Voices of Dragons

( 120 )

Overview

On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.

Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship ...

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Overview

On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.

Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them.

But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon inter­actions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war?

In her young-adult debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn presents a distinctly twenty-first-century tale of myths and machines, and an alliance that crosses a seemingly unbridgeable divide.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ancient myths come into conflict with modern technology in Vaughn's (the KittyNorville series) first YA novel. Although she's always lived in Silver River, Mont., on the border between human territory and the mountains ceded to the dragons after the last war, Kay has never seen a dragon up close. And for good reason: treaties forbid all contact. That changes when Kay meets Artegal, a dragon as curious about humans as Kay is about his species. Mutual interest blossoms into genuine friendship, in defiance of decades of border patrols and saber-rattling. Soon, they go from secret talks to secret flights, reviving long-lost traditions from when dragons and humans were friends, but while Kay and Artegal are bonding, others only want war between the species. Vaughn's story is charming and fast paced with a strong, likable heroine, although the narrative can hopscotch from moment to moment, focusing on Kay and Artegal to the detriment of the supporting characters; the abrupt ending blatantly sets up a sequel. Despite those drawbacks, there's plenty to enjoy in this girl-and-her-dragon twist on the forbidden friendship theme. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
ALA Booklist
“Vaughn creates characters worth visiting time after time.”
Locus
“Fun, fast-paced adventure”
Melanie Hundley
Do you believe in dragons? In this alternate history novel, Kay Wyatt lives on the border of the human world and Dragon. The human world has cell phones, school, the Internet, and other typical teen worries. Dragon has, well, dragons. In Kay's world, dragons and humans have a peace treaty that keeps each on their own side of the border. Kay goes on a solo hike and is rescued from an accident by Artegal, a dragon, who wants to practice his human speech. The two become friends and, when the tentative peace is broken, must rely on each other to rebuild the peace before too many lives are lost. The author blends reality, legend, history, and technology into an interesting, fast-paced novel with appealing, well-rounded characters. Reviewer: Melanie Hundley
Children's Literature - Cara Chancellor
The year was 1945. World War II had just ended in two cataclysmic atomic blasts. Then came the dragons. Lured from underground by the explosions, the beasts attacked with all the fury of legend. But mankind fought back. When machine guns and stealth bombers proved a stalemate for wings and flame, the two sides agreed to divide the North into "Dragon" and "Human." For sixty years, an uneasy peace has prevailed. Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows this history like the back of her hand. After all, her mother works for the Federal Bureau of Border Enforcement, and her family lives in Silver River, the closest human settlement to Dragon. None of it, however, has stopped Kay from free-climbing on the exhilarating cliffs close to the border. A dragon has never been spotted even close to the river, until the day Kay falls in and is rescued by a large, scaly tail. Artegalis as curious about humans as Kay is about dragons. Their secret friendship erases their prejudices regarding the other species, but can it stop humans and dragons from once again going to war? Vaughn's heroine is straightforward and likeable, more in tune with the outdoors than her all-boys-all-the-time best friend, Tam. Readers should be aware that, while teen appropriate, the plot contains some wartime violence and frank discussions of sexual peer pressure. This book resonates best as a case study of interracial (in this case interspecies) conflict and how unfounded impressions can lead to dire consequences. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—In an alternate 21st century, teens have cell phones and cars, and worry about who will take them to homecoming and whether or not to have sex. They also have dragon drills—just in case the creatures cross the border and attack. After World War II, the dragons, who had been in hiding for centuries, reemerged from myth into real life. Humans, still on edge from the trauma of the war, struck out at them, causing a conflict in which many on both sides died. A truce was reached, a border was created, and a tentative peace was established. Seventeen-year-old Kay lives on the border of Dragon. After a fall during an ill-advised solo climb, she is rescued by Artegal, a dragon who is studying human language. Over the next weeks, a tentative friendship grows into a bond between them. When the border is breached and a conflict begins, they must rely on their friendship to repair the damage before too many lives are lost. The intense climactic action will appeal to reluctant readers, but to get there they will have to get through some slower-paced chapters. Vaughn has grounded this fantastical tale with typical teenage concerns such as relationships, parents, and school; and Kay is a strong, likable heroine. The result is a novel that will appeal to those who like relationship-driven stories as well as those who enjoy fantasies such as Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003).—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
What is it about dragons in the western United States (Robin McKinley's Dragonhaven, 2007, and, to a lesser extent, Patricia Wrede's Thirteenth Child, 2009), and when will someone figure out how to make these stories really soar? First in a series, Vaughn's YA debut delivers an interesting premise but doesn't follow through. Kay Wyatt lives in a town that borders Dragon, where the dragons have stayed since their re-emergence, the ensuing war with humanity and the current Cold War-style standoff. Humans and dragons never cross the border. But Kay does, accidentally, and ends up friends with a teen dragon. Meanwhile, she's trying to decide whether she should sleep with her so-nice-he's-boring boyfriend and discussing her virginity ad infinitum with best friend Tam. Once the action gets going-the military is moving in on Dragon, the dragons are gearing up for war, people are getting killed and only Kay and Artegal (the dragon) have any hope of averting disaster-this is a fast-paced read; sadly, it takes way too long to get there and any real payoff is saved for later volumes. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
VOYA - Stacey Hayman
Sixty years ago, after a brief but devastating war, dragons and people signed a treaty allowing everyone to live separately, in peace. Growing up in Silver River, Montana, a Dragon borderland, seventeen-year-old Kay knows she should not, but she cannot resist climbing a challenging rockface near the boundary line. Kay makes the climb safely but falls into the river after her descent. Swept into Dragon, she would have drowned if a young dragon had not saved her. The rescue alone was dangerous, for both Kay and the dragon, Artegal, but beginning a friendship could start a war. Is their attempt to understand one another, to become friends, more important than keeping the fragile peace? Humans and dragons living geographically close, but forbidden from having contact, creates a dynamic setting for what could have been a thought-provoking, suspenseful book. Unfortunately, the tension never builds. Kay's relationships remain fairly one-dimensional, even her friendship with Artegal, and only seem important when needed to force situations into the story line. Kay's best friend pops-up mostly to repeatedly urge Kay to get a boyfriend and have sex. Kay's reluctance to have a boyfriend and a physical relationship before she is ready is refreshing, until it is revealed as a plot device toward the end of the story. The complex treaty between species and the small, tantalizing glimpses into dragon society will leave readers curious and perhaps wishing for what could have been. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061798948
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Pages: 309
  • Sales rank: 447,617
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Carrie Vaughn survived her air force brat childhood and managed to put down roots in Colorado. Her first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, launched a popular series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk-radio advice show. She is also the author of Voices of Dragons, her debut novel for teen readers. Ms. Vaughn lives in Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 120 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2010

