Today I am bringing you my review of the latest book from Eoin Colfer – Highfire. While Highfire is still in the realm of fantasy this book marks a bit of a departure for the author. While Eoin’s Artemis Fowl series is targeted at younger audiences this book is aimed firmly at the adult fantasy market. In my opinion this book is still suitable for Teen+, obviously if you are a parent you might want to check some of the content and see if you are happy with it before letting your child read it.
- Format Read – E Copy
- How did I get this book – Sent by Publisher via NetGalley
- Date Read – January 9th – 14th
- Genre – Fantasy
- Publisher – Jo Fletcher Books / Quercus
From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.
Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him . . .
An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.
Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp . . .
For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.
Squib is just trying to be a supportive son to his hard-working mother Elodie, but life keeps throwing the poor young man curve balls. So, what is a young man to do but bend the occasional rule. Unfortunately for him this has attracted the attention of one Constable Hooke – who also seems to have taken a shine to Elodie, and that is where the problems begin. Squib knows Constable Hooke is crooked, so decides to follow him one evening, which leads him into the patch of one reclusive dragon who just wants to have an easy life, namely, Highfire – or Vern to his friends (well, friend). I loved Squib as a character, and even though he is a bit of a crook, it is only for all the right reasons. He is brilliantly witty, and I was rooting for him from the start.
Our dragon is not very conventional. Vern’s love of Absolut Vodka and Flashdance give a quick indication that we may be dealing with a different character to those portrayed in Game of Thrones (Vern was NOT a fan). Vern’s humour is brilliant throughout, and while he starts off as a bit of a cranky so and so I couldn’t help but love him. As the story continues and the truth of his character is laid out it quickly becomes clear why he has decided to hide away.
Overall this is a great fantasy story, filled with humour that had me laughing (almost) throughout. There are action sequences galore, as there should be in this type of book. The setting of modern-day Southern USA was a great idea, and I think the location added greatly to the story.
It did a take a little while for me to get into it, but not long. After I had gotten over the initial hiccup, I couldn’t put it down, and it is certainly a worthwhile read. If I was to somehow attain a dragon friend, I would want him to be like Vern, I may have to lay off the vodka around him though. I can only hope this isn’t a one off story, I would love to read more adventures starring Squib and Vern.
About the author
Eoin Colfer is the author of the internationally bestselling Artemis Fowl series, which has been translated into over forty languages.
A Disney film adaptation will be released in 2019, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Dame Judi Dench. Eoin’s books have won numerous awards including The
British Children’s Book of the Year, The Irish Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year and The German Children’s Book of the Year. Born in Ireland, Eoin was educated at Dublin University and qualified as a primary teacher, before turning his hand to writing in 2001. Highfire is his first adult fantasy novel.