Monday, June 25, 2012

Blazing The Trail - Deborah Cooke

Blazing The Trail
The Dragon Diaries, Book 3
Deborah Cooke
New American Library

Young Adult/Paranormal

Warning: If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, FLYING BLIND and WINGING IT, this review contains some pretty serious, but unavoidable spoilers. 

When you’re sixteen (almost) your biggest concerns in the deep winter should be getting your homework done and what you’re going to wear to the Valentine’s Day Dance.  Zoe Sorensson has bigger problems.  Much, much bigger.  She’s the Wyvern, the only female dragon shifter of her generation.  That comes with some pretty neat powers (see also: shape shifting, teleporting, flying and fire-breathing, and, hopefully, seeing the future) and a whole lot of responsibility.  Last fall (WINGING IT) the Mages did their best to complete their life’s work and exterminate every kind of shifter, gaining the shifters’ power in the process.  Fortunately, Zoe found their weakness and they failed, miserably.  Now there are only apprentice Mages left, trying to keep that evil dream alive.

In her corner, Zoe has her friends (dragon shifters around her age, and her best friend Megan) and she’s managed to make contact with shifters of the wolf, cat, and Thunderbird varieties.  It’s complicated, but, due to history, there’s not a lot of trust among species.  Too bad, since trust is exactly what they’re all going to need if Zoe’s plan of an alliance against the Mages is going to work.  And it needs to start working fast, because the apprentice Mages have a new plan that looks a lot like the old one, only worse.

This is the third in this exciting series, and it does not disappoint.  Zoe has really grown and matured a lot over the year or so covered in the books, and it’s nice to see her becoming more confident in her abilities.  She has moments of over-confidence, too, making some pretty big mistakes along the way.  It’s her ability to learn from her mistakes and keep up the fight that makes her a good leader, and it’s quite believable that others would follow her lead.  The action in this one is near constant, and the fact that Zoe is now not quite sure what’s a dream and what’s a vision and what’s real somehow brings things into sharper focus.  In the closing lines, she asks if we’re up for more adventure.  I certainly am.

Rating: 8
June 2012
ISBN# 978-0-451-23682-1 (trade paperback)


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