Dragon Orb, first in the ‘Firestorm’ series, is another story about young people flying around on dragons. Once again, they learn how this is done the hard way, overcoming scary dragons and learning to fly. Once again they must work together. Once again, the dragons have their own way of communicating. We’ve flown this way before.
This time there’s a difference. Dragon Orb breathes a little fire into the hackneyed motifs with two magical qualities. Firstly the book is imbued with a real sense of what it actually feels like to meet your dragon and fly away. The characters are engaging and the narration effectively immerses the reader in their shocks and fears, as well as the magic of flying and realising ‘They had only been flying a matter of minutes and he was already further from home than he had ever been before’.
Secondly, and vital to the latter ingredient, the characters comprise a gaggle of truly believable youths, resulting in a story that has a genuine voice. Scenarios, such as one young dragon master’s figuring out of his future with his father, the suspicious tension between the youths and their realisation that the magic is real, all come across as believable. Add to this some truly quotable lines, such as: ‘The eastern sky was brightening by the heartbeat’ and we have a great story.
I have one qualm over the book’s approach to obsessive disorder and fear, and did feel the fear was tricked through rather than overcome, but this is a small qualm in an otherwise superb start to this new series.