Book review: Going Down in Flames (Going Down in Flames #1) by Chris Cannon

going down in flames cover

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.

Ginny’s thoughts:Girl suddenly finds out she’s different and gets shipped of to boarding school for other people of a similarly different persuasion where she does not fit in. Not a groundbreaking setup by any means, and yet “Going Down in Flames” is marvelous. (And it doesn’t translate, but that should be in sparkly pink gel pen with little hearts drawn around it, that’s how marvelous I think it is)

First there are the characters. Bryn, the sassy disgruntled heroine is pretty much the standard heroine of the day. That being said, she doesn’t feel trite in any sense of the word. She feels vulnerable and irrational at times, but that just makes her all the more real. The characterization of her friends, allies, and even enemies is well done and you never find yourself rolling your eyes in disbelief.

Bryn does, sure, but she basically has to. It’s that or shot a fire ball at someone’s head.

Speaking of, the paranormal aspect of the book is done to perfection. Not so little you’re wondering if you skipped a page and not so much you’re yawning. My personal favorite bit? The way she describes using her ice powers. I always imagine it to be something like hocking up a loogie.

And finally, there’s the mystery. Who is trying to kill our darling heroine? There are several totally viable options, all with different motives and even until you actually see the bad guy in action you’re left wondering “but is it? I mean, really? Or am I only seeing what I want to see?”

(It was, in case you were wondering. And the climax was beautiful.)

An excellent start to what promises to be a wonderful series.

Click here to get a copy on your Kindle!

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