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Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Core' by Teshelle Combs, book review

I’ll be honest. I’ve never read a “dragon” book. I am totally devoted to vampires, creepy-crawlies, and fuzzy shapeshifters. Reading about dragons never crossed my mind. But it wasn’t just the beautiful cover of ‘Core’ that hooked me.

Teshelle Combs’ writing is superbly descriptive and genuine. Her dialogue flows smoothly while offering a unique distinction to each character. Ava, the seventeen-year-old heroine, is brought to full bloom by Combs. She is damaged, yet strong. Walked on, yet above it all. Victimized, though never a victim. So the relationship she forms with Cale, a red dragon, feels very rewarding. Their relationship exposes small facets of Ava’s life that are otherwise hidden.

It is very pleasant to watch the boy chase the girl for once -and not be domineering, pushy, or creepy. Cale is sincere, to say the least, and has many layers, as do all of the characters. Most importantly, his attraction to Ava feels real. It is validated not by lust, but by true attraction on multiple levels. While the pace moves swiftly, Ava and Cale manage to share tender moments and small gestures that bind them even closer, endearing them more to readers. I especially appreciated the moments when Cale DID try to put his foot down and Ava does all but pat his head and say, “How sweet.”

Threaded throughout the storyline, propelling the drive further, are character traits for each type of being. For example, red dragons emit heat, are quite boisterous, and have the power to be healed by fire as well as entertained by it for hours, while blue dragons prefer stillness and would get along smashingly with Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory’. The ‘Nightfolk’ are genius, too. This term covers all the “bumps in the night.” And they are anything but average portrayals. These melancholic creatures are intriguing.

‘Core’ is full of action, as well. I love that Combs isn’t afraid to push the limits. That’s the whole point of fiction, right? Especially fantasy. To grab the normal limits and throw them off a cliff. (There is a killer plane scene that left me with an evil smile.)

Overall, I enjoyed all of the characters (with the exception of Ava’s foster mother, who is just kind of a boob), and felt that the progression of Ava’s decent into the dragon world as a ‘rider’ was well paced and exceptionally written with realistic touches. ‘Core’ is a rare book that makes it to my ‘Read Again’ pile. It will definitely be a go-to book, and I look forward to the rest in the series.

In a nutshell: Ava is a young, local fighter, and she’s damned good. In the end, she realizes that she doesn’t have to approach everything like a fight. She can love just as well. 

The final verdict: 
Every girl needs a dragon... 
Some girls might want to stock up. 
I'm not judging.
I might be one of them. ;)