Welcome to my stop on the Dragonfly Girl Blog Tour! Thank you to Random Things Tours for inviting me. Is there a cure for death? is such an intriguing tagline. Read on to find out more about the book.
Things aren’t going well for Kira. At home, she cares for her mother and fends off debt collectors. At school, she’s awkward and shy. Plus, she may flunk out if she doesn’t stop obsessing about science, her passion and the one thing she’s good at . . . very good at.
When she wins a prestigious science contest she draws the attention of the celebrated professor Dr. Gregory Munn (as well as his handsome assistant), leading to a part-time job in a top-secret laboratory.
The job is mostly cleaning floors and equipment, but one night, while running her own experiment, she revives a lab rat that has died in her care.
One minute it is dead, the next it is not.
Suddenly she’s the remarkable wunderkind, the girl who can bring back the dead. Everything is going her way. But it turns out that science can be a dangerous business, and Kira is swept up into a world of international rivalry with dark forces that threaten her life.
Dragonfly Girl is a really interesting story that combines elements of science with political intrigue along with really good character development.
As I mentioned, there is a lot to like about this book. The science-y elements bring a lot to the story. It is not hard science, but there is enough talk about what is being done in this lab regarding life vs death to make one think about the possibilities. Cell regeneration, gene stimulation, neuron reactivation, nerve revitalization, organ regeneration, etc. With a book like this it would have been unfeasible to go into more detail for something that is not scientifically possible right now, but I enjoyed reading about it to the extent that it could.
The best part of the book for me was the character development. The story is told from Kira’s perspective, and being able to experience the ins and outs of things from her point of view allows the reader to get to know Kira really intimately. That is really important for a book like this because the narrative not only focuses on scientific events surrounding her, but also how she feels about them. For that to work the reader has to care about Kira, and Leimbach does a great job of that. There are not a lot of characters, though, with most of the secondary being people Kira works with in the lab and the scientific community (along with Kira’s mom, who also has a presence). As supporting cast each one of them plays their role well and fill out the character card successfully.
One aspect I want to bring up is that I think the story has a little bit of an identity problem. Is it science-y science fiction or is it a political spy novel? I do like the involvement of the international community in the story because it brings an element of depth (and a bit of realism), but I think this part of the story was taken too far toward the end. It almost felt as if the author was pulled in two different directions and tried to split the baby. I would encourage the author to pick a side on this one.
That being said, Dragonfly Girl is a good read. The science talk and character interactions are what kept my interest and make this book worth a read. I recommend for fans of science fiction written in YA style.
There are a few steps left on the Blog Tour. I encourage you to follow along, and go back to the previous posts, as well. The schedule is as follows:
Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’tTalking. She is interested in neurodiversity and has shared the stage with young inventors at the Human GenomeProject (Toronto), the National Autistic Society, and the University of Oxford. She teaches on the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Dragonfly Girl is her eighthnovel, but her first for young adults.