Review: Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke


Title: Flying Blind

Author: Deborah Cooke

Publisher: NAL Trade

ISBN: 978-0451233882


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels.

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she’s been told she’s destined for great things. Zoë’s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she’s sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.


Flying Blind is a fun, fast-paced paranormal with one of my favorite mythical beings – dragons.  I enjoyed Deborah Cooke’s world, where Pyr, shape shifting dragons, live secretly among humans.  Zoe is fated to be the Wyvern, the one female of her kind.  She’s got a little problem though, and it’s playing havoc with her self-confidence.  When she was a baby, Zoe was the apple of her father’s eye.  She was displaying some of the magical abilities expected of the Wyvern, but once she started talking – poof! – no more powers.  No more magic, no more promise of greatness.  Now at 15, she is desperate to get her magic mojo back, only the harder she tries, the further away her magic seems to be. 

I love the concept of dragons.  Because they are passionate and quick to anger, it’s imperative that dragons learn to control their tempers.  Zoe must have skipped that lesson, because an unfortunately incident with her school’s resident queen of mean sends her in a rage.  Her inner dragon almost blazes out of control, and suddenly Zoe is in deep, deep doodoo with her parents for breaking Pyr rules  – using your dragon powers to beat up humans, even if you are defending your BFF, is a definite no no. What is Zoe’s punishment for breaking the code of conduct for dragon shape shifters?  She is sent to boot camp.  With a bunch of yummy guys.  Me?  I’d have confined her to her room for a week, but everyone does accuse me of being too harsh and unfeeling.

Boot camp isn’t quite what Zoe had envisioned.  Beautiful Isabelle is stealing her thunder, and she’s not even Pyr!  The guys, who have been her friends forever, seem to have forgotten that she’s alive whenever Isabelle walks into the room, and, as you have already guessed, this isn’t doing much to improve Zoe’s anger management issues.  When Nick, the Pyr she has loved forever, can’t take his eyes off of her new rival, Zoe’s day goes from bad to worse.   The tension between the boot camp participants had Zoe fretting and miserable, and kept everyone from stopping to wonder what happened to all of their fathers.  I really liked Zoe, and I found  her reactions to all of the conflict surrounding her believable.  She’s so confused about everything, and her support group has been torn apart.  It has her reeling and not sure what to do about anything.

If there was one thing that I didn’t like about the book, it was the pacing of the last 70 pages.  There is just so much thrown out there; kidnappings, blood, magic spells, singing, dragon scales, rescue attempts.  It had my head spinning, because it was just a bit too much to take all at once.  Some of the harrowing danger seemed to come in from left field, and it just felt like too much.  Zoe is thrown from one death-defying dilemma to the next, without pause, and I didn’t think the suspense was sustained through that segment of the story.

Despite my one quibble, I did enjoy Flying Blind.  I liked Zoe and sympathized with her confusion as she struggled to find herself and be comfortable with who she is.  I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher