Author: Sarah Beth Durst
When a shy girl and her dragon-like companion discover their country’s idyllic weather comes at a steep—and secret—cost, they recruit fellow students to defy authority and attempt to spread the truth.
Storm beasts and their guardians create perfect weather every day, and Mina longs for a storm beast of her own. But when the gentle girl bonds with a lightning beast—a creature of fire and chaos—everyone’s certain it’s a mistake. Everyone but Mina and the beast himself, Pixit. Quickly enrolled in lightning school, Mina struggles to master a guardian’s skills, and she discovers that her country’s weather comes at a devastating cost—a cost powerful people wish to hide. Mina’s never been the type to speak out, but someone has to tell the truth, and, with Pixit’s help, she resolves to find a way to be heard.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book is a great example of how you don’t have to be the loudest person to be heard or acknowledged. It also has dragons that control the weather.
When Mina hatches a lightning dragon, her family immediately thinks something is wrong. Those who bond with lightning dragons are loud and unruly, the complete opposite of Mina. Mina tries to tell them she loves her dragon, Pixit. They don’t listen and try to get her another dragon despite Mina trying to make them listen. They feel they know what’s best for her. Mina ends up going to lightning dragon school with Pixit, where she sees how loud the other lightning dragon guardians can be. Maybe her parents were right after all.
Mina has trouble using lightning and she thinks it’s because she’s not like the other guardians. Pixit keeps telling her she can do it, but she has to do it her way because she’s not like the other guardians. Mina has her doubts. When she starts playing lightning ball with the other students, she gets creative in guarding the goal since she can’t use lightning. Some of the students realize Mina doesn’t do things the way everybody else (which is the way things have always been done) and they see the advantage her creative solutions.
During her first thunderstorm, Mina is thrown across the mountains and meets the people who live on the other side. This is forbidden. The world beyond the mountains is cruel. They are supposed to stay within the mountains, where it’s safe and the weather is always perfect.
She learns that the perfect weather created and maintained by the storm beasts and guardians comes at a great cost to those who live outside. She figures out the 10 year celebration is the cause of so much destruction to the outside world. When she gets back, Mina feels like she needs to inform everybody, but nobody listens to her. Her friends listen to her and they come up with a plan to spread the word that the 10 year celebration needs to be canceled or innocent people will die past the mountains. They don’t do it by shouting and demanding to be heard. They follow Mina’s lead. As more students believe and question the need for the 10 year celebration, it’s decided the lightning school will be shut down. Nobody and nothing in or out until the celebration is over. And they moved up the celebration. However, the people outside don’t know the celebration is moved up and are in danger. Mina needs to lead the others if she’s to stop the celebration and save the outside world.
Some scenes are repetitive and keep reminding Mina (and the reader) that Mina is quiet and nobody listens, but overall it’s a great story that demonstrates how you don’t need to be the loudest person to make a difference. There are different ways to be heard.