If Han Solo had his own spin off series then James Austin McCormick’s Dragon would be the closest thing to it. Sillow, a green-skinned, child-like elf, is a likeable rogue smuggler with a penchant for drinking, smoking and using his mouth to find trouble. Step in his companion, Altus Brok, a tall, hulking warrior who is often the one to get his diminutive friend out of said trouble.
In their way is the evil aristocratic Tuolon, Hana Gax a lizard-like warlord bent on bringing destruction to the entire galaxy. What happens when you put the two heroes in Gax’s impossible-to-escape scenarios? You will have to read to find out, but I can say McCormick brings his own unique brand to the escape-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth situations and I must say that I was surprised by a few of the outcomes.
Painstaking care has been taken, down to what some would consider the minor details, but I certainly appreciated them, like the aptly named races. Sillow the silver-tongued Sylvan, Brok the herculean Hurkulun, or the Merdine – crustacean-like people and Nerius, a somewhat nefarious character.
World building is a bit light on for this reviewer’s liking but McCormick more than makes up for it with his fast-paced story and action-packed narrative. This sci-fi space opera would make a great audio book and sign me up as a fan if this ever becomes a TV series. It is worth noting that Dragon can be enjoyed as a series of short stories (as each chapter has its own adventure) and yet it has that easy flowing charm that would allow you to rollick through it in one sitting.
There is a constant theme of acceptance illustrated in many scenes where characters of different species work together to achieve a common goal. This is a great message to convey as it is particularly close to home in our world where gaps of cultural and ethnic diversity are rapidly closing. James Austin McCormick’s Dragon is a fast, fun adventure ideally suited for a younger audience or anyone wanting an introduction to the sci-fi genre.