3 out of 5 stars
Cut to the Chase:
Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace is a coming of age contemporary fantasy story of a young teenage girl who discovers that she is a weredragon (like a werewolf with scales and fiery breath). The fact that this is the first of a series of books leads to some compromises that detract a little from the overall quality, but nothing especially egregious. It is probably aimed primarily at younger readers, but I found the earnestness and unapologeticness of the book quite refreshing. The characters aren’t especially sophisticated, but they function fairly well even if they aren’t entrancing with their multitude of fascinating facets and subtleties. The story, similarly, is a little stereotypical for the genre but proceeds along quickly and smoothly, still managing some unexpected twists that keep you entertained. Overall, I was quite surprised that I enjoyed myself and would recommend the book especially to younger readers or those with an aversion to darker themes.