There are supernatural prisons hidden across the globe. Contained within these fortresses are some of the deadliest criminals from the five supernatural races: vampire, shifter, fey, magic users and demi-fey.
Jessa Lebron, twenty-two, has spent her entire life in Stratford, Connecticut, one of the gateway towns adjoining these prisons which protect the fortified borders. She’s a wolf shifter, and her father leads the town council. She learns that much of her life has been hidden from her, secrets which threaten to tear apart the very fabric of her world. Especially the biggest secret of them all. She is dragon marked.
Jessa only knows what she’s been told about the dragon marked, that they are dangerous and must be eliminated to prevent the rise of the dragon king, the powerful warmonger who had his head removed a thousand years ago. So now Jessa's on the biggest hit list of all. Dragon mark hunters are lethal and her only hope to evade detection is to keep the energy contained. As more secrets unfold she finds herself locked up in Vanguard, the notorious American supernatural prison. Thankfully she’s not alone. Braxton, the dragon-shifter has her back. Together they must survive long enough to free themselves and the other dragon marked.
Because it’s time for the dragon marked to rise.
I was expecting this to be a tense and action packed new adult book about hell inside a supernatural prison but I was seriously disappointed.
Firstly, this feels like pretty young YA. The characters are supposed to be twenty somethings yet their dialogue and behaviour resemble 12 year olds instead. Jessa is a wolf shifter who has no discipline or manners. She falls asleep in class but somehow that is the teacher's fault and when he calls her out on it, she sulks, moans and couldn't care less, stepping in just in time to stop her hot male bodyguards from killing the teacher for upsetting her. Jessa's dad is alpha wolf but she disobeys him and cheeks him all the time and shows him no respect. Frankly she is a spoiled brat, not a 22 year old woman.
Then we have her best friends, the Compass boys who every female adores and who will take leadership of the town in a few years time. These are the future rulers? All they do is run around after Jessa, tending to her hurt feelings by threatening everyone who upsets her, screw all the groupies who flock to them and throw their weight around like dumb jock steriotypes. And of course they will probably all become potential love interests when Jessa realises how hot these guys all are. Gag. The fact that the four of them had different powers-wizard, fae, dragon and vampire should have been interesting but all these seem to be there for is to threaten everyone who upsets the delicate werewolf and to keep her fed-physically and emotionally. We don't really see them using their powers other than the way high school boys would-to pull girls and bully people they don't like. What a waste of potentially good characters.
I think there is meant to be a plot about being locked up in the supernatural prison Vanguard. But 20% into the book, all we know of Vanguard is that it is hidden somewhere around town and the guys wander into the woods a couple of times to try and locate it as the leaders won't say where it is. Instead the book is full of Jessa's hurt feelings that she has a sister nobody told her about who has been living among humans, meaning there are info dumps as Jessa has to explain everything about being a supernatural in this town to her. We are also treated to every meal that Jessa eats as she is food obsessed and I got really tired of every page dealing with her stomach and her home life angst. It was just plain boring.
Ironically, I thought this could have been good as I liked the idea of the brothers with different powers and the supernatural community they lived in. The trouble is, we don't see a lot of the community other than giggling groupies and pesky adults who are there to ruin the fun of the heroes. It just feels like high school drama, not new adult thriller. Where is the tension and excitement? Even a murder and infiltrations of other similar prisons takes up two lines and are barely mentioned again in comparison to Jessa's stomach.
I have no idea how many more feedings and family secret angst we have to get through before we finally get to something interesting happening but I was so bored with this YA high school drama type plot that I wasn't going to hang around to find out. The plot might be ok for younger teens but it was so slow moving and school angsty that it really did just bore me. Not the supernatural gritty prison drama I was expecting at all.