    Original but inappropriate

    A highly original base idea. The writing style had a nice flow to it and didn't stop up too much which is often a problem for me with most teen reads. I didn't really feel attached to any of the characters but that could be because I don't have anything in common with them. The only real problem I had with this book was the sexual references in every other chapter. I usually like to recommend good books over to my little sister and would very much have liked to give her this one, but couldn't because of the recurring sexual references. Would not recommend to anyone under 14.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Dragons and Humans

    This book was great!!!!! It was very emotional and unforgettable!!!! What really stood out to me was that it was different from any of the books that i have ever read, since most authors are on werewolves and vampires. This unique twist to the story of dragons and humans reallyu made me anxious to keep reading! I could not put the book down! The characters are so real and thats probably why i felt a connection to them. I cried when they cried and i laughed at their silliness. I felt confused when they felt confused. It was a great read and i would recommend it to everyone!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good, unique, realistic dragon fantasy

    The story is completely enthralling and realistic from the beginning to the end. Our protagonist is a female who is far too interested in the "other side of the story" and befriends a dragon, just as most descriptions of this book explain. However, the story is something different than most dragon novels I've read in the past. So many things are going on, but are never too hard to keep track of. The dragon, Artegal is a fun character and becomes even more so when the book progresses. My only gripe is that the book ends sort of abruptly and leaves you wanting more to read. I have already recommended this book to multiple friends, two of whom have already finished reading it and enjoyed it thoroughly. This is definitely a book worth buying that can be read multiple times, as it's an easy, realistic read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Joan Stradling for TeensReadToo.com

    Seventeen-year-old Kay enjoys hiking, climbing, talking on her cell phone, and spending time with a dragon.

    Yes, a dragon.

    In Vaughn's brilliant combination of modern day convenience and old world fantasy, VOICES OF DRAGONS pulls the reader into a believable tale of one girl and a dragon against the evil machinations of an intolerant government.

    Though I guessed where the story was going, I still enjoyed the journey. I had no trouble believing dragons and cell phones could exist together and completely fell in love with the imagination Vaughn displayed in this novel.

