Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Review: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

It would be tough to describe Sarah Beth Durst’s latest novel, Fire & Heist, any better than she did herself.

“I had the idea for this book while I was eating pizza (with mozzarella, tomato slices, and balsamic vinegar—yum!) and talking about heist movies with my awesome family. Midbite, I jumped up and said, ‘I want to write Ocean’s Eleven with were-dragons!’”

Released in December, 2018, Fire & Heist is Durst's seventeenth novel, and it does not disappoint.

Sky Hawkins is a 16-year-old wyvern (or were-dragon, as she likes to think of herself). Wyverns have lived among humans for centuries, but have made every effort to keep themselves separate. Despite their power, they are vastly outnumbered, and always in danger.

In wyvern society, reputation is everything, and it’s based in large part on how much gold you own and how craftily you acquire it. The more daring and difficult the heist, the more respected the victory becomes. And when it came to reputation, Sky’s family was riding high.

Then Sky’s mother failed in an attempted heist. Their reputation plummeted, and they were ostracized among the wyverns, nearly outcast. But that didn’t matter to Sky nearly as much as the fact that her mother vanished without a trace. Her father hints that she is still alive, but no one will tell Sky anything.

Determined to discover the truth and find her mother, Sky reenacts her mother’s last heist, breaking into a heavily protected vault and recovering a rare gem. Sky must recruit a diverse team of friends—and a few not-so-friends—to have any chance of success. And she can’t let her father or brothers figure out what’s going on.

Pulling the heist off means restoring her family’s reputation and finding her mother. Failure means permanent expulsion from wyvern society—if she lives that long.

Durst has crafted a complex and deeply satisfying world, full of twists, turns, and intrigue. Her descriptions are vivid and compelling, and there’s no shortage of action on any page. Fire & Heist is a gripping combination of thriller and contemporary fantasy that will make a great addition to your bookshelf.

C. Wombat

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