Love In The Time Of Dragons by Katie MacAlister
Book 1 of the Light Dragons series
Genre: urban fantasy
If you found out you were a famous fire-breather, you’d be freaked out too.
Tully Sullivan is just like any other suburban mom—unless you count the days every year that she zones out and turns base metals in to gold. Those are weird.
And now she’s woken up in a strange place surrounded by strange people who keep insisting they’re dragons—and that she’s one too. But not just any dragon. She’s Ysolde de Bouchier, a famed figure from dragon history.
Tully can’t shape-shift or breathe fire, and she’s definitely not happy being sentenced to death for the misdeeds of a dragon mate she can’t remember. All Tully knows is that she wants her son back. So she’ll have to find a way to solve the crimes of a past she has no memory of living…
Source: Info in the Synopsis was taken from the book's website at http://katiemacalister.com/books/love-in-the-time-of-dragons on 20/05/2011.
I like the way this author tells the story. She has a good "author's voice" which is easy to read and most of all, have humour coming through the pages. Humour is always good to read. And this author got it in spades. :) The story started in the middle and it unravels as the story progresses. The narrative goes back and forth from the past to the present and vice versa. This is probably a good story telling technique but its just not working well with me. It got me confused on several points in the book. The story jumps from present to past in memory flashes. But because these memory flash episodes comes and goes unpredictably without warnings, the narrative follows the same principle. In effect, a reader is reading about the present time, then all of a sudden the next sentence talks about something totally different . However one gets it then that this is another flash to the past after a line or two. Or a pragraph or two. Sometimes the changes are not very obvious or overt. Sometimes you catch it quicker. In the meantime, comprehension diminishes a bit. It's like reading total gibberish for a moment or two. I backtrack a paragraph or a page just to make sure that I haven't missed anything. It can get disorienting. It also makes my interest wane. I think this contributed to the book's pace which is slower than I expected of somebody with this good an "author's voice".
The entire story is merely about the memory loss of the protagonist. There wasn't much of a substance to it. The main dilemma is memory loss. The ending is the resolution of the main dilemma which is the recovery of most of this memory loss. That's it! they jumped through hoops and had a bit of drama in the process, but that is basically it. To me, it wasn't much of a story. As a reader, I think that if this author would try to build up her story building skills, her work would be brilliant given that she has a very good "author's voice". I think she honestly have the talent. She is a born story teller. She just needs a bit of polishing up with this particular aspect of writing. I would buy her book again in the future hoping that she has improved.
Empirically translated, I would rate this book as:
World building = 4
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 2.5
Ending = 3
Pace = 2.5
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries