YA urban fantasy
Allyson has never met her father, moved more times than she’s had birthdays, and has never had a best friend until Beth. With legendary acne and worsening asthma, Allyson just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid move-across-the-nation freak, but when Allyson accidentally spits fire on kidnappers at the mall, she starts putting the pieces together: Allyson is half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her long time asthma? Actually a fiery breath weapon. Through it all, Beth doesn’t bat an eyelash, admitting she’s half troll, and trolls have an even worse reputation than dragons.
When trolls kidnap a half-unicorn child prodigy, Beth gets blamed, and unicorns solve their problems with murder. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her off the unicorn chopping block, but when they search for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expected: Allyson’s father. He works with the trolls and knows where they keep their victims, but there’s a problem: Allyson’s father is under a mystical compulsion to keep people from rescuing the victims. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson has to choose: rescue the unicorn and kill the father she’s always dreamt of, or let her best friend hang for a crime she didn’t commit.
Muzak filled the mall, and the place smelled like cheap plastic, fake gold and too much perfume. I stood in front of a shop for full figured women with my only friend, Beth. “That’s awesome,” she said, pointing at a blue jacket.
“Try it on.”
Beth shrugged. “Their clothes never fit right. They’re a little too optimistic,” she said pointing at her chest. “I can bench a bull, Allyson, but I’m not wining any wet T-shirt contests.”
“How do you know unless you try it on?” I pushed her toward the window, and she stumbled forward into the foot traffic. I must have caught her by surprise; she’s the immovable object. Refrigerators are intimidated by Beth. She’s tall, blond, and could go pro-roller derby diva at the drop of a hat.
Beth bumped into a guy even taller than her. He caught her and set her back on her feet, like she weighed nothing. My jaw dropped. There aren’t many people in the world capable of setting Beth anywhere.
“Sorry, my friend’s overly enthusiastic.” Beth straightened her jacket, brushing at imaginary dust.
The guy didn’t blink, he stared. He had a lopsided face, like someone had started baking a cake but stopped halfway through. His hair was shaved close to his head, and he wore baggy jeans, combat boots and a dumbstruck look. He leaned into Beth and took a breath. He stood a full head taller than her, making him easily the largest man I had ever seen.