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Review: Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Hey all, Dani here.

Greetings and Happy Leap Day! I am spending my extra day of the year relaxing and reading, which I think is a great way to spend just about any day of the year. I have fairly ambitious reading plans for this evening and my monthly wrap-up post tomorrow will reveal how successful I am with my reading. I mean, okay, overall I’ve already had a pretty great reading month, but it would still be cool to slip in a few extra reads.

Anyway, I need to start today’s post off by thanking both Harper Perennial and NetGalley for granting me early access to this book. I’m sorry that my blogging schedule made it so I couldn’t get this review up last month. As always, being granted this privilege did not affect my rating or review.

Let’s go ahead and jump into the book details and my thoughts.

Highfire

Book Details

Format: e-book

Pages: 377

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

ISBN: 006293855X (ISBN13: 9780062938558)

Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series comes a hilarious and high-octane adult novel about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana—and the raucous adventures that ensue when he crosses paths with a fifteen-year-old troublemaker on the run from a crooked sheriff.

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.

A triumphant return to the genre-bending fantasy that Eoin Colfer is so well known for, Highfire is an effortlessly clever and relentlessly funny tour-de-force of comedy and action.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

It has been quite a long time since I have read a book by Eoin Colfer…I think I was a young-ish teenager, and reading the Artemis Fowl series. Looking at his backlist now, I can see that this was not his first foray into adult fantasy, but it is the first one that I found out about, so I was curious to see how the writing matched up.

Of course from the beginning I could tell that it was written with an adult audience in mind. The crude humor and language helps with that. But I also very much realized that it has been far too many years since I last read any of Colfer’s books, so I really couldn’t compare them much anyway.

I liked this book, but it felt like it took me a little bit to get used to the setting and the characters and such. But after the first 20% of so, I started to settle in to everything, and of course it took almost that long for the journeys of Squib and Wyvern to connect.

After that things picked up, in both terms of comedy and action. It was fun to watch these characters come together.

And the characters were interesting as well. Regence Hooke was a despicable person, and I just felt grimy reading about him, even from the beginning.

I think I’ll probably have to read this one again, just to better get a grip on things and immerse myself in the story. Honestly I think I was reeling a bit from this, because even though I knew it was an adult fiction, my body also still expected a more MG adventure, which is silly, and totally a personal issue, so I’m not marking the book down for it at all. I just know that it will be better for me to read it again so I can process it all better.

Where to Get a Copy

You can grab your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.

You can also check with your local library.

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