Friday, November 27, 2015

Review: Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford

by Rena Rocford
Contemporary Fantasy
Curiosity Quills Press
Cover Artist: Amy Chitulescu

Find Online: Amazon US | Goodreads

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon's fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he's been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.


Although I loved the cover on this one, after I read the blurb, I wasn't sure I'd like it or not. . .but since I already had it, I figured I might as well give it a go. And I'm so glad I did!

This is a modern day fantasy, grounded in the every day world as we know it. Well, except that humans aren't alone. Fantastical creatures--unicorns, dragons, trolls, and so many others--live among us but look so human, no one except for their kind can tell the difference. Allyson is just about to turn fifteen and has never given a second thought to fairy tales or anything of their kind, but when she spits fire and grows scales, her eyes are opened.

This is such a fun tale. Within the first pages, a normal, teenage shopping mall excursion turns into an attempted kidnapping with dragons and trolls. Not much time is spent on getting to know Allyson first, but it's not necessary. Her character is sympathetic from beginning on, and her shock about life unfolding around her is a delight to experience right along with her.

The plot is stuffed full of action, and poor Allyson not only struggles with her new-found dragonness, but fights off all sorts of creatures who are out to get her. It was easy to get caught up into the story, but hard to put it down. Especially since every time it appeared she and her best friend were getting somewhere, luck would seem to blow up in their faces. But then, the two are a bit reckless and although their intentions are always good, their plans aren't always as solid as they could be. It makes their decisions very believable...well, in so far as a teenage dragon and troll going up again other fantastic creatures in disguise can be considered believable. But there's tons of chases, lots of precarious situations and just the right amount of snippy humor thrown in.

Summed up, this is a thrilling and fun ride into a world which is very familiar, but full of fantasy. Anyone into a little more light-hearted but still adventure filled urban fantasy is sure to love this.

And here she is. . .

Like most mad scientists, Rena Rocford’s early works were largely met with scorn and mockery, but she bided her time. After all, what did her fellow kindergarteners know about literature? From that day forward, Rena kept her writing on the mythical back burner as she pursued more logical goals. Today, crayons. Tomorrow, the world. She moved on to essays and egg drops, followed by experiments in shady laboratories. She tried her hand at everything, learning from anyone who would teach her. She even moonlighted as a horseback riding instructor.

Admittedly, living as a muggle brought Rena some levels of success such as completing her master’s degree, but always the stories returned, calling her to the keyboard in the dark of night. Now, having built armies from words, Rena has set her sights on world domination, one book at a time.

From her secret base in the wine country, Rena has enlisted the help of her cats, her loyal dogs, and her family―who can be relied upon to hide the launch codes at a moment’s notice. You can find Rena at her blog, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.

Find Rena Rocford Online:

Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!

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