Fire & Heist. Sarah Beth Durst. Young adult/Fantasy. 304 pages. 2018. 2 stars.
Atomic number 79.
Dictionary definition: “a yellow malleable ductile metallic element.”
You could say my family was obsessed with it.
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review.
In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.
Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.
With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.
Dragons and heists? One would think that this would be the most perfect book ever. At least, that’s what I thought when I was getting into this book. As I kept on reading the book the more I started to realize that this book sounded more like a middle-grade book than a young adult one.
The characters’ thoughts were very juvenile, even though they were around their late teens and early 20s. I couldn’t understand why they were superficial, awkward, and really uncomfortable to read about. They did not at all fit in the world the author intended them to be. Instead of me being interested in the story, I was left cringing at every turn of the page.
My biggest issue, however, was not the characters but the writing. Honestly the only way I could describe it is how a 13-year-old inexperienced writer would conjure a story. This only makes it sadder because apparently this is not the first book Durst has published.
I expected way more from this and I was left really disappointed. It could have been an interesting storyline because the plot was so interesting. The execution just didn’t follow suit.
Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of seventeen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Girl Who Could Not Dream. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.