Rare Form, Descended of Dragons: Book 1, Jen Crane
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and fantasy.
Well, this sounded great fun – and it was. Its something different from the norm, shape shifters, but in a kind of parallel dimension, and with others magics being used too.
Its the first book in a new series and that’s always a difficult job, delivering a good story while introducing the reader to a new world and the people within it, and its a hard balance to get right. I felt the world setting here was great and its certainly one I want to read more of, but the actual storyline of this first part was a little simplistic for me. It had a very YA/NA feel to it; that’s not a bad thing, I enjoy a well written YA/NA at times but it did present a few frustrations for me as someone long past the YA range!! The storyline is really just one plot, about Stella’s heritage and I would have liked a bit deeper plot, or some sub plots working alongside it. For someone introduced to such a fantastical new world Stella is incredibly accepting. I know she felt a little “out” in her life and how she fitted in, but she had very few questions about something that surely must have gobsmacked her totally. Would she really have thrown everything up just like that without a few more questions? Maybe, maybe not? The romance part too frustrated me, Stella seemed quite in-your-face to Rowan while he seemed to jump from hot to cold to hot again. I was disappointed in Livia (La-VEE-Yah) I had such hopes she was going to live up to the fantastic bit ch person she first presented, but somehow that never quite worked out – next book maybe? I hope so, I do so like a good “bad” person and she sounded perfect for the role, being involved with Rowan and clearly jealous of and disliking Stella already.
It sounds like it’s all criticisms from me, and it’s not. There were some great characters, a good mix of the loyal, the conceited and the friendly types. I loved the way the people had evolved, with many showing parts of their magical heritage in their human appearance and natures. I loved the Radix Citadel, the fabulous descriptions ( I could mentally picture the place), the magic involved, the premise of Stella learning about her history which served to make us readers aware of the background story too. I could feel the connection between Rowan and Stella right from the start, just wished they’d been more consistent. Somehow their relationship felt neither one thing or another. I note some reviews have remarked on the dichotomy of the YA feel and the language and sexual implications. There is some bad language and sexual connotations here but I don’t feel its really an issue, I still feel it fits well in the YA/NA range. It’s one that’s deemed suitable for the upper end of the YA grouping, not the early teens ( though I wouldn’t worry about my 14 year old granddaughter reading this, there’s far more sexuality and bad language on TV daily!)
Its a fun read, in a fresh new world and one I want to read more of. I see book two is out already, and am hoping that means Jen is one of those writers who turn out novels quickly, not keep us waiting months/years for more. This doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger thank goodness, but at a natural break point leading the way into the next book. .As one who hates cliff-hangers a huge thanks to Jen for that!!
Stars: Four, a fresh and interesting new world and a promising start to the series.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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