Then certain changes start happening to her - but they're not exactly the kind of changes she'd been expecting to happen as she grew older. Jennifer learns - although she can't quite bring herself to believe it - that she is some sort of shapeshifter, and that the change is coming earlier than anyone expected. Suddenly her father's frequent absences are explained, along with many other things about Jennifer's life that were a bit odd, but nothing she'd ever thought much about before. When the evidence becomes impossible to deny, Jennifer is faced with saying goodbye to her typical teenage life and embracing an altogether different destiny. She is not a complacent, accepting kind of girl, but her stubbornness and anger are accompanied by fierce determination, which made me root for her even when she got a bit too full of self-pity.
I read this book because I was curious to see what sort of YA novel the author of the Betsy, Queen of the Vampires series would write. She writes the Jennifer Scales series with her husband, and this first book is written in a completely different style, in a more serious vein than the Betsy books (pardon the pun!).
I wasn't bowled over by this one, but it was an interesting premise, and it had some fun twists and turns and characters that I do think I'll want to read more about. I found Jennifer's reaction to the change to be a bit puzzling, especially her continued ambivalence in spite of all the way cool things most teens would probably delight in, were they in the same situation. I also found her parents' behavior to be a bit baffling. It didn't make sense to me that they would keep her in the dark about her situation, and then be so unsympathetic about her reaction to it - almost blaming her for not figuring it out herself.
I also found the cover to be rather unappealing - it looks more like an advertisement than the cover of a book. And was it absolutely necessary to write"USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR" on the spine of the book, as well as splashed across the top of the front cover? At any rate, I am curious to see where Jennifer's adventures will take her, especially as the there are still many unanswered questions and unresolved issues.
Books in the Jennifer Scales series:
1. Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace
2. Jennifer Scales and the Messenger of Light
3. The Silver Moon Elm
Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi (Berkley Jam Books, 2005Also reviewed at:
Very Occasional Book Reviews