Friday, 5 February 2016

Book Review


Acne, Asthma and Other Signs You Might be a Half Dragon

by Rena Rochford

(Curiosity Quills Press, 2015)



**I was provided with a ARC copy of this in exchange for an honest review**



I was first attracted Acne, Asthma and OtherSigns You Might be a Half Dragon by the lovely cover; the title then “sealed the deal” for me. I was looking for some light fun reading and hoped that based on the title I’d get that and hopefully some sassy, quirky one-liners as well.

Rochford’s book did provide all that – it was fun and a bit sassy, though there were parts that I felt needed to be fleshed out a little more.

The protagonist of Rochford’s novel, Allyson, has never known her father and her mother moves them around the country a great deal with each new job offer and promotion. She’s always the new kid and outsider, without many friends. 

In the town she currently lives in she has finally made a friend – Beth. Allyson dreads hearing that her mother will move them yet again. Events rapidly unfold that make this the least of Allyson’s worries. She discovers an entire supernatural community lives around her and that her recurrent acne is really one of the signs that she is a half dragon – everybody else seems to know what’s going on except Allyson. Allyson and Beth get caught up in territorial wars between various supernatural races and find themselves prey to those involved in an evil plot which they must try and foil. 

What I loved about this book was that the unicorns were not squeaky clean – they were just as prone to hatred and the desire for revenge as any other race. They had suffered years of persecution only to adopt a “shoot first” policy in their dealings with others. Also the political intrigue between races was rife in this novel and I felt the world building and history in this regard was good. The pace was generally excellent.

I would like to have seen this story fleshed out a little more, particularly in terms of the initial set up. The book immersed the reader straight into the action, but at the expense of setting up the main character. It was clear from the title that Allyson was going to discover she was a dragon, that’s not the type of set up I’m referring to. Rochford revealed too little about Allyson’s character, her desires and her past early on. We learnt more about this as the story progressed, but the result was that I didn’t empathise with or care about Allyson until over half way through the book. I did, however, like her best friend from the beginning. 

Overall I really enjoyed it. I’d definitely read the next one. So if you’re after a light fun read give this one a try.