Title: Pacific Fire
Author: Greg Van Eekhout
Publisher: Tor Books
Keywords: dragons, Frankenstein, osteomancy,
Why? I fangirled so hard over the first in the series, California Bones. Reading the sequel was necessary in my life. Like most sequels, spoilers abound for those who haven’t read the first book.
It’s been 10 years after the events of California Bones and our hero(?) Daniel Blackland’s life hasn’t really gotten any better after defeating the Heirarch. He’s now on the run in order to protect not only himself, but his new charge/son Sam. The fact that Sam is the golem of the Heirarch, the man who used to run SoCal and ate his father (can’t forget that) kind of puts a new twist in the old ‘taking someone under their wing’ plot. Daniel is told of a plan set by the Triumvirate, the 3 ruling lords of L.A. after the fall of the Heirarch, to raise a Pacific Firedrake, the king of dragons, the Bahamut of Pacific Fire. The catch is a creature of that magnitude needs a living osteomancer for battery life and who wouldn’t be better than the clone of the most powerful osteomancer in the past century? Of course, shit hits the fan and Sam has to take it upon himself along with a little help from his friends (mostly Daniel’s) to save the world and destroy the dragon. And of course, more shit hits the fan along the way along with a little twist.
So the basic outline of the book became a hero’s journey, Eekhout style, rather than its’ predecessor’s heist/caper plot. But there is a dragon. And not only that, but a created one from bones and magic. Bringing dragons back from the dead!! The book’s tone turned a little YA for me, probably because Sam is a teenager and this little save the world mission is his first time away from Daniel. Ever. Which is kind of sad. Some of his teenage moments were skippable moments for me, but the action delivered and was just as awesome, if not more so, than California Bones. Osteomancy is more prominent in Pacific Fire which is great because it’s such a great (and gross) magical system. I felt that California Bones was a good setup for explaining the magic system. I enjoyed the little twist at the end and how it opens it up for the journey to NorCal. Yeaaa, San Francisco holla!
I miss Daniel’s crew, though they are there as the side dishes rather than the main course. Sam was ‘meh’ for me, but I have to admit his instacrushes on every girl he meets was pretty adorable. And sad again because that just shows how much he doesn’t get out. I also loved how despite who he is, and the power he potentially can wield, he still ends up as the newbie and has to get a lot of help from the people around him. Usually with a hefty dose of sarcasm if the help is coming from Em. Em is awesome by the way. No damsel saving here, thankyouverymuch. Thank you Van Eekhout for making your women awesome and just as kick ass as the dudes! I’m sad there wasn’t as much Max in this book though. And the description of him! I *knew* he was hot!
Team Blackland cannot catch a break, but this is good because it means there’s a next book and I’m stoked because now it turns to Northern California and particularly, San Francisco! If you can’t guess by now, I’m from Northern California and San Francisco is my playground. Honestly, the only thing that brought this book down just a teeny tiny bit was Sam’s teenage moments, but other than that this was a good sequel. Bring it, Dragon Coast!