Review by Booklist Review
So here's Vern, lounging in his recliner, drinking vodka and watching reality TV. Life is good. He's living hidden away from humanity in a Louisiana swamp. He hates people, and for good reason because he's wait for it a dragon, the fire-breathing sort, and the last of his kind. Into his life almost by happenstance comes a 15-year-old Cajun boy named Squib, and before you can say hellfire, he's become Vern's familiar, sworn to secrecy, because no one knows Vern exists. It's the local constable, Regence Hooke, who's given Squib his off-the-wall nickname. Crooked as a dog's hind leg and with more lives than a cat, Hooke quickly emerges as the villain of the piece, a drug runner and murderer. Things get interesting when he sees Vern, and all heck breaks loose. Author of the popular Artemis Fowl books for kids, Colfer has turned his attention to adult fiction to good effect, writing a delightfully funny page-turner with plenty of crossover appeal to teens and sprinkled with genial turns of phrase: alligators' jaws are wide like Satan's hedge clippers ; Hooke is distributing more mess than a group of finger painting toddlers on a Skittles sugar high. Colfer has conjured up voices redolent of the Deep South and delightfully profane. And the characters are simply terrific. But what about those alligators?--Michael Cart Copyright 2020 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In his return to adult fiction, Colfer (the Artemis Fowl YA series) spins a twisty, tongue-in-cheek fantasy that's part thriller, part action movie, and wholly irreverent. Vern is an ancient dragon, possibly the last of his species. He's content to drink away his days, wallowing in self-pity and loneliness, yearning for his old life as Lord Highfire. But his quiet, drunken existence in the Louisiana bayou is upended when he hires 15-year-old Everett "Squib" Moreau as his new assistant. Squib's tasks mainly consist of delivering Vern's vodka and internet purchases, and as the two develop a friendship, Regence Hooke, a crooked cop with big plans, sets his sights on them, hoping to use Vern's firepower and muscle to expand his criminal influence. But Vern hasn't survived this long without picking up a few dirty tricks of his own. Colfer's catchy narrative voice suits the characters and their setting perfectly, capturing Vern's world-weary nature, Squib's youthful adaptability, and Hooke's malicious cunning. This no-holds-barred yarn is good fun from start to finish. Agent: Sophie Hicks, Sophie Hicks Agency. (Feb.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Wyvern, Lord Highfire, is 3,000 years old and believes he is the last dragon alive. Vern, as he refers to himself, has settled in the Louisiana swamp with Waxman, his mogwai familiar, to avoid the mob that Vern always fears will find him. Squib, a local teenager who works to help his momma as a part-time nurse to make ends meet, runs afoul of Constable Regence Hooker, whom Squib surreptitiously filmed killing a local drug smuggler. Although Vern swears he hates all humans, since they killed his entire family, he ultimately teams up with Squib against Hooker, even coming out of disguise and flying to New Orleans to rescue Squib. VERDICT Witty, well-developed characters, action, and fantastic violence from the author of the "Artemis Fowl" series will appeal to a wide range of readers. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]--Vicki Gregory, Sch. of Information, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
An accident-prone teenage boy named Squib forms an unlikely friendship with a dragon living in a Louisiana bayou.Squib Moreau can't catch a break. His kindhearted single mother, Elodie, works long hours as a nurse, and when she's not worrying about what her son is up to, she's fighting off the advances of the local constable, Regence Hooke. Elodie and Squib both get the feeling that Hooke is something more dangerous than a sleazy cop, and they're right: He's murderous, corrupt, and out to take over the local drug-running business. When Squib sees something he shouldn't late at night out on the water and Hooke goes after him with a grenade launcher, Squib suddenly finds himself being rescued by a dragon. The dragon in question, Vern (short for "Wyvern, Lord Highfire"), believes he is the last of his kind and lives in secret deep in the swamp. Vern holds a centuries-old grudge against the race that killed off his fellow dragons but finds himself in need of a helper, or "familiar." Vern may be a dragon, but he has a taste for TV, vodka, Flashdance T-shirts, and all sorts of things he can't get for himself. Vern reluctantly lets Squib work for him, and over time they develop a camaraderie. But when Hooke sees Vern for himself, he decides to use Squib to force the dragon to do some of his dirty work. Colfer's best-known writing is geared toward young adults (The Fowl Twins, 2019, etc.), but between some of the gorier scenes and Hooke's sinister inner monologue, you wouldn't know it. He writes this book in a folksy Louisiana voice that drawls right off the page: "Squib was as jumpy as a cat in a doghouse traversing the river." Vern's taste for modern life (he's on the Keto diet) is clever, and he is a prickly but lovable foil to the unholy terror that is Constable Hooke.A fun, unusual contemporary fantasy that doesn't skimp on violence. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.