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Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace [Mass Market Paperback]

MaryJanice Davidson , Anthony Alongi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 30 2007 Jennifer Scales (Book 1)
She knew that growing up would mean changing. But Jennifer wasn't prepared for the blue scales or the claws, since no one had told her that she came from a bloodline of weredragons. Her greatest challenge? Protecting herself from her family's ancient enemies and preparing herself for fierce battles. And that's a lot to expect of a girl just coming into her own.


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About the Author

MaryJanice Davidson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Undead novels featuring Betsy Taylor; Derik's Bane, and the new young adult novels featuring Jennifer Scales, written with her husband, Anthony Alongi, among other titles.
Anthony Alongi is a fantastically good-looking, talented writer who doesn’t deserve his fantastically good-looking wife, the gifted writer MaryJanice Davidson (Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unappreciated, Undead and Unreturnable, Undead and Unpopular, Undead and Uneasy, The Royal Treatment, Hello, Gorgeous!, “Wicked” Women Whodunnit). He spends far too much time playing games on the computer and doesn’t appreciate his wife, although he makes a mean bacon dinner and stumbled his way through Carleton College and Harvard University. He is a contract writer for Hasbro, Inc. His interests include annoying his wife, chasing his children around the house, and writing his wife’s bio.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Aug. 25 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jennifer Scales is just like any other fourteen-year-old girl. She's going through some...changes. But it's all normal, right?

Not exactly. In JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE (don't let the title keep you away; it's not what it sounds like), Jennifer's parents tell her some...surprising news. She's going to be changing a lot more than most people do at her age. In fact, she's going to be getting scales, horns, and claws--at least some of the time. Jennifer is a weredragon, from her dad's side of the family (her mom never has a tail the way Jennifer and her father do), and her parents waited to tell her until the day of her first morph. Whenever there's a crescent moon, Jennifer, her father, her grandfather, and so many other seemingly normal people turn into dragons.

That gives Jennifer a lot to deal with. She's got her friends (who she can't tell), school, and, well, being a fourteen-year-old girl. She's got to put her life on hold, though, when she goes to her grandfather's farm to become a dragon, and learn the skills she needs for that (at first, even standing up is hard!). Jennifer (and all weredragons) also has some ancient enemies, though: beaststalkers (humans with the power to hunt weredragons) and werearachnids (people who turn into giant spiders every crescent moon). As if starting high school wouldn't be hard enough!

JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE is a fast-paced story that I read all in one sitting! The writing isn't particularly remarkable, but it's simple enough to keep the reader focused on the story. The characters all seem pretty realistic, if a bit removed from the narrative. The idea is pretty original--a great spin-off of the less original, and more often written about, idea of werewolves.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great series startup for preteens and young adults... Sept. 2 2005
By CoffeeGurl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love MaryJanice Davidson and devour all of her books. I looked forward to giving Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace a whirl. I loved The Adventures of the Teen Furies and looked forward to reading another one of her Young Adult efforts. This time Davidson teams up with her husband, Anthony Alongi, and creates a spanking new YA fantasy series. Even though Jennifer Scales is a sweet, fun introduction to a series, I was not as riveted with this effort as I was with Teen Furies. Jennifer Scales's growing pains are tougher than the rest of the fourteen-year-olds out there. After all, she doesn't just have to deal with puberty, boys, friends and other teen conundrums, she also has to deal with the fact that she is a weredragon who shifts to her dragon form during the crescent moon. Her parents had kept the secret until she began to feel changes within her. She developed her dragon form and other abilities at a younger age than most weredragons. Also, she looks different from other dragons. Could the fact that her mother is human be the reason for this? As her father and grandfather teach her how to hunt for prey and fly using her dragon wings, she tries to adjust with her unconventional life, but things get tougher when she learns that there are enemies who want to destroy the dragons...

