Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Henchgirl (Dakota Kekoa, #1)” as Want to Read:
Henchgirl (Dakota Kekoa, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Dakota Kekoa #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  113 reviews
The children of dragons and humans, the dracons, control eighty percent of the world’s governments. Humans worldwide are either subservient or prey. On the small vacation island of Mabi, humans call for war.

Sixteen year old Dakota Kekoa lives a double life. By day, she pretends to be a human to infiltrate Mabi Academy, a 'humans only' high-school. At night, she works as a
Paperback, 468 pages
Published January 12th 2016
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Henchgirl, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Shirley The book have a mass appeal though the target audience would be YA

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  245 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Henchgirl (Dakota Kekoa, #1)
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, ya-books
I bought this on a whim just on the basis of the title alone. I thought this was going to be another superhero/supervillain story but I was way out on that expectation as this actually turned out to be a YA UF/PNR. The good news is it was a fun story regardless!

This story was set in an UF world where 80% of the worlds governments were controlled by dracons. Dracons being the offspring of full dragons and humans. Not that dragons and dracons were the only supernatural creatures as the arrival in
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came to me at exactly the right moment. This is a fast paced, imaginative world full of so many great characters. There are times in your life when you just need something to sweep you off your feet and this did that for me. I truly got pulled into Dakota's world and have felt a little book drunk ever since. This book didn't take the turns that I thought it would. And I would also say it's not the same throw up of some paranormal darkness that we're all used to. This one is uniquely di ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**I received a free eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Dakota, a teenage girl working undercover for her dracon family, has a special power: she can see people's souls. All dracons inherit "aspects", which are pretty much considered superpowers, and that's one of Dakota's.

One day a human girl she knows from school is kidnapped, and Dakota tries her best to find her. But she's not on her own. A very powerful and well-known dracon is helping her, and he also has other plans in mi
Henchgirl is a YA urban fantasy that shows promise. Unfortunately, the love interest is a grade A jerk and my feelings towards the book devolved to mainly anger.

In the world of Henchgirl, those who are descended from dragons rule the world. Dakota Kekoa is 1/8th dragon, which gives her special abilities, in her case to manipulate people’s emotions. With three sisters and a mentally absent mother, Dakota supports her family by working for her grandfather’s mafia like organization, which includes
So... This was a weird book for me to rate in terms of stars, because although I enjoyed this book rather a lot, and it had me reading till early morning, I had quite a few issues with it.

So as you can see through the synopsis, we have a 16 year old girl called Dakota who is a dracon, a half dragon/half human. Basically the story follows her adventures of fulfilling missions and what not, hiding who she is trying to get it done. The world is controlled by Dracon’s and has been since the beginnin

This book is unique and I could not put it down.

It's probably the best fantasy novel I've read in a while (In fact I will to be bold enough to say the best I've read this year). The ideas were original and the story was addictive.

I don't want to give too much away but this book has a bit of everything; Dragons, Romance, Action, Mystery and Magic.

The book is nice and long so you can really get your teeth into it. The characters are all unique and loveable.

I would recommend it to any true fanta
Melissa Souza
4 full stars!!!

I really did not know what to expect from this book when I first started reading it. The blurb sounded interesting and I saw that many other readers gave this one a high rating. So, I thought I'd give it a shot. But can I be honest here, the cover isn't all that great. I would have liked to see something that played along the lines of the fantasy genre.

Anyway, the story is an urban fantasy with a twist which I liked. We meet a sixteen year old girl named Dakota who comes from a po
My original Henchgirl audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Henchgirl by Rita Stradling is the first young adult fantasy novel in the series called Dakota Kekoa. It features 16-year-old Dakota Kekoa as she navigates the politics of the dragon, dragon-blooded human or Dracon, and human communities. While only 16, Dakota, a Dracon, has been working undercover for her grandfather, a powerful Dracon and businessman, to infiltrate the human community by pretending to be
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Henchgirl offers a delightful surprise. It's a mix of standard YA tropes re-packaged into a fun, readable, engaging volume that isn't afraid to allow its characters to struggle, grow, and change.

Rita Stradling re-engineers the familiar "Hot Boy Love Triangle" into something new and worthy, building on familiar magic systems and worlds to create a mystery-romance-fantasy book whose DNA includes a little Twilight (but in a good way), a little Kathleen Woodiwiss (again in a good way), a little Jan
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I must admit, the last thing I expected when I started reading Henchgirl was to like it. It took me a while to get into it, I struggled, but was worth it.

