Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Rave: FireStorm #1 of Dragon Orb Series

With the temperatures around my house hovering at 28 degrees, I've had plenty more time to work on my to-be-read pile. And of course, that means more reviews for you. Isn't that great?

Today is a special treat. I stumbled across this set of books on pure accident. While browsing, I found a snippet from UK author, Mark Robson's stories, read them, and adored them.

(writers, take note. "Social" and "writing" networking sites create an audience. I never would have purchased his book, if not for reading the little bit and chatting with him first.) 

Firestorm is a dragon story, first and foremost. I've always held a special place in my reader heart for dragon stories, so this one was perfect to settle in to read while my fireplace warmed the chill from my bones.

The story is told with deft strokes, creating characters that have believable problems, dragons with credible weaknesses, and a plot that was at once familiar and yet kept me guessing.

This YA fantasy lacks nothing that I can possibly think of. I read it through in about two days, namely because each time I set it down, I had to read just "one more chapter".  The story unfolds between riders who are discovering their dragons for the first time, especially one particular young lady, Nolita, who is swamped with a terrible phobia toward both heights and large beasts--not a good combination for any dragonrider.

Worse, when she and her friends finally do arrive at a mystic Oracle that maintains dragon and dragonrider society, Nolita discovers that she and three others must hunt out four orbs against all opposition, in order to save the Oracle. With her paralyzing terror of dragons, how can she possibly assist them in their life's quest?

The most interesting portion of the story, for me, was the classification of each dragon. I've seen them classed by color, size, temperament, and all sorts of things in many books. But instead, Robson chooses to use the idea of the time of day when the egg first hatched to determine the types. A dawn, day, dusk, and night dragon. And each dragon is the most powerful at those specific times. It made the story richer, and ensured a permanent sense of the "ticking clock" tension that I so love in stories I read.

The author, by the way, is a former pilot. This adds a huge amount of realism to the descriptions of flight, down to even the problems of thin air, freezing temperatures, and g-forces that many, many dragon stories completely ignore. 

I've already planned to purchase the other three books and add them to my collection. Not only to support a fellow author, but also to enjoy an excellent series. This easily gets four stars from me, and I have a fair idea that rating will rise as I read the others in the series.