Don't think that just because this book is written by the same author as Artemis Fowl, or that this book is about a dragon, that it's a kid's book. It's not. There's too many bloody body parts, explosions, and talk of balls for that. But, it is a book about a dragon, and it's so much fun to read.
Vern, aka Lord Highfire, may be the last dragon alive. To ensure his survival, he's holed up in a Louisiana bayou where he can avoid detection and binge-watch as much Netflix as he wants. Did I also mention his love of vodka?
Vern has the ultimate chill shack, but he's pretty much alone. He might even be a little depressed. Either way, he's totally unprepared when his world goes pear-shaped.
When Vern's uniquely-gifted familiar needs a break, the one thing happens that Vern swore never would -- he's relying on an actual human for help. Teenaged Squib works hard for Mr. Vern, only putting his foot in his mouth about once per visit. They're not a stereotypical odd couple, but they definitely don't hit it off right away. Squib also comes with this own baggage, which complicates things quickly. Squib is the sole witness to the local, dirty constable getting into some serious law breaking. Being suspected by the crooked cop doesn't make you the safest choice to work, in secret, with a dragon.
The relationship between Vern and Squib grows. The devotion they feel toward each other eventually saves them when rouge Constable Hooke discovers them. Hooke doesn't want a dragon interfering with this criminal activities along the bayou. He'll stop at nothing to win. It's a ruthless and bloody battle for survival, tinged with crocs and fire, explosions and bullets. It's amazing how resilient both humans and dragons can be. It's also intense and fun to see them go at each other.
I really did enjoy this book. I needed something light and fantastical, but Colfer does an amazing job of keeping things rooted in reality. He took a crime story and inserted a dragon rather than going the other way around. You could almost picture Vern, walking about only a little taller than a human, in cargo shorts and a Flashdance t-shirt, trying to keep his wings neatly folded for discretion. Each character is clearly painted and styled in a way that propels the story forward and keeps you interested as a reader. This is a great, light book.