About the book:
ACNE, ASTHMA, AND OTHER SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE HALF DRAGON, BY RENA ROCFORD
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: November 23, 2015
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads
Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.
When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.
About the author:
Like most mad scientists, Rena Rocford’s early works were largely met with scorn and mockery, but she bided her time. After all, what did her fellow kindergarteners know about literature? From that day forward, Rena kept her writing on the mythical back burner as she pursued more logical goals. Today, crayons. Tomorrow, the world. She moved on to essays and egg drops, followed by experiments in shady laboratories. She tried her hand at everything, learning from anyone who would teach her. She even moonlighted as a horseback riding instructor.
Admittedly, living as a muggle brought Rena some levels of success such as completing her master’s degree, but always the stories returned, calling her to the keyboard in the dark of night. Now, having built armies from words, Rena has set her sights on world domination, one book at a time.
From her secret base in the wine country, Rena has enlisted the help of her cats, her loyal dogs, and her family―who can be relied upon to hide the launch codes at a moment’s notice. You can find Rena at her blog, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
FindRena Rocford Online:
Warning: Some spoilers may be included!
Opening almost immediately with a bad-ass kiosk avoidance scene, this book immediately caught my attention. Oh, you don’t know what kiosk avoidance is? Well, let’s fix that. You know when you go to a mall and there are tons of those little shops set-up in the center of walk-ways? They aren’t even shops, usually, just carts. Well, those are kiosks. Typically the people at these kiosks are very pushy and will do almost anything to get you to stop and let them pitch a sale at you. Including grabbing you. Well, you try grabbing a dragon to force some skin cream on them after they’ve already told you they don’t want to try it! Oh, and there are trolls, too. A small gang of them and one of them is instantly smitten with Beth, half troll and Allyson’s best friend.
Allyson is our main character, and she’s half dragon as the title suggests. However, she doesn’t know it until the accidentally breathes fire when the trolls attack. At a mall. She lit a troll and a mall on fire. In the first chapter. How great is that?! Then she discovers that the guy she likes at school is a unicorn and so are his pack of friends. The majority of his friends are jerks, apparently, but that’s to be expected from unicorns.
There are some “legal” issues that force Allyson and Beth to go on the run and they meet some gryphons. Felix is a good looking teenage gryphon that races motorcycles and likes Allyson. While I’m pleased that there aren’t tons of “oh I’ve known you two minutes and I love you” moments, there are still some bits of romance. Not much, but it’s there.
I have one major complaint. The cover of the book shows a girl with flawless skin, some scales, and a barbed-wire crown. Maybe I missed it, but there’s no crown in this book – barbed wire or otherwise. Yes, the girl has scales coming in from under her skin and, as she gets damaged, it does show. The biggest problem, though, is that it’s made clear throughout the book that she has terrible skin. She constantly complaining (almost to the point of annoyance) about how she has to wear “pancake” makeup because her skin is so bad. While it was implied that pancake makeup is just extremely heavy-duty foundation, I still googled it because I’m not a makeup wearer and was curious. That stuff is crazy expensive.
All in all, I give this book 4.0 out of 5.0 stars because, while I really liked it, there were bits that I feel could have been better, like the car chase where Allyson leaps from one vehicle into the unicorns’ vehicle, steals back the book that was stolen from her, and then jumps back to the original vehicle. Yeah, I get it, she’s a dragon and has mad skillz yo, but it’s still a ludicrous scene. All in all though, I liked this book. Originally I would have recommended this book for younger readers and I still wouldn’t not let a younger reader enjoy this book, but I think it’s aimed more at the young adult crowd; especially after her first transformation back from dragon to human where she’s left naked in front of a teenage boy. Yeah…
While it doesn’t seem to be outright stated that this is the beginning of a series (unless I missed something), the ending does heavily imply that there will be more books and I am looking forward to them!
About Curiosity Quills Press:
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!