A special thank you goes out to Netgalley and Fire and Quill Publishing for allowing me to read this eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
tw: use of the word g*psy, parent death
Hold on to your seat, kids. You are in for a ride.
Oooooh boy, do I have a lot to say about this book. Like a lot. There were things that really rubbed me the wrong way but there were a lot of positive things too. But, I’m sad to say, this will be a bit of a negative review because this book really rubbed me the wrong way.
I think of the the biggest things that upset me about this book was it had sooooo much potential. I mean a ton of potential! I believe wholeheartedly that this could have been the next Harry Potter, with the bits of magic and the dragons. I don’t say things like that lightly. In fact, I hardly say that. So imagine my disappointment when it fell flat.
Let me break it down. Elena was the MC and alright, as far as MCs go. She’s 16 years old, hasn’t had an easy life and is dealing with trauma from witnessing her dad’s death. She is then thrown into the world of Paegia, where she thought it was just a story and discovers that dragons exist. Needless to say, Elena wasn’t coping well. But I don’t blame her. She drove me nuts sometimes but I remember her trauma and cut her some slack. Even though she was really boy crazy. Maybe I’m just old but that was kind of annoying.
Her roomates, Becky and Sammy (a dragon) were awful. I wanted to scream. They knew of Elena’s trauma (the headmaster didn’t exactly keep it a secret) and yet they laughed, yes laughed, at her fear of dragons. They called her weird for constantly searching the skies and cowering whenever she thought she saw one. After a while, they got better but I never forgot how they treated Elena in the beginning.
There was a lot of girl hate in this book and it often seemed to be for no reason or it was over Lucien, the love interest. Yes, I know they are teenagers so I know girl hate would happen. But I really thought at the last 20% or so, that the girl hate would have led to a huge character arc but nooooooope. I was rewarded with the same old from the first part of the beginning. Over it.
The way the world was built was confusing at times. It happened pretty fast, which was how Elena learned about the world. It was frustrating how we were almost expected to know everything (because Becky and Sammy were b words whenever Elena’s ignorance of the world showed) and it was especially frustrating how Elena was expected to know everything. The master of the school nearly let her fail and I wasn’t impressed with how they just threw her in and didn’t help her deal the trauma she was facing. I don’t like to diagnose people but I think Elena had PTSD and it was never talked about or dealt with. That could have been amazing rep for those that have PTSD. A real missed opportunity there.
There is more I could go on but I’m tired. The funny thing is, despite all my complaints, I want to read the next book. The plot and the dragons were just interesting enough that I want to keep going. Plus, there was an ARC so everything I complained about could have been changed when the book was published. So I’ll keep going.