Ebook, 336 pages
Expected publication: July 19th, 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Well, well, well. Loved the cover, loved the premise. Swashbuckling adventures and dragons? YES SIR THANK YOU SIR!! You can probably feel it coming, though; the dreaded ‘but‘…
“For fans of Scott Lynch and Naomi Novik comes a high fantasy epic that blends swashbuckling adventure with a dark tale of vengeance–when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a rare dragon egg that just might be the key to his salvation and his revenge.
He only wanted justice. Instead, he got revenge.
Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He follows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. When a monstrous dragon attacks the Comber, his surviving crew, vengeful and battle-worn, decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance:” a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the shirts on their backs to survive.
Marooned and fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion discover that the island they’ve landed on isn’t quite as deserted as they originally thought. They find a rare baby dragon that, if trained, just might be their ticket off the island. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, he begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his life will never be the same again. In order for justice to be served, he’ll have to take it for himself.”
I’ve been thinking for a couple of days on how to review this one. Eventually, I decided to divide it into three sections: Part One and Part Two in this review correspond to Part One of the book. Part Tree here corresponds with Part Two of the book.
*********We are introduced to Jeryon, captain of the Comber, and pretty much the rest of his shipmates, plus the rowers of the ship. The point of view shifts between the characters fast (sometimes during each paragraph) and we get to see certain events happen from several of those points of views. For example:
POV 1: “Oh no, it’s a dragon to me left!“
POV 2: “Dear Lord, there’s a dragon to me right!“
POV 3: “Lard Thunderin Jaysus, there’s a dragon right below me!“
(This is obviously not how it went exactly, but you catch my drift eh?)
At one point, I thought it was at least something different and it showed that the author wasn’t afraid to experiment. Sadly, it kind of read like a movie script (especially because everything was written in the present tense as well), quickly turning the whole thing into a snoozefest for me. But then, a dragon attacks! Okay, still a bit of a snoozefest…but then!!
Jeryon and his ladyfriend, the apothecary of the Comber, wash ashore onto a deserted island and try to make a living there. This is where it got interesting because the other creatures on this island are just incredibly creepy! When Jeryon and the poth stumble upon a dragon egg, it gets even better because when the egg hatches, they have their own baby dragon!
They decide to try and train it in the hope it will be able to take them off of the freaking island in the near future. Of course, training a dragon comes with a lot of challenges and it doesn’t go as smoothly as they wish for. Nevertheless, they make it work somehow and this is where the book basically turns into a bit of a grown up version of How to Train Your Dragon. I’m saying grown ups because there’s quite a bit of gory stuff going on when it comes to that dragon, which makes this look adorably cute in comparison:
The writing here is colourful, the story believable (and scary) and I was extremely thankful that the romantic scenes were pretty much non-existent. I mean, you put two people of the opposite sex on a deserted island = sexytime, usually, but not in this one.
The part of the two (or three) of them living on the island could’ve lasted a bit longer if it were up to me, but then, Jeryon rather abruptly decides to finally get his revenge at sea. Adventures ahoy!
This part starts at 63% into the book. It’s narrated from the point of view of a totally unknown character named Isco, in a town we’ve heard of, but haven’t actually visited yet: Hanosh.
And this is where the book goes to shits. There are way too many characters (some with very similar names) in which I could not invest at all. The political plots, the mysteries (which, in the end, are still unresolved to a certain extent); it could’ve been good if it was less drawn out and with way fewer details.
I mean, Livion (a character from the beginning of the book)’s wife collects dolls and then her father smashes them to pieces. The point of this was? (<-complaining about too much detail by using too many details \õ/)
I have to mention there’s a little suspense here and there which made it possible for me to finish the book, yet then, the ending…
If you look at the three parts, it’s like the author couldn’t make up his mind on where to go with it. On the other hand, it does form one story (one of exaggerated revenge mostly), which is quite cleverly done, yet still sucks balls at the same time. Savvy?
If the book would’ve existed of just a tiny bit of Part One, Part Two in its entirety, and basically a wholly different Part Three/ending, it would’ve been very cool! The way it is now, however, was pure torture to me at times. I’m giving it two brownies because Part Two was pretty alright. And also because this scene was sort of in there:
Thanks to Simon&Schuster for providing me with a copy (ages ago :$) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!