Henchgirl by Rita Stradling
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The children of dragons and humans, the dracons, control eighty percent of the world’s governments. Humans worldwide are either subservient or prey. On the small vacation island of Mabi, humans call for war.
Sixteen year old Dakota Kekoa lives a double life. By day, she pretends to be a human to infiltrate Mabi Academy, a 'human's only' high-school. At night, she works as a henchman for her draconic mafia family, utilizing her ability to steal and manipulate emotions.
When Dakota’s human friend is kidnapped, she takes on the mission to find her. This is not just any mission though; she is diving head first into the escalating conflict between humans and dracons. As more girls disappear and some are discovered dead, Dakota realizes her first honorable mission may also be her last.
This is the very first ARC I've ever gotten, and I want to thank NetGalley for providing that to me in exchange for an honest review.
The island of Mabi Island (loosely based on Hawaii) is basically owned by Dakotas grandfather, a powerful half-dragon with over 500 children. This makes Dakota one eighth dragon, making her the only type of female Dracon capable of producing off-spring. Not wanting to spend her life being used for her womb, Dakota becomes a soldier for her grandfather, using her special abilities to threaten his enemies and gather Intel for him. She uses the payments for these jobs to help provide for her family since her alcoholic mother spends all their rent money on useless things.
Dakotas' current mission, one that she's been working on for years, involves going undercover in an all human school. She's finally starting to get close to her ultimate goal, when everything starts to go wrong. With the arrival of some powerful guests, Dakotas grandfather suddenly stops showing her any of the favoritism she's used to. At the same time, one of her best human friends mysteriously disappears. As Dakota works to find her friend, and uncovers the truth about who her grandfathers guests are, her whole life is turned upside down.
Dakota is the best kind of protagonist; witty, headstrong, and sarcastic while still being vulnerable and scared at times. She's a heroine who isn't afraid to ask for help when she needs it or to speak her mind. Her lack of manners and etiquette was charming and relateable. Her loyalty and trust towards her friends and family makes her exactly the kind of girl I would've wanted as a best friend in high-school.
When I downloaded this book to my Kobo, I wasn't especially excited. The premise sounded interesting enough... An oppressive dystopian society ruled by half human-half dragons. Once I started reading the book however, I realized that I am either incredibly unobservant, or the synopsis sucked. Either way, Henchgirl does not suck, not at all. In fact, I read all 300+ pages in one sitting, which I haven't done in years.
I am seriously so happy that I read this book, and I can not WAIT for the sequel.