Dragon Marked by Jaymin

Supernatural Prison, #1

Source: Purchased

As a wolf shifter with razor-sharp senses, Jessa Lebron can perceive the slightest change in the air. And her lupine instincts go into overdrive right before her mother, who abandoned her years ago, returns to the pack bearing secrets that change everything.

The biggest secret of all: Jessa is dragon marked, a designation that places her in grave danger. The dragon marked are destined to resurrect the dragon king, a fearsome ancient warmonger. And they must be eliminated.

Soon Jessa is locked up in Vanguard, the notorious paranormal prison that houses criminal vampires, feys, and magic users. Thankfully, she’s not alone: Braxton Compass, her best friend and a dragon shifter, has her back. Jessa and Braxton must find a way to free themselves and the rest of the dragon marked. But can her pack mates help her stop the dragon king before his deadly return?

“Today’s worry does not prevent tomorrow’s woes.”

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. Told through first point of view, Jessa is part of an elite group of ruling supernaturals destined to eventually take over the small town council. Supernaturals are segregated from the human population by choice, with their own town ran with their own systems - all businesses, the prison, the school are supernaturally ran and inhabited. The variety of supernaturals is widely diverse, from every type of shapeshifter including the rare dragon, vampires, magic users called wizards, the fey, mermaids, etc. Jessa gets some startling discoveries in this book concerning not only her family, but herself.

It starts a bit awkwardly but after the first two chapters really takes off. At first I feared Jessa would be another smug and annoying heroine, but she's actually awesome. Amusing, genuine, compassionate, tough when she needs to be. The bond with her and the four elect felt a little false at first (how could they all care THAT much??) but it grew on me, as did her family and the rest of the paper players.

I don't want to spoil the surprise by revealing the plot, but it's layered in events and pacing. They don't stay in one place long but there is no rushed exhaustion. It has heart and it has story. There's a relationship brewing on the horizon but the story is the front focus first. I'm not sure with the ending if there is also a betrayal (wouldn't surprise me), but I'm itching to read the second and see what happens next.

Besides the enjoyable writing skill and characterization, the world is interesting with some unique touches through the 'dragon marked' legend.

Unfortunately the back blurb of this book gives way too much of the story and surprise element away, but I guess they do that to hook potential readers. It's not fully accurate as much more happens, and the prison stay is thankfully brief.

   Book Quotes:

“My dragon decided that no one hurts his Jessa.”

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