by Carrie Vaughn
3 of 5 stars
On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.
Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them.
But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon interactions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war? - from Goodreads
I love dragons. Really I do. Even the bad ones. How could I resist this book? I couldn't. And I enjoyed it just fine. There were dragons, a dragon culture, a dragon history, flying with the dragon...enough to make me want more (as in wish they were more present in the book and to be happy to read further in the series) of Vaughn's dragons. The main human character was likable enough too. I liked her physical prowess at outdoor sports, her guts, and her loyalty to her friend. I also liked that she had two involved parents. I was even intrigued by the 'history' of the world (which is our current world, sorta) and the explanations of how everything got to the point of the story.
I did have some difficulties though. At first I felt the writing and tone suggested a book for a younger audience. It felt simple. I was all prepared to adjust my expectations to a that level, when a preoccupation with sex started to get too much 'screen' time. (Or more accurately, the lack of sex.) So no, there wasn't any 'mature' scenes, but there was discussions and the implication that the main character was weird because she didn't want to join the crowd. There did end up being a
Thankfully, it hit it's stride about half way through when the conflict and action caught up to the other subject matters. Much better. It redeemed itself and I'm interested in reading the second, which seems like it might not have such a rocky beginning - considering it will have a kick start from the cliff hanger at the end of book one.
Bottom line: This book is good for older teens who like fantasy, and particularly dragons. I don't think it is enough in itself to start a love of dragons, but that probably isn't anyone's goal. Except maybe mine.