Let's begin with the story. Dakota Kekoa is a sixteen years old dracon (child of a dragon and a human woman) who works for her grandfather. Her life is anything but perfect, with a conflict with money and her alcoholic mother who spends all the cash Dakota makes or her grandfather provides her family. As a result, Dakota takes the responsibilit
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***
I can honestly say that when I received this book I was expecting it to become another "meh" type of book that I would have to drag myself to finish. I was definitely in for a huge surprise when I first began reading this book. I feel in love with the character of Dakota since she was definitely very spunky and outgoing. She is the type of girl that I would want to know because she always has fun things happen around her and s
A.J. Benson
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henchgirl was worth reading. I gave it four out of five stars. The author did a fabulous job of twisting the plot. She kept me believing that I knew where it was going, and then gave me a fork in the road where I was uncertain. I enjoyed being surprised by where the plot went. I did not see the end coming!

I loved the fantasy components of Ms. Stradling’s work. They included the culture of dracons (part dragon, part human), as well as other infected creatures like werewolves, vampires and witches
Kathryn Patterson
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Henchgirl" by Rita Stradling brings to life an alternate world where dragons live and breed with humans to create dracons. Backed by their dragon parents, dracons control over 80% of the world. The protagonist, Dakota Kekoa, is a 16-year-old dracon who works for her grandfather as a type of enforcer. Dakota's mother is a selfish alcoholic who drinks or spends every penny she gets her hands on, so Dakota works to support her mother, her sisters, and herself.

Ms. Stradling immerses her readers in
In a world dominated by Dragon-human hybrids, or 'Dracons', Dakota attends a special school for humans, little do they know, she isn't human at all. Dakota has one eighth dragon blood, making her the only kind of female dracon capable of producing off-spring. Not wanting to spend her life being used for her womb, Dakota becomes a soldier for her grandfather. But when one of her best human friends disappears, everything starts to change.

Dakota is the best kind of protagonist; witty, headstrong, a
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars
This book was such a pleasure to read. At first it was a tad hard to get into because I hadn't had read many books that deal in a similar world as this one so there was some confusion and figuring out things on my part, as well as the names that were very unique. (At least for myself, they might be the most normal names for someone else).

Once I really got into the world and the story, it was so hard to put the book back down. With characters that have so many layers to them and political issues
Gillian Murrell
This was a good book but it had its faults. I know it was influenced by Hawaii but I found a lot of the names sounded so similar that I kept getting them confused. The way the Dragons treated women with 1/8th dragon blood was pretty shabby, I felt like they were only good for having babies. While I quiet liked Wyveryn/Dakota romance it got a bit to mushy at times and toward the end I found Wyvern way to bossy. Dakota needs to stand up for herself more. The action side of the story was good I wo ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Recommendations
Shelves: magic, ya-fantasy
"Henchgirl" is an imaginative and unique story set in the exotic landscape of Mabi with a volcano that once was a gateway to the Four Kingdoms of the Dragons. In this world children infected with the blood of dragons (dracons) are rich and powerful while humans are in the minority, subservient or prey. Inequality between the two societies has bred discontent which in Mabi has resulted in a fragile truce.

In this atmosphere sixteen year old Dakota Kekoa a henchgirl (soldier) who can siphon and man
ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥
The last thing that I expected to say about this book is good. The synopsis gives the feel of "been there, read that" and I did not expect much.

However, when I started reading I was slowly getting invested in Dakota's life. The writer instantly introduces her vulnerability. She is a sixteen year old in huge debt and with an overbearing mom. That what intrigued me to this character and kept me reading.

The Story

The story revolves around Dakota's undercover mission to uncover the murderer of her fa
I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I ended up enjoying it. I had a few niggles but overall i really liked it. I'm going to break this review down into likes and dislikes, so let's get the negative out of the way first, bear in mind, these were only minor annoyances!


Love Triangle..... Need I say more! I hate them, and unfortunately this has a one at the start. I'm gad that it wasn't played out through the whole book, but even so!!

Wyveryn and his possessiveness. My god, he was out
Janice Bold
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

After the first few pages I was worried I wasn't going to like it. I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with Wyvern (what a jerk he can be!) and with Dakota and her crazy family. I really grew to dislike her mother, but the author was able to give her some saving grace in the end.

