I could almost swear that I’ve read this book before, except that I haven’t according to Goodreads. It is entirely possible that I read a hardcover copy of the book and simply forgot to mark that down, but I’m still not really sure. Even though the book feels very familiar, as if I’ve read it before, nothing in it really triggered the certainty that I actually have and so I’m left with this uncomfortable feeling of uncertain déjà vu. The book, and its follow up, are fun and enjoyable but maybe not very memorable.
At the end of WWII, when the U.S. bombed Japan, dragons came out and revealed themselves to the modern world. They had gone into hiding somewhere around the Renaissance, and humanity just somehow forgot that we lived alongside huge, fire breathing, flying, DRAGONS. Anyway, there was a long war between humans and dragons but eventually humans and dragons signed a treaty and dragons took possession of a few remote areas around the world. Humans and dragons have lived in this tentative peace ever since. Seventeen year old Kay knows this, and knows she shouldn’t be rock climbing so close to the boarder of Dragon but she does it anyway. When she falls into a creek and her rescuer is a dragon as curious as she a friendship forms. Can their friendship overcome the millennia of suspicion, fear, and hatred between humans and dragons and maybe stop a war?
The follow up is more of the same, it is hard to talk about the plot of that one without spoiling the first book, but it is essentially Kay and Artegal (her dragon friend) attempt to broker a peace between human and dragon kind. In addition, there is a hidden city where humans and dragons have lived in peace for centuries, and I’ll be honest that kind of strained credibility a wee bit for various reasons. I mean, I love the idea and I threw disbelief out the window because I wanted to have this story very badly, but it kept knocking on the window asking to be let back in. The stakes are a bit more global this time, but it is still about the same thing.
There is good stuff in here, the tension is pretty high and the plot ticks along at a quick pace. The idea of an impending war and that feeling of helpless anxiety as Kay attempts to stop it feels very pertinent to today’s world. I liked the characters of Kay and Artegal, and the dragons felt suitably alien and not like humans in flying lizard suits. In fact, I can’t honestly point to something that I didn’t like, they’re both very genial and likeable stories. But nothing about them really stands out either. I suspect that teenage me would have gone bonkers for these stories, adult me needs something more.