The Dragon Stirs
by Lynda Aicher, fantasy (2012)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-718-4

Do take note that the author's name is Lynda Aicher - A-I-C-H-E-R and not Archer. Otherwise you may end up like me, wondering why I couldn't locate the author on the publisher and Amazon websites until I looked closer at the author's name and went, "Oh, I'm really getting old now, damn."

The Dragon Stirs is the first book in a series called Energen, as well as the author's first published effort. I have to say, the author's prose is rather polished for a debut author, and that's a good thing. But the story is composed of so many generic fantasy tropes that I have a hard time mustering much enthusiasm for the story.

Set in an alternate Earth where humans are once again oblivious to the woo-woo around them, we have dragons this time around. The Shifters, as they are called, are in a longstanding war with the Energens, woo-woo folks who can control "energies" in this world. These people are all hot and beautiful, naturally, ready made for sexy paranormal romps just for everyone.

Our heroine Airiana Draco - which is not a Mary Sue name, not at all - is a pacifist. She doesn't understand why there has to be war. Why can't the Shifters and Energen folks wear flowers in their hair and copulate like gentle people in a summertime love-in? So concerned about finding the answer that she flies around Energen territory and, apparently so deep in personal reminiscences, gets captured by our Energen hero. Loukianos Aeros - not a Mary Sue name, not at all - is concerned about his MIA brother, but one look (and touch) at Airiana has the whole soul mate-destiny-booyah song playing in the background all over again. Naturally, there are drama, a prophecy involving the right copulation to destroy evil for the benefit of future generations, yadda yadda yadda.

And because we can't have the hero and his sequel bait bromance brigade buddies be in the wrong, guess which side is the bad guys. Oops, there goes the suspense! I hope you guys enjoy the same old prophecy fantasy crock, because that's the main highlight of this show.

Airiana is a bit on the dim side, often doing silly things to propel the plot, while Aeros is appropriately surly and horny. Just like any random hero and heroine in all those generic fantasy romance romps currently available out there. And the plot and setting are a mish-mash of familiar elements. With so many stories of this nature available in the market, the author should really stand out to get my full attention. Well, she writes pretty well, better than most first time authors at least, but this story doesn't make me sit up and believe that this is a series that I must follow.

I won't mind reading the next title, but I won't be feeling any urgency to devour it. Let's hope the party kicks up a notch in the next entry, or this one may just end up as another title in a crowded market trying to get my attention.

Rating: 66

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