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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Review: Voices of Dragons
VOICES OF DRAGONS
CARRIE VAUGHN
YA Fantasy
HarperTeen

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Wow. Following in the footsteps of the great dragon writer, Anne McCaffrey, Carrie Vaughn created a fantastic new world and beautiful young adult story in VOICES OF DRAGONS. Combining a modern world with creatures we normally reserve for mythological places,...
Published on March 19, 2010 by Enchanting Reviews

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea but lacking something
I think the story was wonderfully original. The idea of a modern world coping with dragons is interesting. Kay was a nice strong character and her boyfriend is suprisingly understanding and not the typical raging hormones teenage boy which was refreshing. I feel like the story didnt really pick up until near the end thought and i wish the plot could have been developed...
Published on March 28, 2010 by Amazon Customer


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Review: Voices of Dragons, March 19, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
VOICES OF DRAGONS
CARRIE VAUGHN
YA Fantasy
HarperTeen

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Wow. Following in the footsteps of the great dragon writer, Anne McCaffrey, Carrie Vaughn created a fantastic new world and beautiful young adult story in VOICES OF DRAGONS. Combining a modern world with creatures we normally reserve for mythological places, Ms. Vaughn gave us what many readers search high and low for: real life with a touch of fantasy.

Kay Wyatt is our heroine of the story and probably one of the best aspects of the book. She is a well rounded character and very relatable. Not overly gorgeous or full of angst, Kay allows us to delve into the story with her and join in her adventures. Seventeen and feeling the pressures of teenaged life, Kay escapes to nature when she needs to clear her head. Hiking and rock climbing are her passions, the exhilaration of feeling free enough to calm any frazzled nerves. More than that, her outdoors activities end up serving another purpose. Coupled with fate, they lead her over the border to Dragon and to Artegal, with whom communication is strictly forbidden.

While Kay discovers that dragons may not be as evil as humans think, the rest of her normal life still has to go on. Her best friend, Tam, goes out of her way to encourage the budding romance between Kay and Jon. Caught in the middle of the peer pressure to take their relationship farther than either are really prepared for, the two navigate confusing and rocky waters while still managing to find comfort in the presence of one another. Unlike many new young adult stories hitting the market, Ms. Vaughn allows Kay and Jon to have a simple and fairly innocent romance. It was refreshing in a way because it kept the story light and sweet in terms of that aspect of the book.

As Kay learns more and more about the dragon, Artegal, she soon learns that there is no reason why humans and dragons cannot once again be friends and allies. As fate would have it, however, right around the time she comes to this conclusion, the military decides to start testing its borders with Dragon. As Kay struggles to keep both sides at bay and encourage talk between the two nations, she must learn how far she is willing to go and how much of herself she is really willing to sacrifice.

VOICES OF DRAGONS was a fantastic story. As mentioned previously, Ms. Vaughn's work easily stands proudly next to some of the best dragon stories out there. With clear writing and beautiful imagery, the author manages to really pull the reader into the story and allow us to take part in the adventure. Although one would expect the main dragon in the story to be brilliantly hued and perfect in every way, Vaughn gives him more of a grey appearance and allows him to have his own quirks. She allows us to use our imaginations while still giving large depth and robustness to something as simple as the color grey.

There are a number of traits that make VOICES OF DRAGONS a winner, but the two that had the most impact in my opinion were really the development of her characters and her writing style. Full, detailed characters gave us something to hold on to and follow throughout the story. Each had their own personality and shared uniqueness in that they weren't your typical young adult novel characters. There wasn't a lot of angst, although there was quite a bit of emotion. Jon didn't act like the typically hormone driven teenage boy we usually see and Tam, although she definitely could get prissy, didn't end up being the bratty friend that would eventually turn snobby toward our main character. Pairing these well-rounded characters with a very fluid and clear writing style made for a book that was not only a pleasure to read, but one that was easy to read as well.

I would highly recommend VOICES OF DRAGONS to readers of any age but especially those looking for a little bit of magic in their lives. This was a fabulous book and one that will surely grab the hearts of those who read it.

