Review: Eoin Colfer's Highfire is a high octane adventure you won't be able to put down
Artemis Fowl was one of those books that I read again and again while growing up.
And so when I heard about Highfire, the latest novel from Eoin Colfer - and his first adult fantasy novel - I was pretty much hooked (an unfortunate enough expression, given the Big Bad of the novel).
The book follows the story of Vern - or, to give him his full title, Wyvern, Lord Highfire, of the Highfire Eyrie - a vodka-drinking, Flashdance loving dragon who has been keeping a low profile in the Louisiana bayou.
But when the well-intentioned Squib Moreau and crooked Constable Regence Hooke bring their (literally explosive) feud to his doorstep, Vern steps in - and it isn't long until his peaceful existence is turned upside down.
To be fair, he handles it all quite well. Sort of.
Wickedly hilarious, sharp-witted and all-around amazing, Vern quickly became one of my favourite characters in a book since...well, just about forever.
Besides his preferred movie and his tipple of choice (OK, it's more like he can drink a gallon of the stuff), Vern isn't the typical kind of dragon you would find in a fantasy novel.
Inspired by the urban legend of the Honey Island Swamp Monster, Vern isn't too fond of flying - unless he has to, that is - and prefers swimming the Pearl River instead. And at just under seven feet tall, he's more the size of a large bear than the typical legendary fire-breathing behemoths.
He's also understandably wary of humankind, after they killed the rest of his family and clan centuries ago - which means his first encounter with Squib doesn't get off to the best of starts.
The bulk of the book focuses on Vern's relationship with Squib which, later on, ends up capturing the attention of Hooke - the Constable-turned-wannabe-drug-lord with a reeeeally creepy obsession with Squib's mum Elodie and his own plans on what he's going to do with Vern when he captures him.
Highfire is the kind of book that will draw you in from the first pages. After sitting down to read "just a few chapters", it felt like I found myself a handful of pages before the end faster than you could say 'Honey Island Swamp Monster' - and I loved each and every second of it.
- Highfire by Eoin Colfer is his first ever adult fantasy novel, published by Jo Fletcher Books on 28th January in Hardback, £16.99.