Monday, March 30

Dragons of Cuyahoga

This was the book I was reading as I had the idea of writing down what I thought so its the first up in my note book. I found it in a box at Camden Market, well used and kinda tattered. What attracted me most to this book was probably the cover art, which immediately caught my eye but on closer inspection it was more interesting than just that.

Dragons of Cuyahoga
by S. Andrew Swann

At first sight (in the bookstore) I figured this was probably just another fantasy novel, of which I've seen and read quite a few. But one should never judge a book by its cover; or in this as case take a second closer look.

The cover is dominated by a large and looming dragon who's foreboding eye is the dead center of the picture. This alone is not unusual, since quite a few fantasy novels feature dangerous dragons, but the background is. Upon examination it jumps out that instead of being placed in mountain cave, where treasure lines the walls to the ceiling, or the typical fantasy forest, we're looking at an apartment complex. Right in front of the dragon stands a man, dwarfed by the dragons size, but it is neither a brave blond knight in shining armor nor a raven haired sorcerer in flowing red robes. This is a man wearing an everyday business suit.

As it turns out this book is a fascinating genre blend of fantasy and the private eye. It contains many classic elements of a criminal investigation novel but without the bitter taste of clishe. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised and the originality of it kept me interested through the novel. The plot was interesting and not overly interesting. That does not mean that is was simple, far from it. Thankfully it straddles the careful balance of attention holding and over complication.

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