Carrie Vaughn is also the author of the Kitty Norville series, an adult series about a werewolf who hosts a radio advice talk show. VOICES OF DRAGONS is her first young adult novel and she is very excited about it. She can be found online at [..]

Cinnamon
ENCHANTING REVIEWS
March 2010
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voices of Dragons, March 17, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
When I first heard about Voices of Dragons, I had no idea it was a young adult urban fantasy. Actually I had no idea what it was about at all, but Dragons are a surefire way to get my attention at least. As I heard more about it, I was a little skeptical over the premise. It truly did sound like a Romeo & Juliet set-up but with a Dragon and a girl. The book more then exceeded my expectations however.

There was something very real about the situation to me, or perhaps the reactions of the characters. Kay is described early on, through actions and her own self-evaluation, as being prone to doing reckless things for adventure. Throughout the book she does just that; climbing cliffs without lines (or a climbing buddy), choosing to continue to meet with Artegal and then enthusiastically agreeing that they should try flying. Truly the two of them were a matched set--neither seemed overly afraid of the consequences, could only see the adventure of it.

The relationships with her human friends and family were a little more strained. Aside from keeping the monumental secret that was Artegal, Kay was also neck deep in the terrifying ritual of High School dating. On the one hand her best friend Tam was deep certain that if Kay just let it happen it would be the best thing ever. After all it was for her, so why wouldn't it be for everyone else? On the other hand Kay's uncertain feelings for her other best friend Jon wavered back and forth, plaguing her with doubts and 'what ifs'. Her time with Artegal gave her a peace and serenity, despite the danger, that she desperately needed.

When the tensions began they happened fast and then kept going. I was worried about an unexpected death creating friction between Artegal and Kay, but there wasn't any. Kay was an amazingly mature girl, able to see beyond anger and fear, able to understand because of her friendship with Artegal. The last third of the book felt rushed however, as Vaughn tried to cram as much into the space as possible to wrap up the story on a satisfactory point. The military came off as being brash, aggressive and bloodthirsty honestly and I felt nothing but sympathy for the dragons' side of the conflict. I don't think enough information was provided to really support the military's aggressive stance.

The twist at the end, regarding an old wives' tale about virgins and dragons, was amusing to see played out. It was clever of them to think of it and their escape promised a continuing story I'd be most eager to read. And for the record it was downright refreshing to read a paranormal/urban fantasy novel (mainstream or young adult) that featured two characters building a true bond of friendship that was the strongest factor.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea but lacking something, March 28, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
I think the story was wonderfully original. The idea of a modern world coping with dragons is interesting. Kay was a nice strong character and her boyfriend is suprisingly understanding and not the typical raging hormones teenage boy which was refreshing. I feel like the story didnt really pick up until near the end thought and i wish the plot could have been developed better. also i wanted some more closure with the ending. its not a bad ending but it leaves me feeling like either there might be a sequel or thats it and i wish the author expanded it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Human-Dragon Relationships in a Modern World, April 21, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
VOICES OF DRAGONS, Carrie Vaughn's YA debut, is a fascinating blend of modernity and the ageless awe of dragons. From the start, I was effortlessly pulled into Kay's world and greatly enjoyed this unique tale that melds new with old.

The greatest strength of this book is in its world-building. Carrie Vaughn easily creates for us readers a world in which it is natural for humans and dragons to coexist in an uneasy sort of peace. The presence of dragons is smoothly intertwined with our own history, and Kay's border town is a well-drawn location of new troubles but classic fears, of dragon raid drills among a world of high school relationships, rock climbing, and the wild beauty that is Montana.

While the plot is comparatively simple and even a little slow at points, Vaughn's depiction of the dragons is enough to hold our attention despite the plot's conventionality. Artegal, through Kay's eyes, is an astonishingly complex character, with the dangerous majesty of that mysterious race. In comparison, Kay is relatively unextaordinary: she rarely gets a strong, standout voice.

