Book Review: Sugar Skulls

pro_readerI’ve been reading this for over a month now, so sorry it’s taken me so long to post this review!

First of all, I’d like to give a huge thank you to Skyscape for allowing me to read this book for free, returning my honest opinion, through NetGalley.


Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas – eBook, 333 pages – Published November 10th 2015 by Skyscape

The thing that really drew me into this book is the cover. I mean, it’s seriously gorgeous. This whole “Sugar Skull” thing is a bit of a trend (or has been) and honestly, I kind of like it. I mean, I’d never go out like that, but you must admit that this face paint looks stunning.

I won’t lie, it took me a while to get into this. I didn’t really understand quite what was going on. Eventually, it did begin to make sense, and I can tell you now that this is a book about a city – closed off by the Wall – where many drugs are legal, and energy is collected via thrum collectors. Vee, one of two protagonists/narrators, is the lead singer of the band Sugar Skulls, performing to create thrum (or whatever term they use). She gets mixed up with Micah, an off-the-grid guy who does drops for shady characters, trying to hunt down the dealer of some dodgy drug that killed his friends.

So although it was a bit all over the place at the start, it did all get explained in the end. The back story with Vee and Damon – her band’s manager – is shocking, but does make you realise why things are the way they are. As for Micah and the loss of his friends… Again, that really does explain a lot of his actions.

I really like the idea of Cyrene, with “over-the-Wall” drinks and music, and a load of kids allowed to party and drink and take whatever drugs they want to their hearts’ galore. Vee isn’t my favourite character ever, as she seems a bit too bitchy at times, but she’s strong and independent and emotional, too. Micah is caring, if a little rash sometimes. And Damon… Damon is, well, a douche.

While the premise of this novel is great, I just didn’t fall in love with it. I didn’t sit there for hours refusing to put it down. I didn’t hate it, but there just wasn’t anything particularly special in the way it was written. Yeah, the alternating views of Micah and Vee gave us a nice insight into their individual lives, and yes there was some lovely descriptive writing, but that’s about as good as it gets. So, being somewhat generous here, I’ll give Sugar Skulls 3 out of five stars.


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