Book Review: Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
Genre: YA Fantasy
My first book that I read that was written by Carrie Vaughn was Steel (see my review here). I loved it so much I decided I wanted to read her writing more and I went and got Voices of Dragons. But I can't cocoon myself in my world of books, the real world did not let me - I was dragged from my nook before I could settle in and read and I forgot all about this book. Until this time last week when I was choosing a book for the TBR Intervention Challenge and my eyes landed on this one.On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them.But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon interactions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war?New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn presents a distinctly twenty-first-century tale of myths and machines, and an alliance that crosses a seemingly unbridgeable divide.
One of the reasons I liked Carrie Vaughn's storytelling, here in Voices of Dragons (and in Steel), is that it did not linger. It did not hover nor made a lot of fuss, milking every dramatic aspect that it could wring from the situation. It was fast-paced, telling it with a freshness and straightforward way that kept the action rolling and rolling and rolling - no stalls, no awkward moments, no WTF situations. Just is.
I am also glad, that even though this was a YA novel it did not focus that much on the romantic relationship between a boy and girl. I was like "Hallelujah! A break! A break!" Sometimes, despite being a romantic, I like a book that does not revolve around the tragic, epic love story of a boy and girl. I like to just take a break from all the tension and the hormones. God knows I have plenty of it in real life. Anyway, there was a sort-of boy/girl given in the story but it was just a small part of the story - a teeny, tiny part - and a little negligible for me since there are a lot of bigger things that the heroine would like to think about - like dragons and war. So, yes, that boy/girl part is just a natural order of things and was probably delivered believably.
What I also liked about the story is that it gave a message - at least, it made me think about how it parallels with the real world. It made me think about war and peace, prejudice and acceptance, bigotry and open-mindedness, love and sacrifice, right and wrong, going with what is inevitable and doing what you can to change things. Would you go to war against another race without knowing and/or understanding who and what they are, about everything they are? Would you let fear drive your actions? Will you try not to understand? Will you not give a chance?
Hnn... I'm getting sentimental here and I haven't even given a summary of the story. Yet, I won't do that, I won't give anything away - but I will say that it was worth reading it, it was worth waking up early on a Saturday morning to finish it in time for me to put it up before TBRIC and I'm kicking myself why I haven't read it earlier.
I wonder what happened after: if they really found that secret community (judging from the ending they did); what their lives were in that place; what happened back in Kay's hometown (and the world at large) - the aftermath and what both sides did, if the "sacrifice" worked; and if Kay and Artegal ever went back to Silver River, visited and say "Did our sacrifice ever made a difference at all?"
But, I am content that all I would ever do is wonder because I could imagine a very happy ending to all parties concerned, barring General Branigan of course, I want him to buuurrrnnn.