Review: “Daughter of Dragons,” A.J. Flowers

Pros: Interesting setup
Cons: Details that don’t add up right; weird ending
Rating: 3 out of 5

A.J. Flowers’s Daughter of Dragons: An Urban Fantasy Dragon Shifter Romance (Dragon Queen) is an interesting tale, but it never quite settled right for me. Lily has been having strange blackouts accompanied by dreams and visions. In them, she meets a young man named James, who tries to kill her. While Lily’s parents are on a business trip, she holds a raucous 16th birthday party at her house, arranged by her best friend Tess. She’s sure she’s going to finally sleep with her boyfriend, Damian, but things don’t work out the way she hopes. Her parents have gone missing, James shows up in the flesh at Lily’s school, her mysterious aunt Sylvia shows up to watch over her, and she seems to be… changing. Into a dragon. Soon she’s going to have to make a choice of what side to pick, and she doesn’t even know anything about the sides!

I can’t adjust to the idea that everyone expects Lily to pick a side before she knows anything about the sides. The ostensible reason is that no one wants to tell her anything she could share with their enemies if she picks the wrong side, but seriously, shouldn’t they at least be trying to sway her toward their own side? Leaving her with no information at all is just courting disaster.

I can’t say I’m thrilled with Lily’s taste in men. Damian is disgusted by what she’s becoming. James… has his own agenda, and is part of an order that’s at war with the dragons. I still don’t understand how this “choice” of Lily’s is really supposed to work. Does every dragon get this choice? The implication seems to be yes. But if that’s the case, then wouldn’t the order be made up partly of dragons, since that’s one of the sides being chosen between? Instead they seem to be into killing all the dragons.

Lily seems to come up with little assumptions and bits of information out of nowhere. I kept running into little things that made, me go, huh? Where’d that come from? Then after a major turn in the story the entire tone shifted, and the pacing dropped back as though this was early in a story rather than late. The story ends with plenty left unresolved. For instance, I still don’t entirely understand what happened to Lily’s parents. I still don’t understand what happened to Damian. Nor do I get how Lily seemed to affect something that happened in the past? Sorta? Maybe? It was weird. I also don’t understand why she stopped having blackouts as soon as they were no longer important to the plot.

Anyway, some of the basic paranormal worldbuilding is interesting, and it was easy to buy into the emotions of the kids in this story. But otherwise the story was something of a mess.

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