I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dragon Bites by Allyson James
Published by JA / AG Publishing on March 20, 2018
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Nightwalker
Sixth in the Stormwalker paranormal fantasy series and revolving around Janet Begay, half goddess, all stormwalker. The focus in this story is on Gabrielle, Janet’s dangerous half-sister.
I’d really recommend reading this series from the start (Stormwalker, 1), as Dragon Bites will have more meaning if you know more about the characters and what’s gone on in the past. And, in looking at my notes, it seems I’ve missed the previous two stories, so I am incomplete on events and what the core characters have been up to. I must get that rectified!
What a pain in the tush. I hated the central character, Little-Miss-Snotty-Pants-Know-It-All-Teenager Gabrielle. And I wouldn’t have had a problem with the multiple first person point-of-view IF, James had been more explicit in the text as to who was speaking. I’m obtuse. It wasn’t enough that each chapter had the heading of whose POV the story was coming from.
What made it worse was they each sounded like Gabrielle. Of course, that impression could have come from my irritation with the whiny little bitch. She’s such a typical selfish teenager what with “nobody understands me”, “nobody trusts me”, “nobody thinks I can be good”. And, whaddya know, nobody should trust her. She acts on her emotions at a whim, she doesn’t think through possible consequences, she doesn’t consider if this is a good idea or not, she and her big sister have only recently accomplished a truce after this whiny teen tried to kill her. There is no thought (from any of them) about destroying casinos and hotels full of people. How am I supposed to take this fantasy seriously? Yeah, yeah, it’s a story. It’s a paranormal fantasy. But…seriously?
Hey, what’s not to trust? I mean, it’s as if she were a fiasco on legs. Wait, um, she IS a fiasco on legs. Worse, Janet seems to be absorbing Gabrielle’s devil-may-care ways. You’d think she’d know better these days.
I do agree with Gabrielle (and with the general concept of it) that people shouldn’t restrict others, ALTHOUGH, some people need to be restricted until they can make good decisions and have control over their powers. Ahem.
Excuse me? Little Miss I-Wanna-Be-Independent thinks “Janet and Mick really needed to take me to Paris”? Use a little magic and “steal” from people? Then, awww, Gabrielle runs home to New Mexico but Janet is asleep, recovering from events in Las Vegas and Janet “doesn’t have time for me”. Poor me… Oy.
In the meantime, yes, there’s plenty of action and drama, as annoying as the characters might be.
Maya and I are just trying to have a girls’ weekend in Vegas. Kick back, take in some shows … Then Gabrielle decides to tag along.
Now there’s a dragon slayer after Mick, gladiatorial games from hell, and a Vegas hotel full of trapped demons. A mess of nasty that Gabrielle charges in to fix…with me charging in to fix Gabrielle’s mess.
What neither realizes is the ancient and terrible evil they’re awakening. An evil now after Gabrielle and her all-powerful magic and all the magical beings on earth.
Janet Begay is half-Dine and a stormwalker with Beneath powers. Micalerianicum “Mick” is a dragon who shapeshifts into a 6′-6″ tattooed biker, and he and Janet are getting married. The magic mirror is a communication “device” between Mick and Janet…and anyone else with a bit of magic who has a piece of it. Pete Begay, a Dine shaman, is Janet’s father (with Earth-magic) about to marry Gina Tsotsie who also has some Earth-magic. Grandmother Begay, Ruby, is a strong Earth-magic shaman who turns into a crow and lives at Many Farms in Chinle.
Gabrielle Massey is Janet’s half-sister — they share that evil bitch goddess from Beneath for their mother. Anna Massey had been a decent stepmother to Gabrielle.
Dragons are grounded in Earth magic. The easygoing Colbinilicarium “Colby” and the fastidious, toadying Drake are also dragon shifters. Bancroft is one of the strongest dragons on the planet and the head of the Dragon Council. Titus, the ringmaster for the fights and one of the first dragons, is also a dragon under contract.
Magellan, New Mexico, is…
…where Janet’s hotel, the Crossroads, is located. Cassandra Bryson, a powerful witch who had fled Christianson, is the hotel manager. Pamela Grant, a wolf Changer, is her lover. Elena is the grumpy cook. Ansel is the resident Nightwalker. Flora is a maid with some Earth-magic.
Maya Medina is one of Janet’s friends, the best electrician in town, and dating Sheriff Nash Jones, a magical null in Hopi County. Deputy Emilio Salas has two brothers. Fremont Hansen is a plumber who knows all the gossip. The diner is open 24/7 and Jolene works behind the counter; a Hansen is one of the waiters. Barry. Jamison Kee, a mountain lion Changer and shaman, is married to Naomi, a gardener. Naomi’s daughter, Julie, had been deaf. All three have been friends with Janet.
Amos is a limo driver, trying to save up enough to get married and buy a house. Cornelius is a gambler at the C. He’s also John’s brother and manages the Las Vegas C. Chandra is a nurse from Nigeria who isn’t interested in being licensed as a doctor in America. Shelly is the receptionist at the C’s offices. Steve is a room service waiter. The C hotels are owned by John Christianson who had employed Emmett Smith, the Ununculous, the top mage in the world. Pericles McKinnon had been the second most powerful mage.
Coyote is a trickster god born in Beneath with a thing for Janet. Bear is Coyote’s wife. Beneath is an alternate plane of existence where skinwalkers, demons, and bitch goddesses live. I think it may be Hell.
The dragon slayer is too powerful and is the one who owns the fights and all those contracts. The Earth entity is malevolent with no discernment and just wants to be left alone.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a mix of the deep rainbow of oranges of a New Mexican desert and the deep blues of a stormy night sky. In the background on the left is a reddish dragon flaring his wings while Gabrielle, her long brunette hair tumbling in waves over her shoulders, wears her favorite royal blue sequined minidress and is presenting us with a tiny fireball in the palm of her hand. The series information is in white at the very top with the title in a white script below it and above Gabrielle’s head. An info blurb is at the bottom in white just above the author’s name in a colonial blue.
I don’t really understand where the title comes from, but I’ll guess that the Dragon Bites refers to the dragons who come to help save the world?