Sunday, February 14, 2016
This book was a finalist for the 2015 Cybils Book Award in middle grade speculative fiction. Moon's mother hid her egg from the other Nightwings until Moon hatched into a beautiful black dragon. Moon has the rare abilities to read minds and see the future which makes her first day at the Jade Mountain Academy overwhelming. The school mixes different types of dragons from across the lands, and the images in their minds tell her Nightwings are not very popular. Moon hears thoughts in a dream planning a murder, but she can't identify the dragons making the threats. Moon's thoughts are interrupted by another telepathic dragon, imprisoned in rock two thousand years ago for having too much power. This dragon says he's not really that dangerous and only wants to keep other dragons from using the source of his powers for evil purposes. Moon needs the help of this mysterious dragon, but helping him may lead to disaster!
I liked Moon's character, as she felt like an outcast from the other dragons. Her telepathy gave her some power over them, but it overwhelmed her. The author's inclusion of the thoughts from so many other dragons started to overwhelm me! I wish Moon had discovered the skyfire sooner, because it blocked her from hearing the thoughts of other frequently seen characters. The plot read like a mystery, and I like mysteries. Moon was looking for suspects and motives when she still wasn't sure of the actual crime. Having a school full of dragons who had opposed each other in a recent war added to the tension. Surprisingly, I wished the plot had been more dragony. The characters flew sometimes, ate raw meat, and breathed fire sometimes, but I wanted more. The dragons acted like humans as they went to classes together, ate in a common area with their groups of friends, and enjoyed reading in the library. I sometimes forgot that I was reading about dragons.
Posted by Mark Buxton at 2:18 PM