Review: Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

Posted July 14, 2014 by Lucy in Review / 0 Comments

Review:  Down in Flames by Chris Cannon
Going Down in Flames
By: Chris Cannon

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Genres: Fantasy

Series: Going Down in Flames #1
Published on June 30th 2014
Published by Entangled Teen Ember
Pages: 407
Format: Kindle

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.
Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.
Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.
Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.
At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.

Down in Flames started out with an attracted stranger stalking the heroine, Bryn.  This incident, then took on a chain of effects, Bryn found out she is a dragon-shifter, but here is the catch, she is one of a kind, a hybrid of Blue and Red dragon.  As you can guess from the description, Blue-ice, Red-fire (pretty simple and straight forward).  Both of her parents are exiled from the Dragons society, because you aren’t allow to crossbreed with another kind of dragon-shifter (I know, how backward is this).  If that wasn’t enough for Bryn, there is more bad news, Bryn have to attend the Dragon school to “learn” the proper way of being a dragon.  However, Bryn’s unique existent will be a threat to those who control and held the traditions dearly, and some would see it as an opportunity to use Bryn to stir up a revolution.

The way the story flows in Down in Flames are quite straight forward, the author doesn’t beat around the brushes when it comes to what is going on and what will happen in the story.  You won’t be spending much time on guessing, or lost.  This was a simple and a quick read.  However, I have often felt the story is missing something, and in need more of explanations and descriptions.

I thought this book progress in a pretty fast pace, sometime maybe a bit too fast.  When Bryn first learned she is a dragon-shifter, her parents didn’t wait around, but quickly jump start to teach her how to use her magic (she have two, fire and ice), then at the same night, her parent also teach her how to shift to her dragon form.  All these turned out to be quite easy for Bryn, I somehow wish it was more of a challenge, since Bryn is after all still very new to her dragon side.

Throughout the book we learn a little by little about how the Dragons lives, which were quite ridiculous.  Not only Dragons of different breeds aren’t allow to marry outside of their own, the head of the Dragons arranges marriage for each of the young Dragons while they are still attending school ( and doesn’t give you why and how they choose).  What’s even more ridiculous is, if the dragon pair aren’t in love with each other (happens often), the husband will have a mistress (they called it being a sponsor) with the wife’s blessing.->say what?!

->So yeah, I can see why the Dragons are in need of change.

Bryn is like a forbidden fruit (someone said it in the book, not me), many males are attracted to her because she is different.->rolling my eyes.

->Don’t get me wrong, I love YA genre, but sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder, when will the love triangle crap ever end?  It gets old rather quickly when you read loads of YA novels.  I tend to turn the other way if the story is interesting enough that the boy problems doesn’t get in the way and overshadow the focus of the story.  But really though, why oh why does triangle-love has to be a standard element in the YA genre?

->just to be clear, there could be a potential love triangle situation, but this book focus very little on Bryn’s romance relationships.

I don’t care much about the main love interests in the story, there weren’t much of relationship develops between Bryn and Zavien to begin with.  Were there attractions, sure, but in love? Nah.  Beside, Zavien is already paired up with someone else.

Surprisingly, I’ve grown to like Jaxon’s character, not that Bryn and Jaxon will become best friend anytime soon, but they now share an understanding.

This book ended abruptly (really odd), I don’t know if this would be a series or not, though it has certainly felt like it should be.

Overall I did like this book, even though I don’t particularly have a strong feeling, not to mention I thought this book could use some depth.  I like the idea of this book, beside I am a sucker for dragon-shifter and boarding school themes, therefore I am going to give this book (hopefully a series) the benefit of the doubt and read the next book.

About Chris Cannon

Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon’s shape-shifting dragon series.

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