Review: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Fire & Heist
Date Finished: January 14th 2019
Time taken to read: 8 days
Rating: 3 stars

Symbol Au

Fire & Heist is a young adult fantasy story taking a look into the lives of wyverns (were-dragons) living amongst humans. Having been banished from their home land centuries ago, wyverns have settled on Earth fuelled by a love for gold and a biological resistance to heat; although no longer able to master the ability power to fly or transform into dragons as their ancestors once did. Sky, the youngest of four siblings and the only girl is struggling to deal with the unexplained disappearance of her mother, following a heist gone wrong. Shunned by fellow wyverns, she decides to undertake her first heist – a right of passage for all wyverns, to find out the truth regarding her mother’s disappearance and to get hold of a specialist jewel locked in a family vault.

I received Fire & Heist in my December 2018 Fairyloot subscription box. It was not a book I had heard of previously, nor an author I had ever read/purchased. Overall I felt that the book it was a quick and easy read – despite the fantastical elements it was heavily rooted in a relatable Earth context. However, despite liking this book, I unfortunately didn’t love it as I felt that the book lacked a little depth and any real peril. There seemed a lot of plot for a story just under 300 pages long.

Sky was a very likable main character and it was easy to understand her motivations and desires. Although occasionally a little bland given we had characters like Maximus and Gabriela (a personal favourite). It was also quite refreshing to have a relatively healthy relationship between her and the romantic interest, her ex-boyfriend Ryan. It was refreshing to have a character that was not extensively manipulative or surprisingly charming for a teenage boy.

I did however feel myself wanting to know more about some of the secondary characters in this story; specifically, the Hawkins brothers who seemed to have a lot of spark in their limited appearances. (There is an early scene with them attempting to steal something which I immensely enjoyed).

The background and world building was completed pretty quickly – which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as it didn’t feel lacking. But once the foot was on the pedal, it continued on in what felt like a bit of a rush. The plotting and planning for the heist happened very quickly, and by the time that the meat of the story was happening there wasn’t a lot of book left for me to feel too worried about the characters or outcome of the heist. The lack of real danger did to an extent leave me a little less invested in the end goal. That in itself I think is what brought this book down in my rating. Several locations and people were introduced late on meaning they were not given a lot of time on the page. Additionally, the majority of the later challenges concluded without too much guessing at what would happen next – therefore I did feel that the book would have benefitted from a little more uncertainty.

Ultimately I found this to be an enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend to anyone curious about were-dragons. But if you are looking for a complex or really dramatic heist novel, this may not fully scratch that itch.

TDLR: Sky a were-dragon goes on a heist to steal a jewel and find out what happened to her Mum in a fun, but slightly predictable journey.

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