(Shapeshifter Dragons #1)
Author: Marc Secchia
Narrated By: Shiromi Arserio
Length: 14 hours, 28 minutes
Publisher: Amazon Createspace
Publish Date: June 13, 2014
Slavery, Violence, War, Death, Murder
Thank you so much to Audiobookworm Promotions for allowing me to review this novel by receiving a free copy. This in no way changes my thoughts on this novel.
Yay for another dragon shapeshifter novel! These are so underrated and wow, I don’t think I would have found this novel if it wasn’t for Audiobookworm. I think the entire series is on Audible too so if I ever end up getting through more series, I’ll have to check it out.
- Oh my gosh I forgot how prisoners of war in these medieval types of worlds can be pretty harsh. Oh my gosh.
- Arayna and Zip are my favorite girl friends ever. Are they even just friends or nah? I hope they can be more?
- I’m actually really liking this story!
Female friendships are really crucial and some of the best relationships ever
Like, I’m telling you. My absolute favorite part about this novel which I think I’n really going to focus on for this review was that Aranya and Zip just had this really free flowing and easy-going type of banter during the novel that made me feel like even though their relationship did NOT start off on the right foot, they were just able to bond and become amazing partners in this journey. It only makes sense that they end up becoming dragon and rider, and I love that riders aren’t born but can be made, because that would have seriously been a shame if that wasn’t the case.
I was also really surprised at how Mecchia wrote the dialogue between Aranya and Zip. I don’t know if that’s just me being biased or something because I mostly read books from female authors – it just happens that way? – but I guess I haven’t really had much success in seeing a really good relationship between two girls written by a male author that just seems so real and relatable. Despite being in a fantasy world with dragons and all that, I still felt like I could have been best friends with both Aranya and Zip, and just hearing them joke around with one another was absolutely heart-warming.
Finally a shapeshifting rule that doesn’t make a dragon invincible
One of the things that I really liked about this novel was that – while I wish Aranya was invincible and invulnerable to pain – she wasn’t. Not even in her dragon form. That was one of the first rules that she learned from Nac and Oida – and bare with me if I’m spelling their names wrong since I’m listening to the audiobook – when she first learned what she was. If she were to get mortally wounded as a dragon, she would die almost instantly if she shifted back into her human form. While Nac didn’t really know why, he attributed it to the volume difference / more like mass difference between the dragon form and the human form. Since humans can’t tolerate as much pain nor deal with the same level of wounds that a dragon would, it would make more sense this way that just shifting back and forth would not be an easy way to avoid dealing with the aftermath of any battles. I just feel like this little fact really made this world even more realistic and gave almost a vulnerability to the shapeshifters in this world that isn’t always shown in other novels.
Aranya and Zip really grew into their roles as dragon and rider. Aranya had to learn that even though she was a prisoner of war in the beginning, she was not going to let that time define her future. Same thing with Zip. Both of them were taken from their kingdoms when the Sylakians invaded and conquered their homes. Both of their fathers knew that with the rules of war, they had to give up their princess daughters to the enemy in order to surrender without much bloodshed. In turn, that meant that they had to be separated from their families and learn how to survive as a prisoner of war… yes I know I said that in about the same kind of words, but that’s basically what they had to do.
And they stayed strong during their entire time in captivity, and stayed true to themselves as well. They were able to remember who they were before they lost their old lives, and never forgot where they came from. They maintained their personalities of being snarky and intelligent as well. So by the time they were able to get out of their prison, they just became even stronger and knew what they wanted to do to save their kingdoms and others that were under the tyrannical rule of the Sylakians.
Well of course, I was very upset about Aranya and Zip being separated near the beginning, and I honestly wasn’t sure if they were going to ever see each other again. I mean, like the synopsis said, Aranya was put to death and literally thrown off a cliff. She wasn’t supposed to survive that fall, obviously. In fact, the fall was long enough that Aranya wasn’t even sure if she was going to pass out before she ended up hitting the bottom, and had enough time to think about the things that she never got to do, the conversations she wish she had with her mom and dad, etc. It was an interesting scene actually.
Then I was excited because Aranya found out that she was actually a dragon shapeshifter and then ended up being reunited with Zip. I was really excited about the journey that they were going to embark on to change the world, and I was just so happy to hear their little banter and conversations. So all in all, my emotions were pretty all over the place but it worked out with the way the book was playing out. And it was just great.
For me, everything was freaking amazing. I just… yeah I loved it all. I think the pacing worked out really well for me because we didn’t spend too much time following Aranya’s journey on learning how to be a sufficient dragon, but we still had a sense of how that process went. We also didn’t feel really cheated on anything that really happened. Again, I just really enjoyed this novel and had very little – if any – issues with this novel that would have prevented my enjoyment.
Ugh wow, I’m just soooooooo glad that I got to read this novel, okay? Well, listen to it I mean. I absolutely adored the narrator as well, and I really need to add her to my list of favorite narrators to listen to from now on. I definitely need to find out if there are any other novels that I would listen/read to that she ends up narrating, and hopefully I would end up enjoying the plot and writing of those novels. I really loved Aranya and Zip, and seriously I think that is just one of my favorite friendships now and I’m so glad I was able to enjoy this story.