Monday, July 23, 2018

MMGM--Mark of the Dragonfly

The Mark of the Dragonfly, by Jaleigh Johnson

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. 

The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. 

The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible. 

Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.

(I have been planning on reviewing this book for quite some time. As in, I started writing my review two months ago, and then let it sit and gather dust before I finally came back and finished it. Whoops.)

One of my favorite things about this book is the re-imagining of the use of magic. In this book, magic comes from within a person and helps them in one area of expertise, instead of coming from a book of spells or magical potions. I have always been a fan of magic that is born into a person instead of the kind that is learned over the years.

Along with the magic-system, the world that Jaleigh Johnson has created is well thought out, and over all fun to read about. I can personally say that I would love to live in the world of Solace. (Although I'm not so sure I would want to take up residence in a Scrap Town, like the main character, Piper, does.)

After Piper is left without parents, she is forced to care for herself. Thankfully, Piper is an extremely talented machinist. To make her money, she scrounges around the Meteor Fields--often times with her friend, Micah--and repairs the gadgets she finds to sell. However, for many people living in Scrap Towns, finding objects to pawn at markets is their main source of income, which means the longer people wait to search for items--the slimmer the pickings become.

One day, Micah decides to risk going to the Meteor Fields in the middle of a Meteor Storm. Piper, being the loyal friend that she is, runs the find him. No one in the right mind would leave the shelter during the middle of a Storm, (except, you know, Piper and Micah) so imagine Piper's surprise when she finds an unconscious girl in the fields, named Anna.

 Anna was found as the only survivor of her caravan heading to Scrap Town Sixteen. To make matters even more difficult--Anna has absolutely no recollection of her life before Piper finds her. But don't underestimate her--even though Anna may come across as dainty and small, she is definitely quite the fighter. Piper, however, can barely make a living for herself, let alone another human being, so she decides to get Anna aboard the 401--a train heading out of Scrap Town Sixteen. But not everything goes according to plan when the girls are caught by Gee.

Gee is the security boy for the 401. He's been a part of the train's crew for as long as he can remember, and definitely does not tolerate potential trouble makers, ie--Anna and Piper. But under his tough exterior is a big marshmallowy heart of gold (because that's totally an expression). He often comes off as abrasive--because the crew that work on the train have become his only family, and he couldn't bear to let something happen to them. Because of this--he fiercely guards everyone on the 401, including--much to his disdain--Piper and Anna.

I read this book for the first time about three years ago. This was my first reread in nearly two years, yet even before I picked up the book, I could still remember the descriptions. I could remember how the food tasted to Piper on the 401, and I could remember Piper's pain after Anna was injured.

Now, if you've read my previous book review, I know what you might be thinking. Back when I reviewed The Lord of the Flies, I complained that the descriptions were too lengthy. So if you're sitting here and thinking "SHE'S SUCH A HYPOCRITE!!!" for now saying that I like descriptions--I have an explanation. Jaleigh Johnson's descriptions aren't long or over-the-top--they're just very well-worded. Her descriptions are also paired awesomely (if I do say so myself) with lots of high-action sequences that move the plot along at a fast pace.

This book is a perfect library addition for anyone who enjoys well written descriptions and amazing world building. You can find an excerpt of The Mark of the Dragonfly HERE and you can find Jaleigh Johnson's website HERE

Happy Reading!


  1. Such an intriguing cover and your review made a convincing case to read this one. Thanks for sharing and happy MMGM!

    1. Thank you, Greg!

      The cover is pretty awesome isn't it?

  2. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! I haven’t read it in a while, though, which is sad. :( Who was your favorite character? Mine was actually Gee!

    Great review, Kara, as always!


      Although I do love Gee and Anna, my favorite character is probably Piper.

      Thanks, Nicole!

  3. This book seems amazing! The characters, worldbuilding, and description all sound great—I'll have to try it! Thanks so much for the review!

    1. You should definitely check it out!

      No problem--I love reviewing!

  4. I read Mark of the Dragon several years ago, and enjoenj the the flash of memories on hearing your description! Definitely a unique world and rich story. Thanks for the recommendation, and happy MMGM!

    1. Yay! I'm so happy to hear that other people have read and enjoyed the book!

      Thank you!

  5. Captivating cover - gorgeous! Your review intrigued me enough that I've added it to my list. Very unique story. Thank you so much!

  6. This sounds really good! Nice review.

  7. The cover is so pretty! Also the character's name is Piper which makes me happy because I love that name so much!! :D

    1. I know right! So shiny and gorgeous!

      I love the name Piper too--I actually have a close friend whose name is Piper. She unofficially follows my blog, and usually reads through the comments. *waves at Piper through screen*


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