Confession #1: I have seen the movie Ocean’s Eleven, in whole or in part, at least 30 times. Probably more. There’s something about a great heist story that keeps me riveted to the screen or the book or my imagination. (I think I have a heist story in me; it just hasn’t come out yet.)
Confession #2: I read very few fantasy books.
When, however, I saw the announcement of Sarah Beth Durst’s new book, I didn’t care that Fire & Heist was a fantasy. I ordered it from my local bookstore immediately. Full disclosure, I’ve known Sarah Beth Durst since early Live Journal days. I’ve also had the pleasure of our paths crossing several times, in person, so I really, really wanted to like this book. I LOVED it. Fire & Heist is everything a heist story AND a fantasy story should be.
Sky Hawkins lives within a sub-culture in Aspen, Colorado, one that celebrates the art of the heist. She is a wyvern, a human capable of transforming into a dragon, and as a wyvern, one gains power and acceptance by stealing treasure. Right now, however, Sky is at her lowest low. Her mother, who failed in some grand, mysterious scheme, has disappeared and has cast shame over her entire family. Sky’s friends have turned their backs on her. Even worse, it was her boyfriend who emphatically humiliated at their community’s Reckoning. Sky needs answers. The only way to get them is to discover what her mom was trying to steal and complete the heist herself. With a pieced-together crew, Sky goes against the wishes of her father and brothers to embark on a mission that could bring back at least a semblance of her old life or, possibly, lead to worse.
There you have it – all the motives and emotions and setting and characters and details and gold and jewels you’ll even need for a nail-biting, page-turning, and thoroughly satisfying heist story. And now I’m off to pass Fire & Heist on to an 8th grader who has no clue how great a story she’s about to read.
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