A massive thank you to Jo Fletcher Books for sending me an ARC of Highfire by Eoin Colfer, and for letting me be a part of the blog tour.
So the blurb for this book (taken from Goodreads) is:
In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?
A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.
Regence Hooke is not just a dirty cop, he’s a despicable human being—who happens to want Squib’s momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by…a dragon?
The swamp can make strange bedfellows, and rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar)—fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.—in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There’s about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct—or Vern’s glory days are back.
I didn’t really have any specific expectations for this book as 1) I have not read any of Eoin Colfer’s books before, and 2) this is his first adult book so even if I had read his previous books, I would have nothing to compare with. I did think I would like it more than I actually did though, but having said that I didn’t dislike it and Vern is absolutely brilliant.
I enjoyed the story; Vern being the last dragon and having his only friend sending him supplies so that he can stay hidden and consequently alive. Vern having a deep hatred for humans and I can completely understandable why when he’s lost all of his family and friends because humans have killed them all off over the centuries. But mostly I love the development of his friendship with Squib. The characters were brilliant in this, Vern was sassy and grumpy and wouldn’t take no crap from anyone, I especially loved how he dealt with the other animals on his island/swamp – the alligators were brilliant. Squib was, the only way I can describe him is clever, like not many people could talk and deal their way out of being killed by a dragon who hates humans. And granted he had Waxman’s help, who is also a brilliant character. Vern hates everyone but has a soft spot for Waxman and their interactions are brilliant. Hooke was a nasty so and so, and the perfect villian in this story, and learning his upbringing with his dad you can definitely see how he turned out how he did.
My one and only issue which brought this down to a 3 star for me (and I hated giving it 3 stars because the story itself was bloody brilliant) was the dialogue, and I know it was completely on me. Firstly, I found the dialogue hard to follow at some parts, because the Louisiana accent was written into the dialogue. Secondly, the first third(ish) of the book they use the word ‘daddy’ far too much and that word just always makes me cringe.
Make sure you check out all the other stops on this blog tour (full dates from 27th January to 2nd February)