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I Belong

Review: Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Title: Flying Blind

Author: Deborah Cooke

Genre: Paranormal YA Romance

Series: Dragon Diaries (Book 1)

Publication Date: June 7, 2011

Format: Paperback, 309 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451233883 (NAL/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451233882 (NAL/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Shirene


Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal–well as normal as a girl obsessed with drawing dragons can be.  The thing is, she’s always been told she’s special and destined for great things.  It’s not just because of her good grades, either.  Zoë is the Wyvern of the Pyr–the only female dragon shape shifter with special powers.  But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr, and her powers are AWOL.  Worse, there’s no reference book to consult, and the last Wyvern is dead…

Everything changes when Zoë’s best friend is bullied and Zoë reacts.  Before she can blink twice, her inner dragon is loose, and she’s suspended from school and headed to a shape shifter boot camp with guys she’s known all her life.  But soon she’s doubting her powers–and even some of her friendships.

Zoë quickly realizes she has to master her powers yesterday–there’s danger ahead and boot camps is a trap.  A secretive group, the Mages, wants to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line–unless Zoë and her friends can solve the riddle and work together to save their own kind…

Quick & Dirty: Zoë must learn how to summon the dragon in order for her to save her family and friends.

Opening SentenceThere was a guy in my bedroom.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

There are only a handful of books that I have read that I can honestly say I was taken completely by surprise.  This one is all that with a cherry on top.  This book has everything going for it, a great hook, wonderful writing, a real sense of self and twists and turns that kept me coming back hour after hour.  There was a moment or two near the end of this book, I couldn’t help but say “NO WAY” and scared my poor dog awake.

The story has the skeleton of the typical “coming of age” story but the way the author fleshes out this book is superb.  I could hear Zoë’s voice in my head as I read her story which added breath and character to this world.  Zoë’s fear, joy and anxiety were demonstrated in her actions and also biological response to emotions such as “made me get even warmer and more flustered.”  This type of story telling often goes too far but this is exactly what I look for in an author and book.

The character development for her counterparts: Garrett, Liam, Nick & Isabelle are given substance.  I look forward to more from all of these characters in book 2, Winging It.

The parents in this story are people that I can easily see in real life.  The way in which Zoë’s dad is portrayed very much reminds me of my own dad, which is why I guess I adored his character.  He teaches Zoë by allowing her to stretch and seek answers for herself.  He refuses to mollycoddle her and I appreciate that.  Who wants a wimpy girl dragon especially if she is gifted with some amazing powers.

Lastly Jared, the human male thrown into this mix of dragon shifters, is a character with charm, charisma, and bad boy attitude with a hidden talent.  What woman, young or old is immune to this type of male?  Not me.  He had me from hello.  I look forward to this continued story in book 2.

My final thoughts are if you have any interest in YA, paranormal or just a well told story that is PG rated then this gets my highest recommendation.  I look forward to reading book 2 at my earliest opportunity.

Notable Scene:

“Donovan’s orders.”  Jared watched me.  There was a dare in his eyes and I understood that it was up to me.

He didn’t think I had the nerve.

That made me decide instantly that I was going to do it.

I stood up.  He was taller than me, but I refused to be daunted.  “First you have to tell me something.  You can’t know anything about Wyverns.  It’s against the rules.”

He shrugged, unapologetic.  “Well, I do.  Screw rules.”  He winked at me as Alex glared at him.  Then he proved that he knew some Wyvern lore.  “Send me a dream, Zoë.  Or maybe you already have.”

The guys hooted an Nick gave a wolf whistle.  But Jared just smiled at me, smiled in a way that made me get even warmer and more flustered.

“On the other hand, you might be right.  Maybe I don’t know nearly enough about this particular Wyvern.”  His voice dropped low.  “Yet.”

The Dragon Diaries:

1. Flying Blind

2. Winging It

3. Blazing the Trail

FTC Advisory: New America Library/Penguin provided me with a copy of Flying Blind. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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