Eoin Colfer has penned a bunch of YA/children’s novels. His extremely popular Artemis Fowl series will soon be a movie. Highfire is an adult novel, which is more of an adventure tale than a fantasy novel, despite having a vodka loving dragon named Vern as its protagonist. Colfer is funny, funny enough to have been the one to pen book six in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series.
The story is set in the swamps in New Orleans and has a memorable cast of characters – the really corrupt ex-military sheriff, the aforementioned dragon, a very old wrinkled half dragon/half human, an overworked loving nurse, her teen son who is frequently in trouble, a mafia kingpin with his sidekicks, to name just a few. The novel runs at a very fast pace, with lots of action and tons of funny dialogue. It reminded me of a Carl Hiaasen novel (Skinny Dip is the one that comes to mind), with its crazy characters, swampy setting, and illegal activities. The mud flies (literally) as the body count rises and good and evil battle it out in the bayou.
This is a light read, a wonderful way to laugh through a few hours. The book has lots of irreverent humor and is sprinkled with tons of pop culture references (the dragon’s favorite article of clothing is a Flashdance shirt and his least favorite show is Game of Thrones). Children may beg to read another book by the Artemis Fowl author, but this book is definitely rated R (I would say high school age is fine), with lots of cursing and lots of violence.