Book Review: Playing with Fire

Playing With Fire
Published By: Crescent Moon Press
Publication Date: December 16, 2013
Page Count: 268
Source: Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal

I've read Trujillo's work before and enjoyed her take on vampires. I was excited to see that she was starting a new series that focused on dragon lore. I haven't read many dragon books; Sophie Jordan's dragon series has been on my TBR list for ages, but something always pushes it further down the list. I decided to give Trujillo's book a read to see if dragons caught my interest.

With all Indie authors, I always open their novels with a slight bit of trepidation. Indies have potential to be diamonds in the rough or poorly written/edited tales. Playing With Fire falls somewhere in between these two extremes. There is a vast amount of potential here, but I feel like the story hovered along the precipice of awesome, but never fully took the plunge. I do feel like Trujillo has a vast amount of creativity to offer readers. I would just like to see her writing become a bit more streamlined and refined. Each novel improves in this respect so I am excited to continue this series.

I'm one of those people who likes the good news first. So, let me explain what I enjoyed about reading this one before I share some of my complaints. I liked the dragon lore a lot. Again, I have no points of comparison, but I felt like Trujillo strived to create a world that was all her own. I also found the idea of Siamese twins in this world to be fascinating. They aren't conjoined physical, but rather mentally and emotionally. I liked how that reliance played out for the characters and served as both a gift and a hinderance. In addition to the lore aspects, I enjoyed the main character, Lea. She's a complex girl who is seeking answers about her past while kicking some major dragon tail. I liked that Lea was both strong and weak at the same time. In addition, I was a huge fan of the Savannah setting. Lastly, I love the cover. This one fits the work perfectly.

In spite of these strengths, I still feel like the writing needs some work. The text was littered with editing issues, but none of them distracted me from the reading. My biggest complaint is the narration style. I'm a proponent of the show me, don't tell me way of thinking. I want an author to create vivid images and teach me about the society in their novel through strong scenes. I don't want a character to give me an info dump. Furthermore, I hate it when characters talk directly to the reader. This is a pet peeve of mine and may not irk other readers. I feel like a lot of the potential lurking within Playing with Fire was overshadowed by Lea's constant talking.

Overall, I think this novel will appeal to paranormal readers who are looking to sink their teeth into something different. Trujillo has interesting ideas, strong characters, and a sharp wit. I'm intrigued to see how Trujillo will continue to hone her craft as she writes more in the future.

One Last Gripe: I was annoyed that the concept of dragon stones was confusing at first. Lea talked to me about everything else - why did she need to wait several chapters to explain this?

My Favorite Thing About This Book: the dragon lore

First Sentence: In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.

Favorite Character: Lea

Least Favorite Character: I didn't form an intense dislike for anyone.

"We are the Annunaki, but you know us as dragon."

Playing With Fire blends history with fiction, creating an epic tale through one family’s path to forgiveness and one race’s desire to choose unity over extinction.

Adopted by Dominic, the head of the North American DragonKind Council, Lea Conti is told on her eighteenth birthday that she will take his place once he resigns. Even though she's the first Dragon in a thousand years who can control her fire, she's not ready for the responsibility such a title would bring and her life spirals out of control. She goes against direct orders, lies to everyone who has ever cared about her and does the unthinkable by falling in love with a human.

To be the dragon the world needs she’ll have to get it together and figure out who the hell she is before it's too late. Stuck between two worlds, she will make her choice, but fate doesn’t always allow us to have the final say. In fact, sometimes fate doesn’t listen to what we have to say at all.