Well, my second read for the year is down. It's a YA Urban Fantasy, Henchgirl by Rita Stradling. I liked it but there were a few things I wasn't fond of. It was definitely a compelling read. I really like the world Stradling is building. Basically, Dakota Kekoa is one-eighth Dragon. In the culture of the world she inhabits that would usually mean she is raised and trained to become a bride and child-bearer of another Dracon (part-dragon/part-human). This is not the path she wants to follow. Her Dracon grandfather, instead, uses her as a sort of enforcer in his business dealings and also as an undercover agent in a humans-only school.
One of Dakota's friends is kidnapped and to find her she ends up stuck in the company of Wyvern, the brother of the kidnapped friend. Wyvern is a powerful, and famous Dracon. He is also the third piece of a vague love triangle comprised of Dakota, Wyvern, and a boy at her school named Keanu Hale, who is, conveniently enough, the very person her grandfather wants her to get close to in her undercover assignment.
As I said, I really enjoyed the world she's building. I want to read more about it. It amused me and kept my attention. The plotline was interesting, Dakota isn't a passive character. She has strengths as well as weaknesses.
That doesn't mean the book was without flaws. I wasn't completely fond of the Wyvern character. He was interesting, but he was too controlling and just a touch too arrogant, which is partly explained by his place in Dracon society, but it was a bit overdone. Also, the characters around Dakota would make decisions for her or about her without telling her or explaining their reasoning and get upset with her when she either stood up for herself or didn't fall in line with their plans. Also, there were some basic editing issues, but I was reading an ARC, so I'm going to assume they were cleaned up in the final release.
All told, it was a good book. There is a sequel coming up and I will read it when it comes out. I also hope she writes more about a couple of the secondary characters. Mele and Honua, in particular, I want to read more about. Dakota's sisters and cousins also amused me.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for a fair review.