenagers are horrified to discover that an evil force has taken control of them. A force that feeds on them hungrily and finds its only outlet in the blind desire to destroy. The force must be destroyed. But how? What follows is the ultimate battle for supremacy between the forces of good and evil.

My Review:

     Taking a break from the dreaded House of Night series lead me to my first Star Shards Chronicles and there was something oddly captivating. I normally am pretty hesitant on books that jump perspectives between a list of characters, but Neal just did such a great job that it was enjoyable. As well, the story worked. It was your pretty "Hi I'm a superhero. I'll save the day now" sort of book, there was the constant choice of good and evil. Which I think is what the book strived for, but also magnifies some of the changes and problems real world teenagers go through.

     The book switches between 6 characters every so often, Dillon, Deanna, Winston, Lourdes, Michael and Tori. In the start, it's pretty slow, but it's mainly due to building the character. The foundation for each character is set well, there's just enough to get you interested, see who they are and then moves on to keep that pull going. The transition between characters isn't the best, it just simply ends or cuts. Sometimes I wanted to skip ahead to see what happened to another character, but if I did you'd lose on most of the story and timeline because it was all linked together. It just needed cleaned up and it would have been a better flowing book.

     The characters are typical teenagers until an anomaly takes hold and they all gain different powers. It's not the typical flying, lasers or spider webs, but more of insatiable lust, uncontrollable obesity, the classic Benjamin Button reverse growth and the eye to cause chaos. There's this voice or void inside all of them that wants them to feed their ability, but if they do it causes pain and chaos in the outside world. It's a hunger that never ends, and the more they give into their inner voice the more the next demands. There's a lot to digest in how their abilities work and just what it does to all the characters, but most importantly it completely isolates all of them.

     Now I didn't really realize it at the time, but the more I think back to this book and as I am reading it, there's a lot here to take in. There's this bit that reminds me of the peer pressure and the whole isolation bit. Their abilities isolate them from the world and they are striving to be accepted, they want it they strive for it. As teens, I felt that way until I made some of the best friends I have ever met. So we all are going through or went through that phase, it happens we know about it. But then you add in their inner voice they have to feed, peer pressure. How often as teens did we constantly hear people asking or nearly begging us to do things. "Everyone's doing it." "It won't hurt anyone." "YOLO" So it's a no brainer they are afraid to go against their voice, it's the same pressure we all had growing up.

     There's just so much that Neal addresses in this book, and it's not pretty. There's a reckoning their pain, death and morbid moments in which someone gives in completely. It's just like real life though, it's not pretty, it will eat you alive and spit you out if you can't cope and manage what you are doing. The choices are always there. It's a pretty good, fast paced book that leaves enough meat on the bones to make you want more. I enjoyed it, I would love to reread this book having done the review now and have a bit more on my mind with regards to some of the motives in it.
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