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Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst - Book Review

2 stars

*Thank you to Netgalley and Crown Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. Please know that all of the expressed opinions are my honest thoughts.

I read Fire and Heist by Sarah Durst because I love reading and watching stories about crime. This book sounded right up my alley and in ways, it was.

Let's start with the characters. I have both admiration and annoyance for the main character, Sky Hawkins. She is the baby of one of the were-dragon (called Wyverns) families. Sky and her family used to be super wealthy, and over this last year, it seems as if they lost everything. Their wealth and mother, which has made the family on edge with each other. Sky likes to take matters into her own hands, which I respect, but at moments, she does it and takes the lead in entirely unreasonable situations. If a character is like that in the beginning, I am okay with it. However, it never really seems like Sky learns the proper time to take the lead and when it is the right time to take a step back and allow someone to take the lead. So considering what she does and goes through in Fire and Heist, I expected some change in her tactical planning. As for the other characters, they are your typical run of the mill type. You have the older brothers who think they know everything but still care for their sister, the father who becomes distant when his wife disappears, and the ex-boyfriend who maybe still has feelings for his ex. While all these characters are essential, no one really stood out as remarkable or memorable.

For the most part, the world was pretty believable. I mean, as believable as a society with people who can transform into dragons is. I appreciated how Durst talked about how the Wyverns are seen in the community and how their kind effects "normal" life. There were definitely places where I had to pause and consider how somethings were possible considering how other things weren't. The balance of the world just seemed off, if you know what I'm talking about. I do wish that the world was explained more as the book continued, it seemed like the information was dumped on the reader in the first couple of chapters and then the reader is expected to be an expert in everything Wyvern. Yes, there is a small bit of more description in the middle of the book, but I always feel like semi-constant bits of information about the world makes it much more cohesive and understandable.

I loved the premise of this book so much! A world where heists are considered milestones, a jewel that can restore a family's lost wealth and status, and a group of people that have the ability to transform into dragons. It sounds like such an action-filled book with lots of suspenseful moments, but it isn't. The story just fell short for me. Yes, there were some parts that were suspenseful, but I feel like a lot of the time in the book was busywork, getting ready for what is to come. There's maybe two or three chapters to get everyone ready and one chapter to execute the plan or action. While the story itself is unique, the storyline that it follows seemed pretty standard. I wanted so much from this book (which was a mistake) and ended up with something just okay.

To summarize, I went into Fire and Heist with huge expectations. I guess that I should know by now that if I set my expectations too high, the book always falls short. And unfortunately, Fire and Heist was no exception. I went into the book expecting an exciting book about heists and people who can breathe fire and change into dragons, and I didn't really get that from the story. I also wish there was more character development. It didn't seem as if the characters learned from their experiences and mistakes, which is infuriating. I can't say that I would recommend this book as the action and heist filled books as it is portrayed. I would say that if someone is looking for a lighter, somewhat quick read with slight suspenseful moments that this book might be for them.

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