Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on December 4, 2018
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Romance
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In Sky Hawkins's family, leading your first heist is a major milestone--even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It's a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you're a wyvern--a human capable of turning into a dragon.
Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family's wealth and rank in their community.
With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society--a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.
Get ready for an incredible adventure and determined heroine that is unputdownable from start to finish! Fire and Heist places magical beings such as wizards and were-dragons – or wyverns – in our currently time today. The catch? No one really knows their secrets, not even Sky, whose family used to be on the council for the wyverns. But when her mother suddenly disappears and her family moping around without action, Sky takes the lead in finishing the job her mother started – only to discover secrets about the wyverns that could change everything.
I first picked up one of Durst’s stories in middle school – her debut, Into the Wild. I absolutely ADORED it. It was imaginative, refreshing, and had the perfect blend of friendship and adventure. Fire and Heist transported me to that time in middle school when I first read her work, and all the wonderful elements that she incorporates in her stories. Suffice it to say, while Durst dabbles in genres from MG to adult, her writing is just my kind of style.
Told from the perspective of Sky, readers only know bits and pieces of her family’s almost-exile from the wyvern community. All she knows is that one day, her boyfriend shunned her in public soon after her mother mysteriously disappeared. Durst paints playful traditions for the wyvern society in our world. They have a Reckoning ceremony, a Council that acts as the authority, and the event “first heist” – the first heist that a wyvern will lead that brings them out of childhood and into adulthood. Being a species related to dragons, wyverns LOVE to hoard gold. Of course, that makes them almost celebrity-like with their presence, and it doesn’t help that Sky’s family’s shun-ment gets picked up by the tabloids. But after a series of non-action from her family, Sky takes matters into her own hand and plans a heist to steal the jewel that her mother disappeared trying to steal – right in the heart of her ex-boyfriend’s house.
Good things don’t just happen. Gold doesn’t fall into your lap. Lost mothers don’t randomly reappear. You have to DO something if you want something. And I wanted so much!
Fire and Heist reads for a younger audience, and I love that. It’s super fun and lively and I can totally see both young and older readers enjoying the story. Sky is persistent and ambitious in doing what she wants, but it’s all for the sake of her family. She has three older brothers and a tough father, but they all love each other, even though they’re not the type to show and say affection. She also has a sweet best friends to more relationship with her ex-boyfriend, who gets a good redemption arc from shunning her in the beginning. (The romance bit was very light and cute, which I appreciated.) I really enjoyed reading her persistence in finding justice and trying to save her mother. She’s also quite quick-witted, for all her attitude and arrogance. And there’s also a wonderful friendship that develops between her and Gabriela, a human girl who loves research, but thinks she’s just not good at anything.
The highlight of family and friendship amongst everything happening was the best part of this book. Although Sky is ambitious, she’s also selfless and loyal. And she also learns to become assertive in the midst of planning her first heist! The wyvern community was written super well, and the dynamics between each character also empathetic. Despite being a were-dragon and having unique motives, Sky is a down-to-earth character that readers will have a fun time following.
It’s not arrogant to know who you are.
And I am powerful.
I had a LOT of fun reading Fire and Heist, and I would totally recommend it for fantasy readers who were intrigued by the blurb. Plus points for it having a solid resolution and being a stand-alone! The story is everything as promised, and more. Get ready for an adventure as Durst takes you through laser-beam protected safes to mountains that dragons have jumped on, and a hopeful journey of trust and love, friendship and loyalty.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you Netgalley and Crown Books for Young Readers for the review copy!