Book Review: Dragon Tempest by J.E. Taylor

Sometimes, it feels like the world ended with the pandemic. But, if J.E. Taylor’s book, Dragon Tempest is anything to go by, it could have been a great deal worse.

1. Thoughts on the plot

This book takes place about a decade after a pandemic (perhaps not ours, the situation is unclear) reduced the human population enough that the world felt strangely quiet. Due to this quiet, a vast number of ancient beings—leviathans, sea serpents, and dragons—rose from the depths to retake their throne. The humans stood in their way. Enter young Holly Woods, a soldier trying to fight the monsters. She goes to negotiate the human’s surrender and ends up fleeing with the help of a renegade dragon, armed with a potential weapon to rekindle the human’s war against the beasts. 

In general, I think the plot for this book was relatively creative. I like the idea of ancient monsters rising up during the humans’ end of days. It brings a certain je ne sais quois to the end of the world. Also, dragons. I’m a sucker for dragons. There were a number of tiny issues I had with the plot, though, some holes that just made things a little hard to swallow. For one: the food. I don’t understand how Mik could have so much food. Also, the ending. It just sort of…switched gears, changing the whole angle of the book into something else entirely. 

2. Thoughts on the characters

I like Holly. She has spunk for someone who is facing really awful situations. And she seems to be very intelligent about thinking problems through, which is nice.

I will say that her commander’s motivations didn’t feel very authentic to me, though I understand his actions were necessary to move the plot forward.

3. Favourite part

The honey. Yes, that sounds weird, but I promise you it’s not and it’s great.

4. Critique

There were just a few too many believability issues with this book for me. Specifically, the food situation, the ending, certain character motivations. There were others, as well, but those were the main ones. They just added up to me having a hard time with the believability of the story. Yes, I know this is a fantasy and there are dragons and such, but the details matter to me.

Overall, I would say that Dragon Tempest was a good book with a fun adventure and likeable characters.