Reviewed by Kristina Hayden, Books ‘n Treasures in Show Low
The Mark of the Dragonfly is a young-adult science fiction novel written by Jaleigh Johnson. She is a lifelong reader, gamer, and moviegoer. The novel starts out in Scrap Town Sixteen of the Merrow Kingdom in the World of Solace with the author introducing us to Piper. She appears to have little in the world. Her father has died, and she has to feed and shelter herself. She has grown up in Scrap Town Sixteen and has never been anywhere except the town and the Meteor Fields where she collects broken items to fix and sell.
One day during a meteor storm, she runs out of the town shelter to find her friend Micah who is not in the shelter where he belongs. She finds him in the Meteor Fields where meteors are raining down on them. They both notice a caravan of wagons traveling through the fields. A huge meteor falls as Piper tries to get Micah out of its way. The meteor manages to hit the caravan destroying most of it. Debris from the caravan hits Micah. Piper investigates the caravan looking for survivors. She finds an unconscious little girl but no one else. She manages to drag both unconscious children to her house, not far from the Meteor Fields. The girl seems fine so she leaves her at the house and takes her friend to get help.
Once Piper knows Micah is in good hands, she heads back to her house. The unconscious girl eventually wakes up, but she does not know who she is or where she came from. A strange man comes to Piper’s door saying he is from the caravan, that he is the girl’s father. So why is the girl so afraid of him? She remembers her name, Anna, and that this man is not her father. The man forces his way into Piper’s house and fights with Piper when she will not let him take the girl. She succeeds in knocking the man out. There is only one thing to do—leave. But where should they go?
Piper has noticed a Dragonfly tattoo on the girl’s arm. She realizes the safest plan is to escape on the 401 steam train to the capital city of the Dragonfly Territories, Noveen. Hopefully, someone in the city knows Anna or her family. Maybe Piper will receive a reward for returning Anna. Then maybe Piper can start a new life as a machinist in Noveen as she has always dreamed.
What follows is Piper and Anna’s grand adventure across their world from Piper’s home to what they hope is Anna’s home. They meet a few unusual friends on this magical journey of self discovery.
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