I like how realistic Jennifer's reaction to being a weredragon is. She has a difficult time adjusting to her new lifestyle and is refreshing to see that she does not accept things from one chapter to the next. Her relationships with her high school friends suffer as a result and her school days could well be over. I liked the scenes centered on her interactions with her grandfather and other teen weredragons. This is an overall nicely done work that has a less abrupt ending than other Davidson efforts. I don't know if this has to do with her collaboration with her husband, but the pace of the story is far better this time around. However, I found myself struggling to finish this book. Perhaps the reason to this is due to the fact that this book is specifically written for very young readers. As an avid Davidson fan, I wanted to give the book a whirl despite knowing that it is written for very young adults. I'll be fair and review it within its genre and say that the novel is wonderful and a great reading investment for young readers. I'll give Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace to my sixteen-year-old niece and hope she will continue to read the future offerings of this series.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't have to read it to love it! Sept. 7 2005
By Julia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book for my daughter, who is in middle school. She chose to read it for one of our frequent "sit under a shade tree and read" sessions. I can't remember what book I picked, because I didn't get to read it. Roughly every two minutes, my daughter would interrupt our normally quiet time with, "Oh, you gotta hear this..." before long, I put aside my book and just listened. She enjoyed the book so much that she couldn't keep it to herself, she simply had to share it.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous new young adult team Sept. 20 2005
By Animus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful book! The story line is entertaining and well thought out. The characters are interesting and well developed but most of all it's a fun read. Mary Janice Davidson is primarily known for her paranormal romance books (none of which you'd let your teenager read...well you shouldn't let your teenager read. I guess I can't speak for everyone.)This book has all of her strengths (humor and realistic dialogue)with none of her weaknesses (little or no description and an abrupt ending). Perhaps this is the influence of Anthony Alongi. The story reads nothing like anything Ms Davidson would have written on her own and the reader definitely benefits from Mr. Alongi's contributions to the book.

They have captured what it is like to be a teenager dealing with parents during a difficult time of your life. The teens act like teens and the parents act like parents. You can see and understand everyone's point of view. Often when writing for teens the parents are made out to be ogre's or so incredibly detached from their kids lives that you can't imagine having parents like that or being a parent like that. These are real people dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

It's witty, creative, well thought out fantasy. I can't wait until the next in the series comes out. YES! It's the 1st of what I hope is a long long series. The world deserves more fantasy written for intelligent teens that treats them like intelligent teens.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book would make an excellent children's movie Nov. 18 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
SERIOUSLY!!! I found this book by accident. I read some of Mary Janice Davidson's adult books, but I never expected to find one in the young adult section. I will definitely re-read this book, but first, I have to get it back from the person to whom I loaned it!!! I can't wait for the next book!!!

If you like the Dragons in Our Midst series by Bryan Davis, you will love this book. Both start out with a similar premise: a teenager discovers that their dad is a dragon, making him (in this case "her") a halfling.

Jennifer, our heroine, begins to notice that something's wrong after she makes a game-saving kick during a school soccer game. At first, she assumes that everyone can jump, flip, and kick the winning score; however, she quickly learns otherwise when she finds out that her friends now think that she's on drugs.

When Jennifer actually turns into a dragon, she has to learn a whole new way of life, beginning with how to walk. Once she learns the basics and goes to dragon school, she becomes much more comfortable in her dragon skin. After she becoming somewhat competent, she participates in a brief successful quest and, with a little help, saves the day.

However, the story wasn't that simple. In order to function in the world, Jennifer had to quickly learn to accept who she is and come to terms with her parents. In REAL life, this doesn't happen until about age 22.

While Jennifer struggles to accept herself and her parents, she also has to deal with others' perceptions of her. By the end of the book, she finds out that, while she is miraculous and beautiful to some people, she is cursed and hideous to those she least expects. Jennifer faces betrayal and prejudice from some of her "friends" while she works to save her family. In the end, she discovers that HER perceptions of other people aren't always correct. After all, she didn't notice that her mom was a superhero, and she never knew that her grandfather was a bigot.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new YA series June 7 2006
By Carey Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved it. Jennifer is a character that so many of us can relate to....even before she turns into a dragon. The dialogue is great and the characters are very real, something I like in my fantasy reads. I have a hard time relating to perfect and noble characters. I want my characters to have bad moods and hissy fits. Thanks to Ms. Davidson and Mr. Alongi for a great new addition to my classroom library.
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