Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dragons Deal - Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye

All these books about dragons. This one, though, was a loaner from a friend who's reading a different series of books by the same author. This one's a bit different, as it's set in New Orleans, in a world where there are all sorts of supernatural creatures, many of which can and have interbred with humans over the history of the planet. This is not common knowledge among the public, but there are some people who know.

The book focuses primarily on the McCandles siblings, Griffen and Valerie. Both of them only recently learned they're dragons, both of them are apparently from a really strong bloodline. I'm not totally clear on whether they're entirely dragon, but can make themselves look human, or just mostly dragon. Anyway, they're kind of important whether they want to be or not. This book is somewhere in the middle of the series, so quite a bit has happened already. Val has a kid on the way, the unfortunate consequence of her falling under the glamour of some other dragon (so rape), and now the father's mother is trying to horn in, demanding rights to be near her grandchild. Considering the dad ran like a scalded dog to avoid death, I feel the proper response is "Walk into a chopper blade", and that is thankfully Val and Griffen's initial response. But Melinda's a cagey old bat, so she makes her moves well, though that whole issue remains unresolved by the end of the book.

Beyond that, Griffen runs a roving poker game thing, which is under attack by a group of eastern dragons he somehow muscled out in an earlier book. I'm not at all clear on how that works. Why can't they establish their own roving poker games. What's he going to do, call the cops on their illegal gambling operation because it horns in on his illegal gambling operation? I don't think he has the audacity, balls, or outright hypocrisy to try that, let alone the influence to pull it off.

On top of that, he nearly bankrupts himself when he agrees to be king of some parade krewe for Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras stuff was the least interesting part of the book for me. I'm sure there's a lot of fascinating history behind the whole thing - and Asprin and Nye talk about it some - I just don't care. It's a huge loud party that people use as an excuse to behave like drunken buffoons, set in a humid coastal city, which is just about the least appealing thing I can imagine. Maybe if you threw roving poisonous snakes or math pop quizzes into the mix it would be worse, but I'm not sure I'd notice. Plus, all Griffen's woes in regards to his bank account, planning parties, renting tuxes, keeping his ladies happy, they're all self-inflicted. He agreed to be king, let people play on his ego (also his desire to do something good for the city), and now he's reaping the whirlwind.

The parts of the book about Valerie trying to keep herself safe from Melinda, the threats Griffen has all around him, his attempts to patch up his friendship with the cop, Harrison, that stuff was good. I just didn't have any interest in the party stuff, though, except as it could be turned to tie in with the other plotlines.

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