What drew me to this book was – dragons and heist, and it executes the concept in a satisfactory enough manner. The story is set in an alternate reality of the world where the existence of were-dragons, excuse me, wyverns, has been common knowledge from the 16th century, and modern wyverns are just affluent people who can breathe fire. The other part of their heritage they retained from their original world (the wyverns in the human world are descendants of exiles) is accumulating hoards of gold – which in the context of the book means gilding everything in vaults and also gathering wealth in the more modern investment sense, too; and being good at stealing. But they are also a close knit society, and when Sky’s family loses their status when her mother fails a heist and disappears, she determines that the best way to restore family honor and find her mother is by completing the failed heist and using the bounty as leverage.
Fire and Heist presents a mostly expected structure of society when it comes to paranormal entities living in the human world. Sky doesn’t interact much with humans, but after her family loses its status and is being actively shunned, she finds a new friend in the human Gabriella. Her family (dad, and three older brothers) don’t want to help her so she recruits others to get the job done. That is what I liked about Sky, by the way – the girl is determined and doesn’t give up. She goes in half-cocked in some circumstances, though, and that is understandable given her age, but she does manage to finish the job in the end. The mood of the novel is more or less light, with emphasis on it being entertaining than being realistic.
When it came to world-building, the book had much of generalized lore to rely on for the human world, but I wish we got more information for Home. The dragon society there seems draconian (pun intended) and presents a side of meritocracy that is ableist at its core. Also I wished they had better security, what with all the technologically advanced world they live in (how did they not know what cameras were?!) – it would have made for a second, more complicated, heist for Sky to undergo and raised the stakes for her mission. As it is, it is exciting and fast-paced enough for a standalone story, but I would have liked it better if it did not just have one heist that was much simplified due to insider help.
Verdict – good paranormal fantasy, but the second world felt like it lacked development