But that was okay by me for this book. Carrie Vaughn is an accomplished writer whose smooth prose can make even the most basic story elements shine. VOICES OF DRAGONS is unlike anything I've read before, and not only will I pounce on the sequel when it comes out, this book has also reawakened my interest with dragons in literature. Check it out: I dare you!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A really good, strong start....let the series begin!, April 5, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
Voices of Dragons - well, hmm - I was not sure exactly what this story would be like when I picked it up...from the synopsis I was sure it would be good - I mean, dragons, friendship, possible war - what's not to get worked up about! So even though had not seen anything more than a few Waiting on Wednesday's about this book, when I saw it at the book store, I just had to give it a chance.

I am glad I did - though I did feel like it was a tad flawed, all in all, I enjoyed it.

I liked the main protagonist, Kay - though she was just OK for me, nothing special, nothing about her stood out or made me root for her, especially. She's just a teenager whom seemed a bit one sided. She wanted, it seemed, to do what was best for the dragon's and help prevent war, but all in all, I was not sure as to WHY this cause was so important to her.

I just really felt like I just did not know her well enough to like her, or not like her. All, I got was that she's a teen, a virgin, a rock climber, and has parents that help protect the borders; that's kinda it.

I did really like Artegal, the dragon - it was fun seeing how Carrie went about creating him, her words almost floating effortlessly off the page when referring to him. I felt like Artegal's strength, beauty and power, jumped off the page to where I could close my eyes and picture him standing there. The way his breath smelled, his effortless facial expressions...Carrie has what I can only call an amazing way with words, her descriptions were nothing short of awesome!

Carrie also created a world in which these characters lived with such beauty, I nearly felt like I was flying when Artegal would take off, could feel the rock beneath Kay as she dug in to a rock face, could feel the agony of the ropes cutting into Kay's fingers as she held on for dear life, when Artegal took her on there first flight. Carrie Vaughn has a way with words that I can only call effortless, and breathtaking!

With that being said though, I felt like Voice of Dragon's lacked connections, I really wanted MORE from the relationships between the characters! It felt like we, as the readers, got the whole story as to what brought on the war that ended with a division between dragon and human. However, I felt like Kay only scratched the surface when talking with Artegal - questions I was sure, I might ask, Kay never thought of. It's hard to describe really, I just felt like Kay's relationships with everyone around her were just one sided, we never got to dive deeper into her as a character or relate to her in such away to give her more depth, and in turn her relationships with the other characters more depth.

Bottom Line - Excellent new series, this one MUST have at the very least a sequel, because once the action really picked up, it ended, which, if I am being honest, bummed me out - but left me wanting more! I can only hope that we see Kay develop as a character; I also hope we get to see more Jon and Tam! I patiently await more from Ms. Carrie Vaughn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice story!, May 11, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
This is one of those fantasy books written in present day, that is so reasonable you believe it could actually happen. Well, if you can believe dragons coming out of hibernation after WWII. The premise of the story is dragons come out of hibernation(for lack of a better description) and they forge an uneasy peace with humans. They have their territory, and we have ours. The story is written from the perspective of a teenage girl, who is normal, no magic powers or anything and she reacts to a series of events like you or I would. I do not want to give up any spoilers in my review, but I recommend this book to anyone from teens on up male or female. I really loved this book and want to read more from this author, and hope she writes more of this story in another book or 20! Also, there are no vampires in this book, don't know why someone tagged it with vampires and werewolves, none of that here, just dragons and people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Fantasy for Young or Not-So-Young, April 2, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
Carrie Vaughn's newest work brings a breath of fresh air to my personal library. I've been reading so many paranormal fantasies of late (from YA to adult) that I didn't think there was much "new" stuff out there. Sure, there are lots of books about dragons. But this isn't so much a book about an imaginary world where dragons are real as it is a charming book about the value of friendship, even if it be an inter-species friendship between a teenage girl & a dragon.

