Book Review: Fire & Heist

fire and heistFire & Heist
by Sarah Beth Durst
Contemporary Fantasy/Young Adult/Urban Fantasy
290 pages
Published December 2018

I picked this up off the library shelf for the title; I took it home for the description. Were-dragon thieves? Awesome. It turns out it’s not that simple. For one, the were-dragons have lost the ability to transform over the years – the last dragon to transform was Sir Francis Drake, and the book is set in modern times, so, at least a couple hundred years have passed. And humans know the were-dragons exist! I suppose without the ability to transform, they’re little more than rich celebrities with parlor tricks. (Immune to fire to certain temperatures, ability to breathe fire.) What humans don’t know is how much the wyverns tend to steal to enrich their hoards. And that some of them can do limited magic.

We open on Sky, sixteen, rattling around her mansion, dealing with her now dysfunctional family of three brothers and their father. Her mother went missing not very long ago, during a heist. The kids have been told she’s gone, she’s alive, she’s not coming back, and to drop the matter. Were-dragon society almost exiled all of them for whatever their mother got into, so they’re all on thin ice. Sky, of course, is having none of this. When she stumbles on a lead for where her mother went, she pursues it, and learns all kinds of secrets.

The book was okay, I suppose. I was a little appalled at were-dragon society, and that the dragons just – bow to the authority of the Council. Dragons should have more spine. The heist part was pretty cool, with Sky and her friends figuring out how to take apart every layer of security piece by piece.

I don’t know. It was a fluffy book, but not a feel-good book, and I just wasn’t that enthused.

From the cover of Fire & Heist:

Leading your first heist is a major milestone in Sky Hawkins’s family – even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated – especially when you’re a wyvern, a human capable of transforming into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky’s mission uncovers deep secrets about the mother who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist – and get back the people she loves in the process. But instead, she ends up discovering a dark truth about were-dragon society – a truth that is more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

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