I was kindly sent a free copy of this book by the author Allison Maruska for a review. Drake and the Fliers is a great YA urban fantasy, here is my review.
After a terrible virus kills all humanity except for teenagers, Drake finds himself all alone. With his sister dead and the only other visible survivors vandalizing his home, Drake is reluctant to seek out others…That is until he shapeshifts into a dragon.
‘Drake and the Fliers’ is an amazing fast paced urban fantasy that I just couldn’t put down. The story follows sixteen-year-old Drake who finds he’s able to shapeshift into a dragon as a result of surviving a virus that killed all adults and kids. While in dragon form he bumps into another shapeshifting teenager like him and together they start a journey to seek out other survivors.
The pacing of this novel is fast and a lot happens within a little over 200 pages. Though the fast pace felt a little too quick at first, it was easy to get into this story and I really enjoyed it. The plot is original and I loved the whole story which took the teens across to different cities in America since the virus which wiped out most people. It’s hard to say more about the story as it would really give away spoilers but it’s a brilliant fantasy plot and very well written.
The book contains several characters and spans a long time, it takes place over months rather than weeks, but there’s never any confusion as to what is happening. The story is continuously told from Drake’s point of view, though in the third person. All of the characters are well developed and feel like typical teens. The book is primarily a fantasy tale, about the shapeshifting and living in this new post-virus world, but touches on some teen issues such as those that surround the characters Preston and Talon. I thought these were really well done and didn’t overtake the fantasy story, in fact it added more depth which is sometimes missing in some YA fiction.
The story got more and more exciting the further I read on and I really liked the ending, it was both satisfying and more complex than I imagined. Despite my enjoyment of the novel though, I did wish it was longer and the relationship between two characters felt a bit rushed at first. There’s no mention of a sequel but I really wish there was one as there’s so much more that can be told about these characters and they all grew on me.
The book has very occasional use of the s swear word and b words and hints at sex though there’s no descriptive scenes. There is some violence but it’s nothing really gory and I think all teens would enjoy this. It’s such a complex and thrilling read and has such an amazing story I really recommend it!
Author’s website: https://allisonmaruska.com/
Sixteen-year-old Drake can’t understand why the virus spared him. The only survivors he’s seen vandalized his makeshift dwelling, and despite his sister’s dying wish that he connect with others, he spends his days alone – that is, until he develops the ability to shapeshift into a dragon. While exploring his new abilities, Drake nearly flies into Preston, another shifter. Their chances of survival increase if they team up with others like them, but when their search leads to a group in Las Vegas, they find not everyone is welcoming. As Drake develops new relationships, Preston endures daily confrontation and eventually takes off on his own. Concerned for his friend’s safety, Drake launches a search and stumbles into a situation stranger than anything he could imagine. Now he must embrace his animalism if he wants to save his humanity.