Vaughn weaves a marvelous story with a smattering of teenage angst, a bit of political intrigue reminiscent of the Cold War, & enough adventure to keep the reader anxious for more. Although this is currently a stand-alone story, the author leaves us wanting more of this amazing world. Hopefully she will find the time to make her idea for a sequel into a reality for us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick, Fun Read, March 29, 2010
By 
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
I am a fan of Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, which is why I picked up Voices of Dragons. I find I don't always enjoy YA books, but this one was full of interesting ideas and a well-executed story. Vaughn's modern-day world is dealing with dragons who appeared after the nuclear blasts at the end of WWII. After humans came to understand the power of the dragons they drew up a treaty ceding a lot of land in the northern hemisphere to them. Now it is sixty years later and humans (at least those in the military) are feeling like giving up may have been a mistake all those years ago and that, with new technology, they can compete with and beat the dragons. Kay is an adventurous young woman who befriends an adolescent dragon and comes to see that the human's perception of dragons is skewed and that she is perhaps the only person who can stave off the impending war between humans and dragons.
I liked all of Vaughn's characters; they are realistic and intriguing. The ending left me hoping for a sequel, but if one isn't forthcoming I am willing to say that everything worked out well and the world was saved from a perilous war. This book is an easy read and you can finish it quickly, though you might wish you'd lingered a little longer once you've finished. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the paranormal adventure genre (and who doesn't?).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, June 19, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
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.

Reviewed by: Joan Stradling
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speaking with Dragons, April 13, 2010
This review is from: Voices of Dragons (Hardcover)
Here there be dragons... or more precisely, up north there be dragons.

Having added some realistic twists to urban fantasy werewolves, Carrie Vaughn makes a smooth transition into an alternate-history fantasy all about dragons. Her "Voices of Dragons" manages to juggle interspecies friendships, peer pressure, fighter jets and military conspiracies -- and the only downside is that the climax is kind of busy and ends on a big fat To Be Continued.

While rock-climbing near the border of the Dragon lands, Kay has a near-fatal fall -- but is rescued by a young dragon who calls himself Artegal. Artegal and Kay soon become friends and meet regularly to learn from each other, and Kay is even given an ancient book that describes a utopian city where dragons and humans lived together. She even discovers how to create a special flying harness that lets her ride on her dragon friend's back.

Then a fighter jet crashes over the Dragon border, and suddenly the humans and dragons are on the brink of going to war -- especially since a warmongering general has rolled into town, with a new type of fighter jet that can outmaneuver a dragon. Kay knows that the dragons don't want to go to war, but exposing her secret to her fellow humans might make things even worse. And after the dragons launch a deadly assault to show that they'll defend themselves, she and Artegal are caught in a conspiracy aimed at sparking off a full-fledged war.

The backstory behind "Voices of Dragons" is essentially thatd ragons hibernated from the Middle Ages to World War II. It's a pretty fascinating idea, and still simple enough that Vaughn doesn't lose her grip on it -- even though I have the feeling that she's only touched the edge of the dragons' alien natures and culture. But at its heart, this particular book is basically about a dragon and a girl who will do anything to avert a senseless war.

So unsurprisingly, Vaughn's strong smooth writing is at its best when she's focusing on Kay and Artegal -- the scenes where they read and talk together are very cute, and her prose becomes breathtaking when they fly together. But after the crash, everything takes on a darker tinge -- there's some personal tragedy handled in a heart-wrenchingly realistic manner, airborne battles, and the whole deal with the creepy general who doesn't care what happens as long as he gets to kill dragons.

The only major problem is the ending -- the last few chapters are a bit jumbled (seriously, what's the fallout?! What happens?), and the story ends on a "To Be Continued" note just when things are getting good. Come on, it can't end there!

Kay and Artegal are wonderful protagonists for this story -- one is a very normal, likable young woman struggling with peer pressure and the question of whether to have sex, and the other is a beautiful, primal, alien creature who is seeking to understand the humans. Vaughn builds up their friendship slowly and painstakingly, and because of that they seem more like true friends than most dragon/human teams.

Rather than the "ye olde medieval" approach, Carrie Vaughn puts her dragons in a solidly modern world -- and a plot filled with twists, action, and tragedy. But the highlight is the friendship between Artegal and Kay.
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Voices of Dragons
Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn (Hardcover - March 16, 2010)
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