Simon St George is one of the last in the line of the original dragon slayers. Along with his father Aldric and his friend Alythia he must tackle the dragon menace combining the old traditions with modern ways and weaponry. Unfortunately, the dragons now disguise themselves in human form. When Alythia vanishes Simon and his father make it their quest to find her. Can Simon and his father tackle the dragon menace in a modern world that has moved on? Will they be able to put aside their differences and work together? And who is this strange child of the orient that has a seemingly impossible link with the St George line?
Samurai by Jason Hightman is a fantasy book on amphetamines. It is the literary equivalent of an action movie for twenty-something testosterone-filled males. This is "Die Hard" in book form! As Simon and his father are propelled through an increasingly exciting set of action pieces, you are dragged relentlessly along for the ride. "Samurai" is completely lacking in subtlety, yet this is a novel that seems to happily revel in the fact. Little time is spent explaining motives and although our heroes are well-rounded, they are surprisingly shallow. Everything revolves around them and there is little thought for the havoc that whirls around them, ultimately affecting everyone. Indeed, Simon and his father have little sympathy for anyone who gets in their way.
Although, the simplistic nature of the characters means that we struggle to empathise with them, it does not really matter. All we need to know is that they are the good guys and pretty much anyone who gets in their way are the bad guys. This makes Samurai a refreshingly laid back affair that you can happily pick up and put down at your leisure safe in the knowledge that another violent battle is just around the corner. This is a novel unlikely to win awards but it is an exercise in enjoyment and will be ideal for the casual reader. Little time is wasted on description as the story moves across continents with little to note other than the difference in the weather but this means there is scene upon scene of breathtaking battles of epic proportions. Hightman excels at putting the reader into the action and this reader revelled in the warts and all fight scenes stretching from Britain to Japan and beyond.
Samurai is a novel that you will enjoy if you are a person that can suspend your disbelief and switch your brain into neutral for its duration. Every single event is highly unbelievable and it is a novel riddled with plot holes. However, credibility is overrated in my opinion and the confident teen or adult fantasist will love every ridiculous minute of Samurai. Serious readers may well commit Hari-Kari but everyone else should buy this. Throwaway escapism in its most enjoyable form.
N.B. First posted at www.thebookbag.co.uk
Exotic adventure and nonstop action explode as West meets East in this second breathtaking story of The Saint of Dragons. Dragons revel in human misery and leave a trail of pain and death wherever they go. They live alone, masquerading as their victims, unrecognisable to all but a select few. Simon St. George is back, and still learning to live with his father - brash Aldric St. George. But, just as he is getting used to the security of a new family, as well as continuing to learn the business of dragonhunting, he finds out another shocking revelation - he is not the last of the dragonhunters.