Friday, August 5, 2016

Firestorm by Mark Robson, 2010

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Dragon's in Areth each have a single predestined rider and a single life mission, given to them by the Oracle. But this once all-powerful being is now fatally damaged and fading fast... Only the dragons and their riders can save it!
Nolita is terrified of dragons! Learning to fly her day dragon would be dangerous enough without irrational fears to contend with and a vicious dragon-hunter on her tail. With Elian, another novice rider, Nolita seeks the first of four Orbs, whose combined power can restore the Oracle. Only Nolita, as a day dragon rider, can claim it. To do so, she must face her worst fears, and face them alone...

(320 pages)

I was actually all set to turn this book back into the library without reading it, because I decided it looked just too cliche for my scarce time. My mother, however, convinced me not to; she'd seen it in my room, thought it looked interesting, and devoured it in a single sitting. She told me it wasn't crazy original, but it took old ground and trod it very, very well.

And so I decided to read it after all. I do agree with my mom that it was well done, but I also can't entirely get over the fact that I've read so many books like it over the years. I mean, there are only so many books about dragons and their riders and a quest to save the world. It's been done, you know?

It's a rather forgettable book, really, and it's already beginning to blend in my mind with all of the other dragon books I've read. The characters mainly follow the usual stock tropes (the strong and stand-offish female, the proud/unpleasant newcomer, the generically nice guy who keeps everyone together, etc.), though it was refreshing to read a completely different character for once: when the description says Nolita is "terrified of dragons," that's not an overstatement. She literally runs away into the woods and faces starvation because she's so afraid of going anywhere near the dragon she suddenly finds herself attached to. It takes true bravery to overcome your fears, and watching her struggle to combat them was the best part of the book.

I did get the second and third books in the quartet from the library, but I only got around to reading the second book (which isn't as good as this one). The library doesn't even have the last book. It's too bad that there are so many dragon books similar to this series, because if there weren't I think I would have totally snapped it up. As it is, though, I really can't say that it stands too far out from the crowd.

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