Going Down in Flames
By: Chris Cannon
Published: June 30, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance YA
If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.
Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.
Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.
Zavien is tired of the Council’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.
Not only did Bryn not know she was a dragon shifter, but she’s also a mutant that shouldn’t exist. Her parents are from different clans and weren’t supposed to be able to breed. Apparently, they were wrong because a fire dragon and an ice dragon can apparently create a hybrid. Bryn is not only able to use both elements but she’s also able to change her appearance by willing it. Her “coming of age” draws the councils attention and soon she finds herself shipped off to an institute for dragon kids. Not only does the fact that her parent’s ran away breaking the law cause her to be an outcast, but she’s faster and have more abilities than even the more skilled dragons. Yup, there’s a lot in store for Bryn.
This was a good paranormal young adult story. There was a little bit of romance sprinkled in but it wasn’t what stole the show. The author has a great way of giving the readers details on what’s going on without overloading them with information. I liked that we were talked through the transformation instead of getting the usual smoke and mirrors that so many paranormal books throw our way.
There wasn’t anything overly surprising in this story. However, I enjoyed it a lot. I like that the dragon clans are kind of set in their old ways. The council determines whether a dragon is eligible for marriage and if so they are designated a mate. If they aren’t approved for marriage, they are left to find a “benefactor” to whom they become the mistress of. Considering dragons are an old species that date back thousands of years ago, it would make sense that their ways would be a bit outdated.
The author did manage to throw some twists into the story to keep it interesting. I was never bored with where things were going. There was always something going on between attacks on Bryn, her non-existent romantic life, and the fact that she’s still learning about what being a dragon means.
The ending is a bit abrupt and left a lot of loose ends. I’m hoping that there is another book in the works and that this wasn’t a stand alone novel. Otherwise, there’s going to be a lot of frustrated readers.
Every time I’m reading a romance novel the Mr. always leans over to my side of the couch to see what I’m reading. He even likes to narrate the book for me in funny accents. This interaction between Bryn and Zavien is pretty close to what we go through.
Zavien: “What’re you trying to hide?” His longer reach almost allowed him to pull the book from her grasp.
“It’s about rival dragons falling in love and ending a war.”
“Why are they half naked?”
“It takes place in a desert.”
“Isn’t that a forest behind them?