Title: Flying Blind
Author: Deborah Cooke
Copyright: 2011 (NAL); 309 pgs.
Series: The Dragon Diaries
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
From the Back: 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 one 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 .
1. Reason for choosing this book:
One of my favorite paranormal romance series is Cooke’s Dragonfire series. When I heard that she was doing a Young Adult spin-off featuring Zoë on her journey to become the new Wyvern, I was excited. The Dragon Diaries a trilogy, with the second book due in December and the third in June 2012.
2. Reasons for liking/disliking this book:
I thought the author did a great job with Zoë. She’s a smart girl, but she’s still insecure about things — particularly her near-absent Pyr abilities. But she also thinks, and worries, about the type of things an ordinary 15 year-old girl would be concerned with. Zoë’s not perfect, nor is she the most popular or prettiest. She isn’t one of the cool kids and I like that about her.
Can the trilogy stand alone (separate from the adult series)? Probably. But there are some things about the Pyr world (that are known to the readers of the adult series) that Zoë is unaware of, despite being raised by her both parents. Though it’s understandable that her father, Erik, can’t teach her how to be the Wyvern, but what about the recent history of the race and more of its lore? For instance, Zoe doesn’t know why there could never be anything between her and Nick Shea, Donovan and Alex’s son. New readers learn along with Zoë.
Beside making it more accessible to new readers, there is a possible “in-story” reason for Zoë’s lack of knowledge. Eileen, her mother, is not happy about Zoë’s supposed destiny as the Wyvern and may have forbidden Erik and the others from revealing too much. Mother and daughter have the following exchange early in the book:
“Well, you father will be pleased, at least.”
I might live to tell about this after all. I glanced up in time to see her turn away in disgust.
“I thought it was my destiny,” I dared to say.
My mom was impatient with the idea. “Well, you can’t blame me for hoping that destiny might pass you by, that you might just be a normal teenager.”
Having knowledge of the Pyr world can work against you. I found it a little disconcerting to learn about the mages, as if they had been around for a while. They don’t play a role, so far, in the adult series. There has been some interesting tidbits in Whisper Kiss and Darkfire Kiss that could be paving the way for expanding the world building. I’m even more interested than before to read the next Dragonfire book as well as the second book in Zoë’s trilogy.
3. Reasons for recommending this book:
Readers who like dragon shifters and who enjoy reading Young Adult.
Started: 9 October 2011
Finished: 11 October 2011