By Eoin Colfer
Author’s website: eoincolfer.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Highfire starts with the tale of Wyvern “Vern” Highfire, the last dragon. Vern has been living in the swamps of Louisiana for the past couple of centuries and enjoying his solitude with his TV cable and vodka. His quiet life gets messed up when he hears an explosion in the swamps and goes to investigate.
In the nearby town, Pearl River, lives Everett “Squib” Moreau, a fifteen-year-old swamp rat teenager who has had a hard life and has not been an easy child for his single mother. Squib has had trouble with the law for a while now, but Constable Hooke has it against him because his mother Elodie, rejected his date proposal and is trying to get him out of the way to win her over.
One summer night, while Squib was on his way for a new illegal job that would make them money to take them out of Pearl River and the Constable clutches, he witnesses the murder of his new boss by Constable Hooke and records it with his smartphone. Constable Hooke does not know who the spy is, so he starts throwing grenades at the swamp. Vern throws a grenade back at Constable Hooke’s boat and takes Squib away to interrogate him.
Constable Hooke survives the explosion and starts to look for the spy and the reason for the strange outcome of the grenade. As for Squib, he now becomes the familiar/servant of Vern instead of getting killed by him for knowing of his existence.
Highfire was a very interesting story, it was a wild roller coaster ride until the end and had a fun comedic duo. This new story of author Eoin Colfer is a combination of both his past adult and children’s fiction works. While it contains magical and folklore beings, it places the characters in a more adult setting that creates a new story for its readers.
Vern Highfire is a very interesting character, being the last of his kind he does have some bad habits such as drinking, binge-watching TV shows and movies all day, and surfing the internet to buy useless items. Still, we get to see different aspects of his personality, and most of all, he still mourns the loss of his race and misses his family. I liked his interaction with other characters across the story. But mostly, I loved his title, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie.
Squib is a character that knows what to do to stay alive and just needs somebody to give him a job and opportunity to prove himself. I liked that he tried to be a better person for his mother and that he loved her enough to put his life in the hands of a dragon.
The gators!!! Because of the swamps, there were always mentions of gators and there were a couple of good scenes featuring them. My favorite was the gators trying to win over and impose dominance against Vern.
The book ends with a somewhat happy ending for the good guys and it leaves it open for any future books in the series. I hope that Vern is not the last dragon as he believes, and we can meet other ones in future books.If you are a fan of Eoin Colfer and his series of Artemis Fowl, then I recommend you Highfire. In this story, the last dragon just wants to stay hidden, drink his vodka, and watch TV, but the universe has other plans for him.