Saturday, March 16, 2013

Slayers by C.J. Hill

Genre: Fantasy, action
Rating: ****
Pages: 373
Tori knows St. George and the Dragon Camp isn't her typical vacation the moment her sister's BMW pulls into the parking lot. The fencing practice and college level medieval history lectures are expected-after all, they're supposed to be learning how to slay dragons. But motorcycle riding and rifle shooting-with your eyes shut? Isn't that a little extreme? Never mind how the "advanced campers", cabins twenty-six and twenty-seven, are two miles off from the main camp and must be kept secret.
Nothing gets easier when she discovers the truth. Dragons are real, the advanced campers, including her, are descended from the fabled dragons knights. Oh, and they're the only ones who can stop the dragon lord Overdrake from conquering Washington D.C. and eventually the world.
Tori didn't sign up to save the world. She not to happy about leaping fifteen feet into tree limbs and getting her hair singed off by the kind, scholarly, flamethrower-wielding camp director. Her fellow campers don't approve of her blonde highlights and trunk full of designer clothing. How can a pampered senator's daughter take down a dragon?
I picked up this book because I've read and several other by this author, all of them contemporary high school fiction or fairy fantasy.
This was not what I expected. Fewer hilariously awkward situations, more machine guns.
The plot is almost perfectly paced, the action intense, the romance kept to a tolerable, practical level for dragon slayers. The way the dragon business was set up stretched my imagination a little. A slayer is created when their pregnant mother goes near a dragon egg. It's not known how this works, only that it has to do with the triangular bumpy thing on a dragon's forehead and the kid's DNA. Their genes are passed down from dragon knights, who altered their DNA by drinking an elixir prepared by alchemists. That's the true goal of alchemy, by the way, not transforming ordinary medals into gold. Then there are dragon lords, who are different than dragon knights.
The main thing that bugged me was the guys. All of male advanced campers are tall and hot. Don't forget the rock-hard muscles. I know they're superhuman, I know this is a novel where dragons can exist in the real world, but having all the guys hot isn't realistic.
With an unforeseen twist, and Slayers is an intense action debut with an ending that will leave you burning for the sequel. Well, if you can call it a debut.