- Published: 2016
- Number of pages: 428 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 0.33 MB
- Authors: Rita Stradling
The children of dragons and humans, the dracons, control eighty percent of the world’s governments. Humans worldwide are either subservient or prey. On the small vacation island of Mabi, humans call for war.
Sixteen year old Dakota Kekoa lives a double life. By day, she pretends to be a human to infiltrate Mabi Academy, a ‘human’s only’ high school. At night, she works as a henchman for her draconic mafia family, utilizing her ability to steal and manipulate emotions.
When Dakota’s human friend is kidnapped, she takes on the mission to find her. This is not just any mission, though; she is diving head first into the escalating conflict between humans and dracons. As more girls disappear and some are discovered dead, Dakota realizes her first honorable mission may also be her last.
Review “This book was a blast!” – Marisa, Reading to Distraction”If you let it, this story will suck you in and hold you to the edge of your seat…” – Kathryn, Welcome to Katfrog’s Corner”[The writing] reminded me of RichelleMead’s writing style in which she conveys the vulnerable side of her charactersso well.” -Ashwaq, Silent Seasons”I’m going to need the sequel, like, rightnow.” – Carla, Lipstick &Mocha”Lovedloved LOVED THIS!” -Mel, Goodreads”This is one of the best books that I have ever read!”- Arianna, 5 Girls Book Reviews
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ A YA Contemporary Fantasy Mystery with an interesting take on the source of supernatural creaturesSource: I received this book free in return for an honest review.BOOK DETAILS:Henchgirl by Rita Stradling, read by Sorrel Brigman, published independently (2016) / Length: 13:08SERIES INFO:This is Book #1 in the Dakota Kekoa series. According to the author Book #2, Rex “will be coming out January 3rd 2017. And, yes there is an audio version planned.”SUMMARY:Again, characters that I like lift this a bit above it’s YA PNR fellows. It should be noted that the majority of the characters in this are among the group that should be considered “the bad guys.” I was willing to overlook it in this one, since I would like to see where this going. I think many of the characters could be “good guys” if things were to change.It has a love triangle, which I never like. I also had issues with both of the “relationships” that form this love triangle, since neither were open & honest.There are also secrets kept (unnecessarily in my opinion) that make Dakota’s life much more difficult that should be, which is current one of my biggest pet peeves.All this doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I enjoyed reading it and I am waiting for the sequel to see if romance works out satisfactorily.CHARACTERS:Dakota: A fairly typical YA heroine – has to take care of her family, since her parents are rubbish (a Briticism that I love); wants to be more than her gender would normally allow, and thus ignores “girl things” that she probably shouldn’t; has a crush on the popular boy; and is a bit of a speshual snowflake (thankfully not too much). As to her relationships, she is going to need to decide what she wants and make it happen. I don’t like coyness and game playing.Keanu: He is “off screen” for large portions of the book, but from the beginning seems to be a non-jerk popular boy, as well as brave and protective. As things go along, his actions become more suspect though.Wyvern: I had some issues with him that had nothing to do with the jerkish way he acted at first. Most specifically, his using her ignorance against her (and thinking he would get a positive response) and the fact that he never listened to her or respected her boundaries unless it suited him. Even if he is just acting according to his nature and station, that doesn’t mean Dakota should have to put up with it. I think there are the seeds of something good there though.Dakota & Keanu: There are some not so cool things in this relationship (on both sides), but I don’t want to spoil them.Dakota & Wyvern: Their relationship is currently mostly attraction based on her part. I’m not sure why he likes her (not that she’s unlikable, it just isn’t made clear), but I do think it is something more than she fears. However, if they can work this out in the future, it might turn into something I could root for.Others: Mele should win BFF of the year. From their first meeting, to the attack, to the very end, I loved her. / Dakota’s uncle Bobby is great, as are her sistersWORLDBUILDING:The book takes place on a Polynesian style tropical isle (if it correlates to specific real world island, I missed that part). In addition to the the conflict between the dracons, infected, and humans, there is also some prejudice between native and non-native humans.The “infected” are the supernatural creatures of the world: vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. And they got that way through exposure to dragon blood. I am hoping that in the next book we get more information on how dragon blood infections work.PLOT:It begins with a prologue that sets up how the world got to be this way, which I always appreciate; I hate feeling lost. / It unexpectedly turns into a mystery part way through, and I think I would like to see a mystery series with Dakota. / There is a complete ending to the main story line, but no resolution to the romance or the overall societal problems.HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:Mele: Most of what I would like to share about her would be a spoiler. Their friendship began though when Dakota was invited to a party where the host intended to humiliate her and Mele turned it around.My favorite scene is probably when Dakota and Wyvern first really connect, from the time they arrive at Keanu’s house until they separate. For some reason, that is the scene that makes me have hope for them as a possible couple.I also liked when Wyvern was talking with her sister after he screwed up big time (although I don’t like the “accidentally overhear something about yourself” trope).I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Mele’s smoking habit (which Dakota critiques) / Some swearing / Too much drinking (and not just the alcoholic mother)OTHER CAUTIONS : There are indications that Mele had at least one previous intimate encounter. / The full dragons go around impregnating women, even though they know it will probably kill them. / The dracons (part-blood dragons) aren’t much into committed relationships either.NARRATION:Overall, I didn’t love it. It was bit over enunciated and the voices weren’t great. It was also slightly slow, even on my usual 1.25 speed. However, it was acceptable and wouldn’t keep me from listening again.
⭐ At the end of the book she says she used “Pride and Prejudice” as her story model, and I totally got it. In her story twists she hit me by surprise a number of times, and I’m not easily surprised, but her surprises always fit within the story arc and I had to say, “oh, yeah”. So for you ROMANCE types you get Lord Hunk with the rippling muscles and the six pack abs whom the heroine loves to hate and of course by the end of the novel she wipes out one of the two.
⭐ Oh my word!! I was not prepared for the awesomeness that is Dakota!! This is my favorite type of female lead….Bada$$!!! This is not a damsel in distress…in fact she will tear you a new one just for trying!! Loved so much!!
⭐ Normally I’m not that into fantasy, but Rita Stradling builds a world of humans, dragons and their Dracon offspring that is so consistent and believable that it totally sucked me in. The book is suspenseful, and super creative. The “aspects”, or special powers of some of the dracons were described really artistically. The protagonist Dakota is relatable, but also complex, as is her whole family. I love how the characters are not just good or bad but more complicated and nuanced. The romance that develops in the book is really hot too! I read this book really quickly and normally it takes me a long time to get through books – especially when I got to the second half. The mystery is really intriguing and the resolution of it fascinatingly imaginative.
⭐ I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked the Dragon story and Dakota’s story. I am looking forward to reading the next book to enjoy more of Dakota and Wyvern’s continuing story.
⭐ Stradling’s writing improves with each book. She has constructed a compelling world and intriguing characters. I am eager for the next book.
⭐ I loved this book so much. I couldn’t put it down after reading the sneak peek.The writing is quick, fun, and fluid.Highly recommend!
⭐ Excellent unique dragon storyline. Great characters, mystery, romance,” twisty’s”.
⭐ I can hardly wait for the next book.
⭐ Great book can’t wait for the second!
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