Published: June 30th, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Copy: From Publisher
Summary: From Publisher
Zavien is tired of the Directorate's rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn's help, they may be able to change the rules.
At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She'll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you're falling for someone you can't have.
Huge dragon fan here. Can't get enough of them. So when Entangled Teen asked me if I'd have a look at 'Going Down in Flames' it was an easy sell. And I have to tell you I loved every minute of it, well almost, anyway.
Ms Cannon has put together a fun and interesting dragon mythology that has different coloured dragons having different 'breath' powers - like flame, ice and lightning. Our protagonist, Bryn, has grown up unknowing of her dragon heritage and when she finds out on the eve of her 16th birthday, that's when the fun starts. That brings me to my one questioning moment - I just can't picture a sixteen year old being quite so accepting of the fact that she's a dragon. Bryn seems to think about it for 10 mins and says OK fine. I know it fits in with the story line, but that was the only thing that nagged at me - I think she should have been a little more surprised.
Anyway, that said, I adored Bryn, with her striped hair, patterned underwear, fabulous sense of humour and competitive spirit. She's thrown into a strange and unusual situation and she makes the best of it. Clint and Ivy are wonderful friends and Zavien was just mysterious enough to make the heart flutter. Oh and there were some very reasonable explanations for his behavior too. Bryn's life is put in serious danger more than once and this allowed us to see the true nature of some of her so-called enemies, which I enjoyed. There is a wonderful scene with flying races in the gym that was a wonderful example of being competitive, without going overboard. Kudos to Ms Cannon for the little digs about manners and the 'Proper Decorum' class, I loved it. It was nice to see some positive role models in teachers and there is also a nice message in here about tolerance or 'don't hate me because I'm different- get to know me first, then hate me if you still feel you have to'. Nicely done.
Going Down in Flames was exciting, funny, mysterious and romantic and I will be happily recommending it to dragon fans for quite some time. I hope I don't have to wait too long for the sequel. I'm off now to try and order it for the library.
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Author Bio:Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon's shape-shifting dragon series.
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