The first new McKinley since Sunshine! Woo hoo! I was definitely excited to read this one because a) it was written by Robin McKinley and b) it’s about dragons. I am fond of dragons—fictional ones that is. So this book already had a lot going for it.
It didn’t disappoint. For one thing, I very much enjoyed Jake’s voice. It is not the one I’ve come to expect from Robin McKinley, but it was true to the character in a way that the voice of, say Spindle’s End wouldn’t have been. It was, in the end, Jake’s voice, and it kept me going through much of the novel.
The other characters were all well-developed and interesting. I especially liked Dr. Mendoza and Eleanor. And Katie and Martha. And all of them, really.
A tiny bit of plot description: Jake Mendoza who has grown up on the Smokehill National Park, dedicated to the preservation of dragons, goes on his first solo hike in the park. While there he finds a dead poacher, a dying dragon, and a dragonlet. He saves the dragonlet, which lands him in a whole heap of trouble.
This is definitely a book for older readers. There are a few content advisories as far as language and relationship stuff. The language is in character.