Dragons and gorgons of NY

The Dragon Conspiracy (SPI Files) - Lisa Shearin

I wasn’t in love with this urban fantasy novel, but it read fairly well. The heroine Makenna Fraser works for the SPI agency, aka Supernatural Protection & Investigation. She is a seer – she sees supernatural beings no matter how many layers of glamor they put on to blend with the humans of New York.

The story is a supernatural thriller with a tint of humor, and all the details mesh well in the fascinating world the author constructed. There are dragons and goblins there, gorgons and werewolves, vampires and wizards. Anyone from any race could be a baddy or a good guy, just like in real life, and I like this aspect of supernatural America.

The protagonist is a charming young woman. She doesn’t have any special powers except the power of seeing things as they are, so she doesn’t aspire to the superhero status. She lets other, more muscled guys, to shield her puny self, while she always tries to do the right thing, which is protecting the innocent, be it a benevolent 1000-year-old gorgon or an enigmatic goblin with the not-so-honest intentions towards her.

In this case, protecting the innocent means stopping a terrible conspiracy scheduled for Halloween. Only one day is left, and the clock is ticking, while Makenna and her fellow SPI agents scramble frantically in their search for the villain who wants all the supernaturals eliminated from the city and surrounding areas.

I like Makenna. She is a living woman, a bit cynical and a lot humane, colorful and controversial. Unfortunately, aside from her, all the other characters are only half-cooked, shadowy silhouettes rather than flesh and blood persons, which weakens this novel.

The other problematic aspect of the book is its beginning. The book is the second in a series, and the entire first chapter is a huge and boring info dump, where the author crams most of the background from the first book. As far as I could tell, none of it is necessary for the story. As soon as the plot starts rolling in chapter two, the action is swift and original, reflecting Shearin’s boundless imagination, and all the facts and descriptions the reader needs unfold naturally throughout the story.

Overall, the book is a nice addition to the series and a crazy romp through New York’s supernatural community. If you like sexy goblins and dragons with a sense of humor, this book is for you.