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 his first adult fantasy novel, Colfer takes on dragons. Highfire is a briskly entertaining outing centred on the curmudgeonly and slobbish Vern, last of the fire-breathing beasts of folklore ... Vern is closer to the size of a bear than a dinosaur, and the central plank of the book is his relationship with savvy local teenager Squib Moreau, who chances on the dragon’s lair. What could have been a fairly saccharine odd-couple, cross-generational confection, with Vern as the ultimate boomer to Squib’s Gen Z-er, becomes something more satisfying in Colfer’s deft hands ... While the humans who populate this grittily realised world are sometimes rather too quick to accept the existence of Vern, it’s probably necessary to keep the bouncy plot moving. With this satisfying and at times hugely joyous novel, Colfer is, like his engaging scaly protagonist, cooking on gas.
Thronged with dragon-sized metaphors, Peter Pan fans will adore the cheeky imagery and characters in this irreverent fantasy. Instead of Captain Hook, there’s Constable Hooke. Karma seems to be a character. Dastardly deeds come back to bite Hooke --- and not figuratively. This is Squib’s coming-of-age tale, the boy who does grow up. A huge high five to Highfire.
Author Eoin Colfer has a solid instinct for the vernacular, pronunciation, and dialogue of the language of America’s deep south, a talent perhaps made all the more unlikely from someone born, raised, and living in Ireland. His animated images of inhabitants of a backward Louisiana bayou is accurate and very well applied ... the author also creates evocative and haunting scenes, along with well-developed characters bound to eternal good and evil. The author has created sophisticated and well-designed protagonists, cloaked in very appropriate personas and with accurate bayou dialog. Unfortunately, the secondary characters are less fully developed ... This type of editing is useful for the sake of brevity, but not much else ... The book’s realism, corruption, vulgar dialogue, and criminal characters, suggests this book is unlikely to be referred to as 'classic literary fiction.' Yet it is thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. Eoin Colfer’s specialty is magical realism, and it shines through this entire tale.