I don’t review the books I don’t finish. I don’t talk about them on Amazon or Epinions, I don’t rate them on a numerical scale, and I don’t pretend to know for sure whether they’re good or bad books ultimately. But I don’t mind telling you exactly why I decided not to finish them.
Carol Juan doesn’t really believe that her grandmother’s friends are dragons, though she’ll admit that Caleb and Malcolm are unusual. But when a Fire Dragon, a very rare creature who can not only take human form but turn himself into pure flame, seeks her out, she has to put her disbelief behind her. The arrogant and wild Seth teaches Carol not only about fire dragons, but about her own latent mage powers that pulled him instinctively to her. The secret of the Fire Dragon might help Carol win the day or be the means to her destruction.
I made it as far as page 76 in Allyson James’s The Dragon Master purely because there were some interesting character moments and there are some interesting magical concepts within its pages. However, I couldn’t bring myself to keep going after that. Maybe it’s because I recently read Devon Monk’s urban fantasy Magic to the Bone, which was everything The Dragon Master isn’t.
First off, some of the characters in The Dragon Master come across as cartoons rather than people. The pacing is all off—it feels like chunks of plot or events tossed up on the bank of a river in a hurry instead of flowing along with it. The magic feels rushed, careless, haphazard, and silly.
Ultimately, it feels as though the author is rushing, rushing, rushing through events without really stopping to think about them or feel them and make sure they flow, are consistent, and have depth. While there are some interesting concepts in here, the entire thing feels like a cartoon set to paper, rather than a sizzling urban fantasy/erotic romance.