Olivia's Reviews > Going Down in Flames

Going Down in Flames by Chris  Cannon
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really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley-reviews

"Going Down in Flames" is the first in an intriguing series about people who can shift into dragons. In this unique world, dragons look completely human but can shift when so desired. They are also born with certain magical abilities. For instance, some can breathe fire, while others produce ice, and still others produce electricity. Dragons also live in a very structured society with rigid social classes and forced betrothals/marriages. These restrictions are mostly based on birth and color (e.g. blue dragons, red dragons, orange dragons, etc.). The colors appear on the scales (you get the color of your parents) and in general appearance as a human (e.g. skin, hair color).

The book begins abruptly when Bryn is followed by a strange guy, Zavien, who eventually reveals himself and her to be a dragon (it cuts right to the chase!). Upon speaking with her parents, she learns that they are outcasts- her mother was a blue dragon (ice) while her father was a red dragon (fire). The Directorate (blue dragons who rule over everyone else with an iron fist) has told everyone that mixed dragon colors can't produce viable offspring, so her parents were shocked when they got pregnant and ran away. Now that Bryn is almost 16 years old, her powers are coming out and they can't hide their secret much longer.

To add to these changes, Bryn finds out the Directorate is forcing her to attend a boarding school, the Institute for Excellence, away from her parents and friends. The beginning of the book moves fast (hooray! No waiting forever to get to the meat of the story) and soon Bryn is at the Institute, adjusting not only to a whole society she didn't know existed but also to being a social pariah. Luckily, she has Zavien, who is hoping to change some of the harsher laws for dragons, and her new friends Ivy and Clint.

As Bryn soon learns, the dragon world is more complex and filled with dangers than she could have imagined. With forbidden romances (but very clean- only some kisses), indecent proposals, and attempts on her life, the Institute is anything but boring. Add to this dragons and magic, and you've got a winning YA fantasy series!

I have actually read these books out of order, so I can say that the first one is a little more smash-cut/fast-paced than the later books where the author has really hit her stride. On the one hand, it moves so quickly, there's never any time for the agony of a drawn out scene. On the other, the build up to romance and other events (e.g. the knight taking his helm), never feel as significant as they would with a slower build. I had mixed feelings with regards to the pace. As for the plot, I absolutely loved it! I was hooked from page one, and absolutely devoured the book! Reading them in order may have been better for plot continuity, but they are written so well that I had no problem following the plot out of order. I highly recommend picking up this fun YA series!!

Please note that I received a digital copy from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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Reading Progress

May 6, 2018 – Shelved
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: netgalley-reviews
May 17, 2018 – Started Reading
May 17, 2018 –
May 17, 2018 –
May 18, 2018 –
May 18, 2018 –
May 18, 2018 –
May 18, 2018 –
May 18, 2018 –
May 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

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