Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Flying Blind - Deborah Cooke

Flying Blind
The Dragon Diaries, Book 1
Deborah Cooke
New American Library

Young Adult/Paranormal
This is the first book in a new series, and it’s a really wonderful start.  At nearly 16, Zoe is worried about the normal things, like when the Puberty Fairy will finally arrive and how to get through gym class without complete humiliation.  On top of that, she’s got some other worries, too.  Her father, Erik, is the leader of the Pyr, a race of dragon shape-shifters.  As his daughter, she’s supposed to be the Wyvern.  There’s only one female dragon shifter in the world at a time, and Zoe should be it.  With her shifting power, she should have a whole bunch more neat tricks up her sleeve, too.
The problem is that she doesn’t have the power.  Apparently, she used to… when she was a toddler.  Then, for reasons unknown, it all vanished.  There’s no other Wyvern to talk to and the rest of the Pyr are big into self-reliance, so Zoe is pretty much toughing it out alone.  She can’t even talk to her best friend because her best friend is a human and humans aren’t supposed to know that dragons really exist.  So, no pressure.
Then her dad decides to send her to what the guys call ‘boot camp’ over spring break.  The guys, who all have their shifting abilities nailed down, have been several times, but Zoe is new to all of this.  She gets that it’s all about testing your abilities, but what happens if you don’t really have any?
For fans of paranormal and fans of fantasy, this book is a great find.  It’s the kind of book that pulls you into its world immediately, making you remember why you loved to spend your summer vacations reading.  There’s lots of action, a possible love interest or two, and quite a lot of conflict.  Some books for young adults are fairly shallow and underwritten; that’s definitely not the case here.  The writing is fast-paced and accessible; the story contains several plotlines that are all used to great effect.  The story is complete in this book, but there’s clearly more to come.  I’m really looking forward to it.    
Rating:  8
June 2011
ISBN# 978-0-451-23388-2 (trade paperback)


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