Book Review: Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon


Going Down in Flames is the first book in a series of 4, 5? Books.

The books premise is about a girl Bryn who learns a secret that her parents have been keeping fro her for years, she is a dragon. Not just any dragon either, a hybrid, a dragon that no one thought could exist.  The reason for her being a hybrid? Her parents, although they are both dragons they are different types of dragons. The book goes into more detail about types of dragons and the ways they are unique.

Finding out about her being a dragon due to a stranger who has been following her, Zavien turns out to be her only friend in the dragon culture, where most of them regard her with distaste while other’s see her as something to be used as a science experiment. With no real choice but to go to a school for dragons, Bryn will find herself going up against many dragons who don’t want her there, while others are genuinely curious about this mythical hybrid.

The book is interesting, Cannon put a lot of thought into the whole dragon world and culture, everything about it is interesting and because Bryn is learning about it, we learn with her.

The plot is okay.  It’s very much a standard fair in regards to adolescent books, the odd one out has to make a stand and prove themselves to everyone else who thinks they shouldn’t be here or they are going to fail etc. There isn’t much going for it in terms of plot  because it’s as over used like many other plot devises in this genre.

Characters however?

The characters are interesting. However let use start with the boring and generic characters first: Bryn’s parents. They are pretty stereotypical to the macho male father who is proud of his daughter for fighting since back like he taught her and the more serene mother who is calm under the majority of circumstances.  They are more background characters, but they could have felt a little bit more interesting, I barely gave them any thought after Bryn left t go to the dragon school.

The Orange dragons, there are only two in this book and while they don’t feature heavily in this book you know they are more than likely going to be important in the next few books. The characters aren’t fleshed out that well, but they are interesting and the interactions they have with Bryn is one with respect, they don’t look down at her for being a hybrid and they respect her too.

The Blue dragons are mainly stereotypical bullies, with the exception of two, who appear to also be dragon’s of interest later on in the book. They aren’t that interesting, mainly plot device for Bryn to overcome than anything else, but a couple of the Blue dragon’s will likely grow as characters and get more meat to them in characterisation form.

The Black dragons are more fleshed out, although there is only three of them to focus on, they are all interesting, fairly fleshed out and hopefully they will become more stand out-ish as the story progresses.

Zavien is a Black dragon and learned for a peaceful revolution group, that signs petitions to the Directorate- which is the high counsel of the Dragon Culture – he comes across as a decent dragon, although he doesn’t always consider people’s feelings when he deals with Bryn. Am suspicious of him to be honest, but as a character in this book, he seems like a good sort who tries to do his best in relation to what is going on.

Jaxon is the main Blue dragon and in a sense Bryn’s enemy, although at this stage he is more like Bryn’s main bully. This guy is every inch what you expect of a stereotypical bully, yet there are moments, that Bryn over sees and hears when you get a peak of the other side to him, particularly later on in the book, so his continued characterisation will be interesting to see.

Bryn is the main character and hybrid, she’s fierce and tends to act first think later, which is interesting because she does that even in school towards teachers who are baiting her.  She’s in a new world and with no real friends, to begin with she doesn’t see Zavien as a friend, she’s a social outcast and she really does have to prove herself to other dragons that she belongs here.  She quick to take action and isn’t the type to back down from a challenge when issued.  My only concern was at the start, when Bryn could easily do certain things that the other dragons can’t do, at least not without practice and more training, my hope is that she will make mistakes in future books in regards to this and the other dragons will catch up to her so they can all progress together.  Although I do feel like that is wishful thinking on my part.

Over all the series could be interesting, exciting even, in regards to characterisation at least, although it does sound like the books will follow the same plot idea as this one.

Chances of me continuing to read this series is slim, but it is a good read if you like dragons, romance and teenage angst.

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