Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Book #26 of 2016: Drake and the Fliers

Drake and the Fliers by Allison Maruska
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

While this book had so many, many, many issues, I didn't hate it. I hit the 50% point and kept going, and though I did stop reading soon after, I had considered finishing it.

As with many of the books I read, this one was set in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Some kind of virus broke out, killing everyone over 19 and below puberty.

Issue the first: Gods above, I hate that. What sense in the world would there be in a virus killing off everyone except teenagers? The first time I saw the idea used, I was sort of okay with it, but I cannot count the books that have used the same idea.

Not only did this virus kill everyone who isn't a teenager, it made the people who survive able to shapeshift into an animal. That's not an original idea, but I could go along with it. Except it didn't cause the teenagers to be able to shapeshift into any animal, just into any one creature that could fly (so things like a phoenix, dragon, or griffon happened, too). Each teen was able to turn into one animal with wings, they didn't get to pick which.

Issue the second: Where on God's green earth is the logic in that? That a virus kills off anyone who isn't a teenager, that it makes them able to transform into animals, but only animals with wings? And though the book didn't say it outright, the only winged things that showed up were predators. Hawks, falcons, owls? Yep. Ducks, chicken, pigeons? Nope.

The main character is a boy named Drake. He turns into a dragon...

Issue the third: Drake. He just happens to be able to turn into a dragon. Drake. Dragon. Bad author, go to your room.

...not just any dragon, but apparently a mood dragon. His scales change colors based on his mood.

Issue the fourth: Two words: Mood dragon.

So blah blah blah, there are two different groups of teenagers. One group believes they should embrace their animal side and stay animals 24/7. The other believes exactly the opposite. They have fights, wars, whatever. During this time Drake falls in love with some owl-shifter. The two have sex (as humans), and she becomes pregnant. Both sides go to war to keep her, for reasons I didn't read long enough to find out about and never really cared.

With all those issues, I should have hated this book, but I didn't. The writing (technical) was pretty good, and the editing was outstanding (self-published, but better edited than a traditionally-published book). I found only one editing mistake in the first 60% of the book, which is a lot better than books from even the biggest publishing houses.

I have to admit, I liked the idea of this book (people able to transform into an animal that could fly), I just wish the author had gotten to that point in a way that made more sense (maybe an alternate Earth where every human was just naturally born able to shapeshift into things with wings).

Currently reading: The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee.
Tags: 2016 books, book review, book: drake and the fliers
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