My relationship with recent YA titles has not been great. YA Fantasy was my go-to genre when I was younger, but everything I read lately is trope-filled and uninspired. I am happy to say that Fire & Heist deviates from this rut.
Sky Hawkins and her family are wyverns (or as she likes to call herself, a were-dragon), dragon/human hybrids who can breathe fire, covet anything gold, and used to be able to shape-shift into actual dragons. Wyverns and humans live together fairly amiably, but humans often distrust or fear wyverns. Most wyverns, in an attempt to satiate their lust for gold, become thieves. Sky’s mother was on a heist, but she was caught doing something the council disliked. She disappeared, leaving Sky, her father, and her three brothers disgraced by her actions. The details of Sky’s mother’s disappearance and the reasons for her exile are murky. Sky decides to do some investigating of her own. She finds out that her mother was stealing something from Sky’s boyfriend’s family vault. Is her mother alive? Why was she stealing from the vault? What was she exiled for?
As intriguing as the whole “were-dragons in the human world” thing is, I was skeptical. The idea sounds like it could be cheesy or feel like a teen fan-fiction. Thankfully, it works in Fire & Heist. Sky is a spunky character who likes to test her boundaries. She’s funny and fun to read from. Her brothers and father are also delightfully sarcastic and intelligent characters. The banter between Sky and her family members was actually really funny, to me at least. There is a sizable focus on Sky’s relationship with her boyfriend, but it does not distract too much from the rest of the plot because their relationship has a lot to do with her mother being missing. So, if like me, you dislike romance heavy YA Fantasy, I would say you might like this title. It is just simply fun. It feels fresh and unique. It reads a little like a mix between middle grade and YA, but as an adult, I still really enjoyed it.
The bad news is that this book does not come out until December 4, 2018. The good news is that it looks very promising, and I would recommend following it as it approaches publication. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers, for giving me the opportunity to review this title.