This is not my normal genre for books, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the author's writing style. I could picture Dakota's w
ight imma head out
ARC from netgalley

I absolutely loved this book it was well written and excellently paced. It was masterfully constructed, kudos to the author. I loved Dakota her character was not perfect and had flaws, her family was all drama llama (especially the mother) too but she loved them anyways and that made me love her. And Wyvern (even if he did some questionable things) too if I say anymore I might give away spoilers. But for Pete's sake if you actually want to read a very good book read this one or
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story, I liked the universe created in this story. I've always liked the fantasy stories, and boy is this story packed with it, we have were-people, half dragon half humans. It's not just a fantasy story it's really more set in the real world and it's very well written. The main character Dakota, felt like a full well-written character, and I felt for her struggles and what she felt was her responsibility to her family. I also liked that the supporting cast felt real and we ...more
Being Noor
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cant belive i took almost 2 weeks to finish this book! I absolutely loved everything about this book. Impatiently waiting for the sequel! Thank you Rita for this wonderful read! Full review coming up on Stay tuned!

Leia Rose
After such high reviews, I was very disappointed in Henchgirl. Besides the opening, which holds one mission as a henchgirl, we see no other action of that type as Dakota is suspended.

In an effort to avoid being a "breeder" in a world that only values fertile women like the part dragon/part human dracons for their ability to have kids, Dakota took on the role of henchgirl. Sounds interesting and there was a point where the events did intrigue me.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this book neede
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read very many dragon stories and I liked the premise of this one. Dragons came from volcanoes and were never meant to be part of our world, but by mating with human women there became half dragons and part dragons and people with special powers. The main character is a rough and tough girl with amazing powers who is independent and very stubborn. Along comes a half dragon who I think was amazing and turned her world upside down. The ending was kind of sad, but I believe the rest of th ...more
Mandy Stump
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
 "I received an ARC copy of this book via Instafreebie."
This book was fantastic. Loved it. The main characters was soooo good. Loved Vern too. Hated that she got scared and let him go. Hopefully they end up together!
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy novels, which has led to me reading and owning more of this genre than any other one, and I have to say that this book is a great addition to my collection. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure what I would think of this novel because the title didn’t necessarily capture the beauty of the text. Lesson number one, never judge a book by a title because it could very well surprise you. This was the case with this novel, and in some ways, I am grateful that I was able t ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of YA romance with smattering of fantasy, people who like Twilight
Dakota, our protagonist, works for her grandfather, who is part dragon. Her job is to use her powers to manipulate her grandfather's underlings; to remind them that her grandfather holds all the power over them. Dakota can manipulate emotions in people, bending them to her will. When Wyvern, an annoying yet mysterious almost-adult comes to the island, hiding who she is from the people around her gets more difficult. All she wants is for things to go back to normal. But was her life ever really n ...more
Zori Amber
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henchgirl is a fun and engaging adventure fantasy that meshes together some of what we thought we knew about dragons with a modern setting, and all the angst and joy of following your gut and doing what is right and best for you.

At first, when I first started reading the book, within the first few chapters it became obvious that this book was somewhat inspired by Pride and Prejudice. However, despite this sense of plot deja-vu, there was enough character and world building within the story - esp
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Every Last Fear
  • A Question of Order: India, Turkey, and the Return of Strongmen
  • Ask Him Why
  • Bretherton: Khaki or Field Grey?
  • All These Perfect Strangers
  • The God's Eye View
  • The Return of Sir Percival: Guinevere's Prayer
  • Combustion
  • The Sunlight Pilgrims
  • Allegiance
  • Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy
  • Black Widow (Jack Parlabane, #7)
  • Amelia Unabridged
  • Behind the Lines
  • Things We Didn't Say
  • A Sweet Mess
  • The Devil in Her Bed (Devil You Know, #3)
  • City of Schemes (A Counterfeit Lady #4)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Rita Stradling is a USA Today Bestselling Author with an all-consuming addiction to popcorn.

She writes young adult and new adult romances about flawed people who find their perfect together (often these people are dragon-shifters, werewolves, or have magical powers).

Rita believes in soulmates, happily ever afters, and that love can overcome any obstacle.

Other books in the series

Dakota Kekoa (3 books)
  • Rex (Dakota Kekoa, #2)
  • Princep (Dakota Kekoa, #3)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
25 likes · 4 comments