Even though comedy is one of my favorite things in any genre, I tend to be wary at first about up comedies from unfamiliar authors because humor is so subjective that even though something comes highly recommended it can still fall flat – SO HAPPY this didn’t happen this time. This book hit all the right buttons for me!
I haven’t a read a ton of urban fantasy, nothing against it I just haven’t explored it much, and I think this has just topped the list for me. This book is set in the future and the majority of the book takes place in DFZ which is a future and rebuilt version of Detroit, 60 years earlier magic came back into the world and all of the old powers have woken up. In fact, magic has become so common place that it’s almost mundane, there are a plethora of magical services business’s, magical degrees, dragons using phones and computers. That may sound stupid, but it’s very well done, modern world and magic have been woven seamlessly through well thought out details and clever plot devices. Honestly, it reminded me a bit of the way Good Omens works, a quirky and fun mix of modern world and ancient magic with humor throughout.
Not only is the world a ton of fun, the characters are just as much a part of why I enjoyed the book so much. Dragons in this book can take human form if they choose and live almost ‘normal’ lives most of the time – bankers, senators and other seemingly normal careers, but almost always highly distinguished and in a place of power in true draconian fashion. Julius is an embarrassment to his mother, one of the most powerful dragons in the world, the matriarch of one of the largest broods/families of dragons ever produced. Instead of being overly ambitious, vicious, and thirsty for power, Julius has an Ecology degree and prefers sitting in his room playing video games. As a punishment for being such a failure of a dragon, his mother Bethesda has ‘sealed’ him into human form, limiting his magical abilities and restricting him from changing back into his true dragon form – on top of this she has banished him to the DFZ where dragons are illegal and arrested/killed on sight. She’s told him that unless he proves himself to be worthy of his clans name, Heartstriker, she will have him killed. He’s then roped into a complicated plot with his siblings in a web of dragon family politics to prove he’s worth living, and avoid his mother eating him.
Bethesda is so well written, wickedly witty, vicious, and manipulative, she embodies what it would be like to have a dragon in human form. She’s risen to power by having the largest family of dragons in the world, and she has a peculiar way of naming her clutches. She names all of her clutches by the alphabet. Her oldest daughter is Amelia and she’s the last of her clutch to survive. Bob is the only known (so far) dragon from the second clutch. Chelsea is the enforcer of the family, executing family members that step out of line and fall from Bethesda’s favor. Etc Etc. Julius is the youngest member of the family, and a part of the J clutch.
Bob, his oldest brother is a Seer who’s thought of as semi-sane and his motivations and plotting are mysterious, but he’s one of my favorite characters in the book. The audiobook narrator absolutely NAILS this character and makes him SO much fun. He’s absolutely bizarre and I adore it.
Justin reminds me a bit of what Robert Baratheon would be like if he was a dragon, tall, handsome, and kill first ask questions later type. He really grew on me through the books though, out of all the siblings Julius has, he’s probably the least aggressive and most accepting of Julius.
Marci is a powerful mage who has an awesome personality – bubbly, positive, and relentlessly curious I fell in love with her almost instantly. She has a very academic personality but no part of her personality is so overdone it comes off as obnoxious, she feels real not like a caricature. Marci and Julius have been paired up through odd circumstances and their pairing is delightful to read through.
This is a shorter book that’s tightly paced, under 300 pages and with no slow parts/info dumps it reads extremely quickly, and I smiled the whole way through. If you’re getting burned out on longer darker and grimmer epic fantasy and you’re looking to take a quick break, this would be a GREAT book to try out. It’s only 2.99 for kindle, or FREE for kindle unlimited. The paper back version isn’t too pricey either, around 13 dollars.
Although humor is subjective the goodreads scores are high (80% 4 star and up 95% 3 star and up) so I think it’s safe to say most who read it enjoy it. Personally, I gave it 5 stars but I have a huge leaning towards comedy, fun, and fast paced reading.