    However, I did have one huge problem - the ending.

    It ended without resolution. Nothing was certain, things were on shaky ground, and the characters were about to begin a whole new adventure I wasn't even sure would work. I wanted more. This could have been the intention all along to set up for a sequel, but it made me angry, frustrated, and I felt cheated to be left with no certainties at the end. Would they be accepted? Would there be war? Had they fixed anything? I have no idea!

    Will I read the next book? You bet! I have to know what happened, but I feel Vaughn should have given us a better ending by at least resolving (for certain) one of the major issues left hanging at the end of this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2011

    Couldn't Finish

    As much as I wanted to love this book I just didn't. I know how hard authors work so I hate to give less than three stars but this book didn't pull me in. The main character didn't have enough depth for me and the pacing of the novel was too slow. Mine is only one opinion, there are many others out there who loved this novel. Give it a try, you might be one of them!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Voices of Dragons Speak Loudly

    What an amazing story. An absolutely terrific read from beginning to end. The characters are crafted with such precision and are so believable that the reader gets caught up in the story very quickly. And before you know it, you are right there beside the main character, living her experiences, feeling her fears, doubts and confusion but also sharing her joy and triumph.

    This is definitely one of those stories you get so caught up in, you just can't stand to see it come to an end. I hope author Carrie Vaughn has lots of sequels planned, because I can't wait.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT READ! :)

    I thought this book was amazing. A lot of books take a while to kick off and get to the good stuff. This books action starts in the first chapter. I couldn't put it down. I finished it in 2 school nights. I recommended it to my cousin and she loved it too. Kay is a very relatable character that really draws in the reader. My only gripe about this book was the ending. It ended so suddenly. I HOPE there is a sequel to it, because the last sentence leaves us in dangling mid-air. Kay and her dragon friend, Artegal are trying to stop a war. In the end of the book, however, they haven't ended the war, so I hope this book has a part 2. I checked the author's website to see if there is a part 2 in progress but I haven't found anything. If anyone knows differently, please let me know :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    very good book!

    oh how i love fantasies about dragons1 i picked this book up at the library, expecting something silly and strange. boy was i wrong! i really liked this book! people should read it if interested in the fantasy genre for books! also for people who like talking animals, this is a great book too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Voices of Dragons

    Voices of Dragons is perfect if you're just looking for something fun to read. Pros: It has a good story line. The characters are unique and true to themselves throughout the entire story. The book is very fast paced. There's never really a point where it's dull or slow. Cons: The plot is light and never gets very complex. The reader never really gets to know many of the characters too well. The reader loses track of time a little bit because there are points where the narration skips a few months.
    I loved this novel because I could really relate to Kay's personality and problems. She's athletic and confident in her rock climbing, but at the same time, shy and self-conscious in her social skills. I really liked how Vaughn tied in the realistic high school problems with the fictional dragon problems.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    Dragons

    Would like to know what happens next?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Nice

    Cool

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Ok.

    Good (not great) for its intended teen readers, and pretty thin for adults.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Ok

    The people in this book are really the scum of the earth. I only regret the dragons disn't destroy them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    This book was AWESOME!!!!

    I thought the book was really awesome! But I think it should have a second book. It kinda just was left hangin'. In a good way I really frustrated when that was the ending. Still love it though!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    I love this book its a perfect read for teens ... hope there is

    I love this book its a perfect read for teens ... hope there is a book two to this the ending was great !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Dude how can you rant on this book!!!!!!

    This is a great book. It's about a girl disobays eveything that she was told just to be with someone. I love the ending, can't wait of the second one!!!!

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    Another interesting premise in need of some depth

    Perhaps Ms Vaughn could rewrite these for adults. The idea of a parallel universe where dragons emerge from hiding to rejoin humans is delectable. The presentation here though makes the story almost banal and ordinary. There are air battles and chases with our Air Force and our Teenage heroine/teenage dragon that just felt flat. Stories for young people can be written with more depth and grip than this shows.

    THe Kitty series is much more intense and immediate, even with the short sentences and sentence fragments that appear to go with the stream of consciousness/first person presentation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    I loved it

    I loved it but thought that she should continue it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Very enjoyable adventure.

    Carrie Vaughn writes as good a story as Mercedes Lackey. Teenage girl and dragon boy save the world. For the young and young of heart.

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I love this author, so glad she's branching out.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews

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