The Notorious Scarlett and Browne (Scarlett and Browne 2)

The Notorious Scarlett and Browne (Scarlett and Browne 2)
Age Range
Release Date
April 25, 2023
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Albert and Scarlett are a formidable pair. With his ability to read minds and her way with a weapon, no bank can keep them out and no jail can keep them in.
     But their notoriety may have spread a bit too far. Now old enemies from Scarlett’s past and a sinister new threat from Albert’s world are boxing them in—and holding their friends hostage.
     To win their freedom, the outlaws Scarlett and Browne are charged with pulling off an impossible mission.
     And the clock is ticking . . .

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Harnessing the powers within
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What worked:
Scarlett and Browne are infamous thieves with Browne able to read minds and Scarlett an expert with weapons. The opening scene displays these talents as bandits quickly discover they’re attempting to rob the wrong two travelers. This moves into the next scene where they rob a Faith House with security so daunting that no other thieves are brave enough to attempt a heist. However, Browne is the moral conscience of the story as he questions what they’re doing. The church is depicted as a greedy, intimidating entity so robbing them doesn’t bother him but he wonders if Scarlett and he should be doing more to help oppressed citizens living in poverty. Their different views of the world create a simmering conflict between the two main characters until Browne learns more about Scarlett’s past.
Scarlett is the most interesting character as her personality is complicated. She comes across as rough and violent and that image is well-deserved. She has no problem killing those that threaten her or stand in her way but Browne is slowly encouraging her to treat some people less severely. Scarlett has quiet moments by herself when she calms her mind and reflects on her life. She’s always been confident in her choices and ability but she’s discovering there are treacherous, powerful people (perhaps more formidable than herself) intent on harming her or coercing her to use her skills. The main conflict in the plot actually arises from Scarlett’s concern for the safety and well-being of a young girl and her grandfather.
Fame and brochures retelling their escapades follow the notorious pair but the plot always has an air of danger. Scarlett and Browne never know who they can trust (usually no one) so Browne’s talent for reading minds comes in handy. A wild card throughout the book concerns his fear and anger as he releases blasts of devastating energy when the feelings become too strong. He’s unable to control this ability so it requires all of his inner strength to stifle the emotions. In addition to human dangers, various deadly creatures including Taints, blood-moles, and man-sized owls roam the lands, caves, and fen and add to the suspense in every chapter. A literal ticking clock counts down the time to a deadline that will result in the death of two innocent people. An intriguing twist occurs when another foe resurfaces to execute Scarlett and Browne and complicates their efforts.
What didn’t work as well:
The violent nature of the story, some suggestive scenes, and mild profanity may not be appropriate for younger readers. Actually, the author craftily blends drama, and maturity mixed with middle-grade, humor, and impossible conflicts to develop this highly fascinating story.
The Final Verdict:
While the tale of these two “heroes” has a mature tone due to Scarlett’s rough personality, middle-grade readers will still enjoy the action and dramatic situations. The very mild profanity is offset by the swear box Scarlett wears around her neck and she makes frequent donations. The overall book is very entertaining and I recommend you give it a shot. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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