Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace Mass Market Paperback – Jan 30 2007
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About the Author
MaryJanice Davidson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including the Undead novels featuring Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor. With her husband, Anthony Alongi, she also writes a series featuring a teen weredragon named Jennifer Scales. MaryJanice lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two children and is currently working on her next book.
Anthony Alongi is a fantastically good-looking, talented writer who doesn’t deserve his fantastically good-looking wife, the gifted writer MaryJanice Davidson. 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The characters are very lifelike, even though its fantasy. The morals and lessons aren't onerous, you very much identify with both the daughter and the parents. When Jennifer gets stressed in the stories, there is some vulgar language - just a heads up. Its not a lot, just here and there.
Definitely a good read.
am not going to write a synopsis of the story as it has been done by
better and more literate that me.
Allow me to say that this is a cute, well written novel that depicts
a teenager as one with all the crying, cutting up ,screeching and bitching
that goes along with raising a normal girl, not to mention a were-dragon.
It's enough to make you pull your hair out and stamp your feet and scream.
And just wait till I give it to my daughter to read. She will love it also.
Once again her characters are unbelievable and unlikeable. I couldn't lose myself in the story and suspend my disbelief because her characters just won't act in realistic ways. The 14 year old daughter mouths off at every opportunity while the parents just laugh indulgently at what passes for wit in a MJD novel.
I think I've finally learned my lesson this time around though. A story is only as good as the author who writes it and no matter how intriguing the concept, I just can't trust this author to write characters I can believe or care about. Without that key component, any story she writes, no matter how interesting the idea, won't leave me feeling satisfied.
For a good story about weres with characters that you can care about I'd recommend Nalini Singh and Patricia Briggs.
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.
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