Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Becky's View: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Scintillate by Tracy Clark
♦publisher: Entangled Teen
♦release date: February 4th, 2014
♦paperback,304 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Light Key Trilogy, book 1
♦source: from publisher via SF Book Review
A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

Review: While Scintillate could have easily been just another YA book about a girl who sees auras, author Tracy Clark takes a common metaphysical idea and gives it a fantastic new life and depth.  The story she’s crafted surrounds not just her main character, Cora, and the people around her, but encompasses the whole of humanity, cleverly making the human dynamic more similar to a natural “food chain”.  In the world of Scintillate, auras are like a physical life force, that can be given or taken.  Unfortunately, there are people who, much like “energy vampires”,will suck the aura right out of another, feeding off of them, even killing them completely. 

There were lots of great characters.  Cora is smart, sheltered by her over-protective father, a bit angsty but not at all whiney, but prone to making some very passionate but poor choices that definitely kept her very real.  The dialogue was sharp and quick, but often walked a fine line bordering on being a little over the top and corny, even for a bit o’ flowery Irish metaphor.  This made some of Cora’s heavier romantic moments with main love interest, Finn, an Irish exchange student, sometimes swoony, but sometimes melodramatic.
(My one gripe: seems like almost every Irish boy in YA is named Finn. Surely that's not the only boy name with Irish origins??)  I really enjoyed some of the side characters, especially Cora’s best friends, Mari and Dun.  They provided a few moments of great emotional support, clear thinking, and comic relief with all the serious things Cora goes through.  I also loved the ups and downs with Cora’s father and the mystery surrounding her mother.  And of course, it’s aways fun when you have a few interesting characters that aren’t cleary good or clearly bad. 

It’s a very high energy plot, with directions and suspicions changing very quickly. While a few key plot twists were not completely unpredictable, it was great fun watching all the mysteries unfold.  Scintillate was a fast and fun read that had me hooked from beginning to end.  I definitely intend to stick with this series!

Find Tracy Clark online: Website  •  Twitter   •  Facebook

Purchae Scintillate: Amazon  •  BookDepository 


  1. You're the second person I've seen that has given Scintillate a glowing review. I love hearing that you enjoyed the characters so much. I think it's time to toss it on my TBR list!

    1. Yes the characters were great, and two of my favorites when the story moved to Ireland---hopefully we'll get more of Mari & Dun in book 2!
      I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

  2. Ooh! I'd mostly ignored this book until very recently when I actually read the synopsis, and so I'm so glad that you enjoyed this Becky! Ooh, and yay for great friends! I love when a heroine has a good support system behind her, and especially when the complete and total focus isn't the boy. :) Great review!!

    1. Well, I will admit, the boy is a pretty big focus LOL. But it's still a great story. Hope you find the time to check it out!

  3. Yay! I'm glad this is a good one! I love the cover (heh...I have such bad cover coveting) and I hadn't read any reviews yet. I should look into it more. And yeah...Finn seems a wickedly popular name in YA at the moment. There was a Finn in The Impossible Knife of Memory too.

  4. Finns are everywhere! LOL I'm a sucker for a good cover, too, and this one definitely draws me in. Hope you decide to give this one a try!