Blog Tour: Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Good morning everyone and I am so excited to welcome you to the blog tour for Highfire by Eoin Colfer!

‘Battle dragons do not listen to their little voices, They go directly to war.’

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.

★★★★★/5

The Fowl Twins event- Eoin Colfer at MoLI

One thing I have enjoyed the most this year is the amount of literary events happening here in Ireland. We obviously just had World Con here , Dublin 2019, which was my first World Con and I thought was as a total success. This year also saw the opening of MoLI, the Museum of Literature Ireland, which is part of a collaboration between bout UCD and the National Library of Ireland.

MoLi have started what they intend to be an ongoing series of events for younger readers and families. Their first of which was for Eoin Colfer’s new book, The Fowl Twins, and I attended Saturday just gone (30.11.19). The event was event to launch the new book and the series of events that will be happening at MoLI in the future and was followed by a signing.

I don’t know the artist or who this is but it is a very distinct mood.

This was my first trip to the museum and being my typical self, I was over an hour early for the actual event and spent a while looking at the content of the museum. MoLI primarily houses items of the James Joyce collection form the National Library of Ireland but also details a history of writing here in Ireland.

Now I am not a reader of Joyce myself, maybe someday I might be but I was still really intrigued to see videos of interviews, objects that were associated with his writing and the Copy No. 1 of Ulysses donated by Joyce’s patron, Harriet Shaw Weaver, to the NLI in 1952.

Now THIS is a tome.

This is not the crowing jewel though of the museum. What was the best inclusion was the entire sections dedicated to modern Irish writing and Young Adult Fiction. In this section I was delighted to see many of my favourites from my own teenage years (Darren Shan) and writers I love and read right now (Sarah Maria Griffin, Louise O’Neill, Dave Rudden and Peadar O’Guilín). This is very important and an excellent choice of inclusion for MoLI.

The event with Eoin Colfer was incredible. Honestly, I still delight in talking to anyone about Artemis Fowl and how truly significant it has been to me. It’s like going home constantly to a world I’ll never quite leave. The event was led and introduced by Sarah Webb who I talked to briefly at my ridiculous early arrival and is very lovely and so friendly. She is also an Irish author who write for children and does lots of other amazing things.

Colfer as always is a wonderful person with a fantastic sense of humor and a gift with younger readers and older ones alike. We were regaled with stories of Ireland in the 1970’s (some things that shocked me as well as the younger members of our audience)and especially entertaining stories about his sons who inspired both Beckett and Myles Fowl.

After this was of course the book signing and meeting the author. I had met Colfer for the first time this August at World Con and spent a chunk of my first meeting with him roasting his treatment of a certain character. The signing was a numbered one by one meeting and in this beautiful old room that is very suited to anyone named Fowl. (It was basically super fancy and old timey wimey with a big table and chairs)

The fact that Eoin Colfer remembered the fact my hair was orange and queried when I had changed it is what has caused a past version of me in another timeline to faint quite suddenly. We briefly chatted about the event, his upcoming novel Highfire (that I am lucky to be reading) and finally I got the photo that is now my laptop wallpaper.

I am literally trying to look cool and not manic here.

I had such a good day at MoLI an left the event feeling fantastic and just so happy to have been among so many other fans and met some lovely people (shout out to Hannah and Dylan for sitting next to me!) I will be keeping a close eye on their future events, would highly recommend a trip and one more thing? READ THE FOWL TWINS AN ARTEMIS FOWL.