Early Book Review: Henchgirl by Rita Stradling

Henchgirl is the first book in the new Dakota Keko series by Rita Straddling. It is currently scheduled for release on January 12 2016. In this new series the children of dragons and humans, the dracons, control eighty percent of the world’s governments. Humans worldwide are either subservient or prey. 

Sixteen year old Dakota Kekoa lives a double life. By day, she pretends to be a human to infiltrate Mabi Academy, a 'human's only' high-school. At night, she works as a henchman for her draconic mafia family, utilizing her ability to steal and manipulate emotions. When Dakota’s human friend is kidnapped, she takes on the mission to find her. This is not just any mission though; she is diving head first into the escalating conflict between humans and dragons just as a full blooded dragon and his family come for a visit. As more girls disappear and some are discovered dead, Dakota realizes her first honorable mission may also be her last.  

Henchgirl is a nice coming of age story for young and new adults. Dakota has been doing the dirty work for her grandfather for years by the time she is sixteen. One night everything starts to go more than a little sideways. A chance encounter at a job almost gone bad causes more problems than Dakota might expect. Mainly because a dragon and his family are in town, and she wants to escape notice as much as possible. Family and dragon politic make everything worse. When a friend goes missing everything escalates and Dakota become even more embroiled in a dangerous case, the unsettling waters of the heritage she is less than knowledgeable, and the possibility of a love triangle. Emotion and danger run high as Dakota tries to retain her sense of self, and her own identity as more than just a pawn to the dragons. I liked the main players and the plot twitters (which means I am not giving you much more now). I found myself holding my breath a few times, and cheering on Dakota for her independent spirit and drive. A great read for those that like strong characters and high action.

Henchgirl is a highly entertain read. Dakota is a strong character, with a powerful sense off self and a determination to help her family. I really liked her inner and outer strength and think that young and new adult readers will highly enjoy the read.

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