Book Review,  Books

Book Review :: Highfire, by Eoin Colfer

2 Stars
Book Review :: Highfire, by Eoin ColferHighfire by Eoin Colfer
ISBN: 006293855X
Published by Jo Fletcher Books
on 2020-01-28
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 377
Source: Hachette Publishing NZ
Find at Hachette NZ

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 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.

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My thoughts on Highfire

I was so looking forward to Highfire, the latest adult novel by Eoin Colfer. Being a big fan of his Artemis Fowl series, I was intrigued as to what an adult novel from the award winning author would be like, especially one that involved dragons.

Unfortunately it wasn’t really the book for me.

Which is mega disappointing. I wasn’t expecting Artemis Fowl, of course not, but I wasn’t expecting such a leap away from the genre of stories I was used to. I do realise that’s on me. But there were things about the book that I just didn’t like; the swearing every sentence (calm down; we get it, it’s an adult book, but come on), my lack of empathy for the characters because I didn’t love any of them (again, that’s on me), and the plot didn’t really intrigue me or draw me in.

“What a peach of a night this had turned out to be.”

Having said all that, Highfire was superbly written. While I did find myself skimming over parts because of general lack of interest, I can’t deny that it was brilliantly written. Colfer has this quirky writing style which makes his stories unique, and they do stand out in whatever genre he’s writing in, it seems. Imagine Artemis Fowl and that amount of quirkiness, but instead of a boy genius running around with fairies, it’s a t-shirt-wearing, bayou-living, alcohol-drinking dragon and a young boy who becomes his gopher. Quirky to the max, and the writing portrays it wonderfully.

The concept was also really neat, and overall I did really like the idea and the characters (more the idea of the characters; I didn’t really care for any of them), and I think, were I more into the quirkiness and the plot then I would have given it more stars. As it is, I’ve given it a 2-stars, which, going off the Goodreads rating system is ‘it was okay’.

Have you read Highfire? What did you think?

I received Highfire from Hachette Publishing NZ in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.