Book review · novel

Book review: Asteroid made of dragons

Asteroid Made of Dragons, by G. Derek Adams

asteroid-made-of-dragons-coverDescription : (from Inkshares)

When a lone goblin researcher stumbles across an artifact containing a terrifying message—that the world is in grave and immediate peril—she scrambles to find help. A very unusual asteroid (one constructed as a cage for dragons) is headed straight for the planet, and Xenon is the only person in the world who knows. As she clambers across hill and dale with her quill, journal, and dwindling coin purse to untangle the mystery, she’ll need plenty of luck to find the right clues and the right sort of help.

Meanwhile, our heroes have their own problems. They have a bank to rob, a sea to cross, and a kingdom to infiltrate. Luckily, Rime is a wild mage—the laws of reality quiver when she gives them a stern look—and her guardian, Jonas, wields a reasonably sharp sword. But Rime is slipping ever closer to the abyss of madness, and Jonas is wanted for murder at their final port of call. To make matters worse, the mage-killing Hunt and its commander, Linus, follow the duo like a patient shadow, bent on Rime’s destruction.

I first learned about this book on twitter with this list by io9, the comparison to Terry Pratchett and the seemingly mix of science fiction and fantasy caught my eye instantly! I asked for it for my birthday, got it (Yay!) and started it as soon as I could (as soon as I was finished with Nice dragons finish last actually!). I’m writing a review so obviously: yes I loved this book very very much.

How could I not? It has goblins, some dwarves, gnomes and elves, mages, robots, an ancient civilization and technologies not really well understood by the characters of this world but recognisable to us, knights, half-devil… I mean I don’t know what else I could ask from such a book. (Here’s a quote that I thought shows well the kind of setting you can find in the book!–>)

“Four dwarves were tossing sacks of meal from a battered crate up onto the deck of a ship while singing lustily.  A fat wood-elf bellowed over the side of his ship either demanding more cats or less cats, Jonas wasn’t sure. Two Minotaurs were standing deep in the bay applying pitch and resin to a new patch in the side of a low sloop.” 

We get to follow a number of characters, all really interesting. Sometimes, in books with multiple point of view, there is that one POV that is boring or that I just don’t care about, or in the contrary just that one I can’t wait to get back to. In this book, I was sad to leave a character for another but it only lasted a few lines before I was really invested with the other character. It was a joy to jump from one to the other and never a disappointment, they are very loveable character! There aren’t that many POV, around 5 if I remember correctly, and as some of them are from characters that stick together it didn’t even feel that much like a change.

The first one is Xenon, a green goblin archaeologist/scholar/traveller. I loved her very much and she made me laugh on multiple occasions. Then there was Rime (a really powerful mage, but her power is making her go mad) and Jonas, her squire/guardian/companion too nice for his own good. Linus, a knight brought back from death by his magical sword, and his associate Sideways, a half-devil orange-skinned assassin, he actually is kind of nice.

All these characters are going on with their life and their problems until they are pulled together (not before halfway through the book though) to take care of a BIG problem crashing back to the ground. I wish they would have spent more time all together but Ha! I guess this will be for the sequel!

I can’t help but compare it slightly to Guardians of the Galaxy because every time I thought something cliché was going to happen: BAM it didn’t! Which is really refreshing.

asteroid made of dragons pic1

Asteroid Made of Dragons is funny, beautifully written, fluid, absurd and silly (in a good way, obviously), has a little steampunk feel to it sometimes. It is hard to let go and you can read it in one setting without having to spend the day on it (it wouldn’t bother me but maybe some of you like shorter books!). Sword and sorcery, fantasy, science fiction, it is a bit of all of this and that’s also what I love about it. Tropes are braided together and this is a great pleasure to read! It definitely has become one of my favourite that I cannot wait to reread.

“To her, it was made not of stone and desert glass but of stories and answers.”

My only criticism? No enough dragons. Since, you know, the word “dragons” is on the title I thought there would be more actual dragons. But it is made clear soon enough in the book why there hasn’t, so it was not really a let-down. Just so you know, I changed my username on tumblr, twitter and instagram to something in reference to this book: if that’s not a proof I love this book I don’t know what is! [Edit: plus the name of my blog!]

I didn’t know at first that it was the third book in an ongoing series, the first two of which were self-published. But when reading, I didn’t felt at all that I had “missed” things. We’re thrown into the action with Rime and Jonas and it feels normal. Learning afterward that there were two books before that one actually made me really happy because I can’t have enough of this world and its character. I’ll totally read them and pre-order the sequel when it’s available! For the info, the first one is Spell/Sword and the second one The Riddle Box. The name of the series being Spell/Sword.

(originally posted: 12th May 2016)

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