Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi

OK, finished this one a week ago. I liked the first book of the Undead series and this series had good reviews on Amazon so I picked it up through paperbackswap.

It didn't really work for me. The protagonist is a teen girl who discovers that her parents never told her that she's half weredragon. And her race has an ancient feud with were-arachnids and beaststalkers. While I could suspend my disbelief with the paranormal aspects of this story, I had a problem with the characters and their interactions. Jennifer often acted like a brat, lashing out at her parents over everything, for example – her dad not being there because of his job.  Jennifer takes out on her mom just because she was there. Okay, teen angst, sure, but more than I have patience for, so when she kept doing it I wasn't enthused. At one point Jennifer said something "insightful" but it backfired, because I thought it was just a backhanded way of telling her mom that she was spineless. 

Meanwhile, her parents alternated between saying nothing and just letting Jennifer rant, and snapping back beyond the point I thought an adult should. Her dad got so annoyed, he just dropped Jennifer off at her grandfather's, said something nasty, doesn't let her know what's going on, and leaves. I was thinking: what kind of parenting is this? I also don't understand why they never told her what she was. The "protecting her" excuse seems very flimsy. The communication in this family is disfunctional! Her parents let Jennifer believe what she wanted without setting her straight and then revealed she was very very wrong and should feel bad (is this supposed to teach her something? Becuase I thought it was passive aggressive on her parents part).  On top of that some of the other people seemed to act out of character (I couldn't really buy the ending and how forgiving somebody was). And finally; there were people who added nothing to the plot at all - I said to myself - why were they there?

I know. I sound ranty. I think I expected more is why. The writing wasn't bad, the world wasn't bad, but I didn't like the characters. I'm past the young adult audience, but sometimes young adult books transcend age groups. This one is just for teens though, not targeted at practically 30 year old me. So I don't think I'll be looking for the rest of this series. I've been disappointed by quite a few young adult books in the past year – am I maturing? Or maybe I need to stop just trying to read everything willy-nilly and think more about if I'll really want to read books before I get them. TBR is huge anyway. It's at 131..still.

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2 thoughts on “Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi

  1. Yeah, I thought maybe it could be pulled off, but I couldn't maintain my disbelief. I bet someone could make were-arachnids work! It could happen, there are a lot of were books. It just didnt work here. Oh wait – Spiderman. That works.

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