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REVIEW

"Combine puberty and shifting into a dragon for a wonderfully funny read!"

Jennifer Scales is turning fourteen and is just starting high school, experiencing all the normal trials and tribulations of a girl her age. Deciding she wants to win this championship soccer match as her birthday present to herself, she does an amazing kick, one which has all her teammates staring at her as if she just sprouted a second head. When Jennifer tries to talk about this with her mother, her mother naturally does her normal non- confrontational thing and suggests they discuss the matter with her father. So when Jennifer's father finally gets home from another of his five day business trips, it finally comes out that Jennifer takes after her father's side of the family and is a weredragon. The reason her parents haven't told her is because the shifting normally doesn't happen until the sixteenth birthday and they thought they would have a couple more years to prepare Jennifer. Not surprisingly, this totally freaks Jennifer out and she sneaks out of her window and goes to the mall, runs into some friends and on the way home, is overtaken by the feeling of her body shifting.

Her mom shows up and takes her to Grandpa's farm with her dad flying next to the minivan the whole way. Now Jennifer has to learn how to do everything all over again, from walking to drawing and eating. She even manages to learn how to fly and fish, kill and cook her own sheep (drowning it in ketchup). Then she has to get used to her human body again after she changes back.

After another fight with her parents, they decide to take her to her grandfather's farm and let him teach her for a while. Now, Jennifer begins to learn that life as a weredragon isn't all fun and flying. The weredragons have enemies: the werarachnids and the beaststalkers. She also remembers when the town she was born in was burned to the ground. And it seems trouble is on the horizon for the weredragons once again.

Will Jennifer be able to accept life as a weredragon? What has been going on with Jennifer's friend, Eddie? He's been avoiding her ever since his family came back from England. And then there's the new kid in school, Skip. Why is he all of a sudden becoming Jennifer's best friend? Why is Jennifer different from all the rest of the dragons and has features of all three different types? And don't forget the threats the weredragons are receiving now.

JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE sure makes me wish there were young adult books around like this when I was that age. MARYJANICE DAVIDSON and ANTHONY ALONGI have done a wonderful job of combining the elements of fantasy and young adulthood. It was truly easy to put myself in Jennifer's shoes as she experienced all the normal angst of a teenage girl. The feelings of not being understood by her parents, of being different, and not fitting in are something we can all relate to. And the dragon was a total bonus for me. I really love the glimpse we caught into the world of weredragon, not to mention the spiders and slayers as well. Even though this is a young adult story, MaryJanice Davidson's hand in its creation is evident by the humor throughout. This is a thoroughly engaging and captivating story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, even though my young adult years are long gone. I highly recommend JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE to readers of all ages!

Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted November 19, 2006

SUMMARY

They say your body changes whenever you're a teenager. I never expected this...

And you thought puberty sucked. Try morphing into a dragon. I knew that at this age I'd be going through a lot of changes -- but blue scales? Claws? A snout? Come on! This is ridiculous and just so unfair. And I can't believe my parents waited until the day I nearly turned into a dragon to tell me that I am one -- thanks to my dad's side of the family. Believe me, no amount of dieting can stop how big I grow when I turn dragon -- and don't get me started on the tail! This dragon thing is going to happen every crescent moon. Can I be any more of a freak? At least I have my grandfather to show me how to get by as a weredragon. It's not easy. And I can't even tell my best friends because there are ancient enemies who want to destroy all dragons. As if my parents, school, and the soccer team weren't enough to deal with. Looks like it's up to me to protect the few fellow dragons that are still left or I won't see my next birthday. Forget about blowing out those candles. With this breath, I'll set the whole town on fire...

Genre: Young Adult, Shapeshifter, Fantasy

 

Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace
(Jennifer Scales: Book 1)
by Anthony Alongi, MaryJanice Davidson

Berkley Pub Group
August 1, 2005
Available: August 2, 2005
ISBN #0425205983
EAN #9780425205983
272 pages
Trade Size
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Other Books by
Anthony Alongi

Rise of the Poison Moon
Seraph of Sorrow
The Silver Moon Elm
Jennifer Scales and the Messenger of Light
The Silver Moon Elm
Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace


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