Piper lives in a world where the veil into others is thin. Meteor storms rain down objects from other lands, which Piper and her neighbors gather and sell to the rich citizens of the Dragonfly territories. Scavenging these strange odds and ends is the only way to make money in the outer provinces.Piper is good at gathering debris from the storms, but it’s dangerous work. And one day, proof of just how dangerous is lying amongst the rubble of her carriage, unconscious.
The girl is beautiful and well dressed, and the dragonfly marking on her wrist confirms that she is the most valuable thing Piper’s ever stumbled upon. But people don’t leave valuables in the wastelands, so Piper decides to take her home.
It’s who comes for the mysterious girl that begins a journey that will change both of their lives forever.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the only place I will truly be happy is in middle grade books. No matter how much I love young adult – and I do – it seems like I can only really enjoy middle grade books anymore. Middle grade books are aimed at a group that hasn’t yet lost their sense of adventure, unlike the often more somber young adult novels. The Mark of the Dragonfly was honestly very refreshing.
While not perfect, The Mark of the Dragonfly was engaging and interesting. The two main characters, Piper and Anna, were two very different girls, with very different strengths and weaknesses. Piper’s headstrong confidence melded nicely with Anna’s more quiet demeanor. Neither girls were very fleshed out, but they were endearing and sweet. Seeing a female friendship is always welcome, after reading a plethora of YA books that bank on female rivalry.
The plot was engaging and drew you in from the first page. The first chapter has the perfect mixture of action, world building, and allure and the rest of the book delivers very well. The plot, despite mildly predictable, was as endearing as the characters. It was chock-full of adventure and just a twinge of mystery.
On the flip side, the worldbuilding was incredibly lacking. I’m honestly not sure where this is set – whether another world or perhaps a parallel world. It could have even have been Earth, in the future. I’m not sure whether this was intentional or just lazy writing. Either way, I would have preferred to have a little more to go on while reading.
My main complaint is the unnessecary addition of a romance subplot. It wasn’t poorly done, but it irritatingly detracted from the plot. I could have, most definitely, done without it.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Mark of the Dragonfly. It was a pretty good book only a couple flaws. Honestly, the biggest flaw is that it was too short! I can’t wait to read what else Johnson has in store for us.