How to Soothe a Dragon ~ Holly Day
Holly Day is a new to me author, so I really had no expectations going into this one. Once again, I was lucky to find a lovely 'surprise' book that I found purely by chance and enjoyed every minute of it.
For a novella, this book packs a world-building punch. This is quite a complicated post-apocalyptic world. It is Earth after it has been taken over by aliens who have varying mind control methods, including an actual physical ability to influence a human mind. Further, a subset of these aliens formed their warrior class and reminded me of the berserkers of old. One of these warriors, Ocren, is one of the protagonists of this story. The other is a human with the extraordinary ability to block their mind control methods, even though he has no idea how he does it.
It's a delicate balance between providing enough information to allow the reader to enjoy a story and providing an info dump. Add in the complication of a shortened word/page length, and it takes talent to deliver complicated world-building that informs but doesn't overwhelm. This author was able to do this wonderfully.
As this is a novella, you just have to go with certain aspects of the story. There isn't the page room to really explore certain areas, and you just have to move on. For me, this wasn't a bad experience; the story was so absorbing that I could just keep moving. My only frustration was that I wanted to explore this world and its characters in more depth. A novella simply wasn't long enough; I wanted an entire book, even a series!!
It is low angst with a bit of action, and romantic with a fated mates/almost insta-love feel to it, but it all blends well to form a light and satisfying read. In a short space, Holly Day delivered characters that I instantly connected with and a world I wanted to explore more.
How to Soothe A Dragon is a wonderful tribute to International Button Day (16 November)!