Friday, April 16, 2010
Lorena's Review of Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
I'll be honest with you readers. I picked up Voices of Dragons for the sole reason that I love dragons, so I feel you might need to be made aware of my bias towards it beforehand.
"On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.
Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them.
But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon interactions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war?"
Voices of Dragons might not be what I would call the best book I've ever read, but it's definitely one that I can believe. Taking place in an alternate-Earth reality, Voices of Dragons tells the story of Kay who after falling in a river in Dragon territory is saved and befriended by Artegal, the dragon.
Dragons had been sleeping beneath the Earth's crust, and after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki began to reappear in the world. After that, The Border went up and tensions have been high between the humans and the dragons. Neither species is allowed across the border, and this new friendship is nothing less than treason for the girl and the dragon.
I've had the burning question on the back of my mind on what genre this book would fall under. I kept considering magic realism, but Carrie Vaughn incorporated the dragons so seamlessly into our "reality" that it hardly felt like it had any magical elements other than what we would consider the out-of-place fire-breathing beasts. So the fact that the world is so believable really gets the story going.
The plot isn't anything terribly new. Warring countries, two children meet by chance and discover they are alike, they try to stop the war. I'm not about to say that it's like every other book I've ever read, but it's definitely a plot I've seen before. Originality aside, it's definitely well paced. I read through it fairly quick without moments of dull scenes.
The characters are truly the heart of this book though. In that world in which everyone lives under constant fear, it's a breath of fresh air to see these two characters who live and do things, just for the experience. Many times when Kay and Artegal question each others actions, or why they're even friends. The answer is always the same, for the adventure. And that's something I haven't seen in a while. A character's drive is always unique, but the sense of fun and adventure that followed Kay and Artegal is one of the reasons I liked Voices of Dragons. They may not be the most memorable of characters to take with you, but while you're engrossed in the story, you may as well feel like you can fly with them.
I'd definitely recommend picking up a copy of Voices of Dragons. If not for the story itself, then to change things up a bit with this fun new novel.