Flying Blind (The Dragon Diaries #1) - Deborah Cooke As YA dragon books go Flying Blind is better than Firelight.First of all, I should say that Flying Blind is a spin-off of the adult series which I haven't read. I believe this has been reflected negatively in my rating because I got the distinct feeling I was missing some vital information.The protagonist is likeable, funny and loyal, and she does everything right. In desperate need of information about her destiny and her abilities as the Wyvern (female dragon shifter) for her generation, she goes to knowledgeable sources like her parents and their friends and the rest of her extended family but no matter what she asks or how much she pleads they give her very little and tell her to figure it out for herself at dragon Boot Camp, basically a summer school for young dragons. Now I'm all for children learning things on their own through trial and error to make the lesson they learn more meaningful but in this case it was downright criminal and mean to do this to poor Zoe. There are limits. It was bordering on neglectful and dangerous for both her and others. She almost killed her friends because she had no idea how to control her power. And this isn't the first time I've read a YA book where adults or people in the know withhold vital information from those that desperately need it, and I'm sick of it. And where were the adults when the kids needed them? Getting their asses handed to them by mages the kids knew nothing about despite them being enemies for I don't know how long. Ugh. But this isn't the only reason why this didn't get a higher rating.Zoe's cousins and friends had no faith or trust in Zoe whatsoever. How could they even call themselves her friends? It didn't take long for them to turn on her, heaping everything on her shoulders, blaming her for things she couldn't control and not one of them asked her how she felt, what she was having trouble with or how they could help her. No, it was just "I want you to do this for me", "I want you to do that for me", so selfish. She had but one defender though it was implied he had a special ability that meant he could see the truth of things more easily.The Pyr mythology is interesting and the humorous way the book is written meant this was a breeze to read. I was a little uncomfortable with the romance aspect of things because I wasn't quite clear on the age difference between Zoe and her beau. It may have been only three years (Zoe's 15) but I got the impression it was more. However, the romance isn't the main aspect of the book and there's very little angst. Isabelle confused me a bit. Although she's set up as competition in the battle for Nick's affection so Zoe automatically dislikes her which comes through loud and clear, I hated Isabelle, too. She was overly earnest and way too helpful. I found her behaviour suspect. No one is that nice. I kept waiting for her dark side to show itself. I was also flummoxed by the prophecy that Nick and Zoe would one day be together when in fact dragon lore states that male and female dragons can never form relationships. Colour me confused.I didn't particularly like the plot, mainly because it showed the majority of the characters in an extremely negative light, in effect discouraging you from liking them and made them appear weak and stupid. I think I would've been better off reading the adult series first so I could get a better grounding and understanding of the world-building and of the dragon history and mythology.Flying Blind was an average read for me, nothing supremely outstanding about it except it's lack of angst, love triangles and all-consuming romance, which I suppose does mean it stands out from the crowd after all. ;)