Dragon Lady *****
by Angelique Anderson

You are going to love this steampunk dragon-shifter story about loving someone on the other side of the tracks and a killer dragon confounding our heroine! I did. It was cool. For a couple years now the primary thing I’ve wished I could shape shift into is a dragon. I’m I realist, I know it’s far likelier I’ll end out life as a cymech dragon than a flesh and blood dragon that can shift back into human form for social events, but someone once told me, “Shoot for the moon, you’ll end up in the stars.”

Wiley is a bit of a tomboy. She loves wearing big old scuffed up boots and hanging out in the horse stables. Her boss, Lord Adrien is a total heart-throb, but he’s betrothed to her bestie Judith. When Wiley’s dad dies and Judith’s dad tries to gentrify her hood, life gets pretty crazy for Wiley. Not to mention the killer black dragon!

The Victorian era is a cool place to set a story. I’m a fan old antiquated English, in high school I starred in Shakespear’s Tempest. I’m a lousy actor, to be sure, but I grew up reading the King James Version of the Bible, so I could talk the talk.

 I like to keep up on the old tongue by corner my wife, putting on a husky voice and saying things like: ”Jennifer! My beloved. Would her ladyship care for walk past the mongers’ stalls downtown?” It would go over so much better if I could do impressions.

Anderson knows how to pace a story. We meet characters as Wiley crosses their path while actually having a day. People do stuff. It takes the form of activities.  I have to pass on books that lead a character someplace, then put the activity on pause to read from an encyclopedia of their private world. We are not told about Dragon Lady, we get running along on an adventure and in the doing, we discover the Dragon Lady.

I love when I run across great books! As a writer, I feel that the more books I can encounter and reflect upon, the better my own writing becomes. I read and reviewed eighty books last year, yay! Check out my other reviews at LARC-scifi(dot)com.

Wiley has her own Jiminy Cricket, except that he’s a little clockwork dragon! This little fella has catapulted its way right onto my top five mechanical sidekicks to wish for at the dawn of the age of artificial intelligence. He’s in good company with R2D2, the lady from Weird Science, Tick Tock from Baum’s Oz books, and Hey You from Wrong Unit by Rob Dircks.

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