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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Author: Rebecca York
Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V-4; S-4; H-1
Publisher and Titles: Berkley Sensation: Day of the Dragon (2010)

     This is the first in an anticipated new series featuring shape-shifting dragons, and it connects with York's MOON SERIES through the villainous Vandar in Dragon Moon.

     The hero of Day of the Dragon is Ramsay Gallagher, a 2,000-year-old dragon shape-shifter who has lost his ability to shift, and Madison Dartmoor, an accomplished archaeologist. The plot involves Madison's excavation of an Italian ruin that contains ancient drawings of dragon men. Ramsay is searching for information about his family history and comes to a convention at which Madison is a speaker so that he can find out more information about the dragon drawings.

     When some bad guys try to abduct Madison, Ramsay comes to her rescue, and the couple falls in love as they evade the kidnappers. The most obvious villain is Kent Spader, a religious fanatic who wants all supernatural or alien archaeological evidence buried and forgotten. Inexplicably, he also wants both Ramsay and Madison dead (his reasons for this are never fully explained). A second villain will remain nameless here to maintain some suspense.

     The story line is interesting, but the characters of Ramsay and Madison never really come to life. Although they fall in love, they are such cardboard figures that their romantic dialogue seems forced. Missing are those angst-ridden interior monologues we know so well, in which the hero or heroine meditates on the romantic situation at hand as well as on past sad experiences that have shaped their characters. Ironically, I recently (on this blog) criticized another series for going overboard with the angst, but really, a good SMR paranormal novel does need enough angst to give some emotional substance to the characters, and this one could use quite a bit more, especially for Madison.

     Ramsay does review the effects of his life-changing, violent clash with his alter ego, Vandar (whom we met in Dragon Moon), but Madison is short on reminisces and erratic (not erotic) in her romantic musings. The reader never really gets to know her emotional side.

     I reviewed York's MOON SERIES in my book, Fang-tastic Fiction, so I won't include that review here. Suffice it to say, I did enjoy that series more than I did this book. The characters were more fully developed, and the love matches really rang true.

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