Scintillate (The Light Key Trilogy #1) by Tracy Clark
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Review Copy from Netgalley
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N
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 had really intriguing fantasy elements for me. The idea of seeing auras was something I haven't read a lot of, and the back story concerning what Cora is definitely kept me interested and guessing. The whole concept was definitely different from things I've read before, especially the connection to Ireland. Although this has yet to be fully explained (it's only the first book, after all), it was a great element added to the story.
As a character, Cora fell into the mid-ground for me. There were times I really liked her: she strives for independence and is unfailingly curious. But other other times she'd make a decision that was just...far too questionable for my tastes. There also wasn't much more to her character in this first book. So she averaged into the middle, because I definitely didn't hate her, but I seriously questioned her judgement more than once and felt like so much of her wasn't defined.
And, of course, there's Finn. He's kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Sweet, mysterious, attractive, musically-inclined, and accented. While he felt like a pretty solid male counterpart for Cora and definitely held his appeal, there was also just something that felt off about him. and then, getting to the end, you find out why. As far as their romance goes, it fell into a grey area because, while it's definitely insta-love, there's a reasoning for it that's part of the plot.So I didn't hate it by any means, but there were certainly a few conversations that were a liiittle too intense, considering their circumstances.
Anyway, it was really the story that pulled me in. There's a lot of intricacy to this world that has yet to even be fully realized. The Irish and historical elements are there, but by the end there's even vaguely scientific pieces. It certainly kept me on my toes. And, despite my little hang ups, I really did feel for the characters. The ending was shocking and sad, and I definitely plan on reading the second book when it comes out.
So, as far as story line, Scintillate was a winner. The romance was a lit rough and pushy but not too hard to look past at the important parts. This is a solid, unique YA paranormal that will certainly keep you guessing!
Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.