Good morning everyone and I am so excited to welcome you to the blog tour for Highfire by Eoin Colfer!
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.
This is one of my most anticipated books of the year, if not the most anticipated. When Eoin Colfer announced the release of this book at World Con, Dublin 2019, I knew I was going to love it. Colfer has long been one of my favourite writers since childhood, I was luckily enough to meet him twice last year and I can honestly say, this book is now one of my favourites.
‘Highfire’ takes every single thing I love from Colfer’s writing, from the wonderful characters to the razor sharp humor, and remake them into a unique story that turns everything we expect from a story with a dragon and his familiar on its head and gets it drunk on vodka martinis.
Vern stole my heart. How could I not love a world weary dragon who lives on Absolut vodka, hates people and loves Flashdance? He is the last of his kind, he is wary of all humans (same, Vern) and is coagulating in his own sorrows. He struggles constantly between giving up and ending it all and continuing on to hate on humans further. He even considers having sex with an Alligator to liven things up for him. You really feel for this dragon who used to be royalty and is now reduced to just living in hiding every day. His only friend, a Mogwai named Waxman, is even kept at arms length. Then in comes Squib Moreau.
I would honestly die for Squib. Have you ever had that need to make sure the characters in your book are okay when you put the book down? That was me every waking minute with Squib. He has a face that gets him into trouble but is so pure and good you even wonder how he will survive in this world. Squib and Vern’s scenes are some of my favourite in the entire book. Their dynamic of master/familiar quickly grows into a friendship each needs as much as the other.
Colfer displays his usual skill of handling a tight plot that refuses to let the reader a moment to breathe. I mentioned already that I found it hard to put this down and I honestly mean that. This is a fast paced story with some very gory scenes that will leave you glued to the book while totally disgusted.
This book while also being tense and very graphic in places is extremely funny. Vern has some of the best lines in the book, but honestly the person who made me laugh is Waxman. He functions almost as Vern’s Renfield but if Renfield could kill Dracula at any moment but can’t be bothered. I lost it laughing at the below quote;
‘Makes me seem a character,’ he said. “Crazy Waxman” would be better, or maybe, “Scary Waxman” to keep the kids away, but “Waxman” will do just fine. I’m like Boo fuckin’ Radley on crack to these backward-ass folk.’
If you are a fantasy fan who likes your fantasy with a bit of black humor, or like me, you grew up reading any of Colfer’s books, this is for you. I can’t recommend this book enough, it is honestly my favourite book so far this year and I’m so glad I got to read it early too.
Thank you to Netgalley, Jo Fletcher Books and Colfer for giving me a copy of the book for an honest review and thank you /to Millie for having me on the blog tour!
‘Highfire’ is out on the 28/01/2020.