Dragon by James McCormick – 4 stars
Dragon is an epic, action packed tale of adventure set amongst the political backdrop of an uneasy intergalactic cease fire. As worlds conspire against each other, Gax, an insane warlord stockpiles an arsenal of ancient technology in his attempt to rule known space.
Two ill matched and reluctant heroes stand in his way; Sillow, a neurotic and cowardly Sylvan and Brok, a surly and ill tempered Herkulun warrior. After a chance meeting in a seedy, mobster owned casino the two find their fates interlinked as they are propelled into a series of hair raising adventures that takes them from wanted smugglers to agents of a peace keeping alliance.
As war grows close once again Sillow and Brok realize it is they alone who must stop Gax and prevent Armageddon, a very tall order indeed for two unlikely heroes.
This book is more like a series of short stories than a novel. Each chapter takes place in a different span of time, all of them linked together by the two heroes and an overarching plot. While I enjoyed reading it, I found myself wishing each chapter had been expanded into a separate book on its own.
The characters are rather superficial, never growing beyond a collection of quirks and habits. Both main characters are psychologically the same at the beginning as they are at the end. Fortunately, the two personalities are amusing, making this less a detractor than it could be.
The action is entertaining and the plot builds and arcs in a believable, satisfying way. The obstacles seem to be overcome a little too easily at many points, which goes back to the issue that each chapter could have been developed a lot more. Things wrapped up quickly in each scenario, not allowing time for the heroes to face true adversity.
Overall, I enjoyed this book as a summer beach read romp. It’s light and fun, and doesn’t require deep thought. The author clearly enjoyed himself while writing it, and I look forward to his new projects as his work matures.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.