The Bones of Makaidos

Our rating: *****

As war looms in Second Eden, Billy and Elam try to prepare their small army for battle. They desperately need the help of Makaidos, king of the dragons. Before they can call him, two sinister figures arrive to interfere with Elam’s plans, but are they really as bad as they seem?

Meanwhile, Bonnie, Sapphira, Billy’s mother, and Gabriel attempt to open a portal to Second Eden. When enemies attack, causing them to separate, things get even more complicated as Bonnie and Sapphira end up in a strange new dimension. Add to that mix a few unfulfilled prophecies that have been floating around since Raising Dragons, and the stage is set for the final chapter of Oracles of Fire.

It is always difficult to write a review of the final book in a series that you have thoroughly enjoyed. You know it’s the end, and that makes you sad, but you also know that everything will finally be put right. Bryan Davis effectively ties up all the loose ends remaining from both Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire, while still (delightfully) leaving a couple small things hanging. Nothing has disappeared from his usual style which convicts as often as it captivates. Themes of unending love and selfless sacrifice abound, often bringing tears to the eyes of the reader. Although I was sad to see the story end, the final chapter left me grinning from ear to ear.

Last of the Nephilim

Our rating: *****

If a sin is committed in Second Eden, a way will open for evil to get in. Oracle of Fire Acacia, son of Shem Elam, and former underworld slave Paili all arrive in Second Eden to stop such a crisis. Meanwhile, Ashley, Walter, and dragon Thigocia have all come to Second Eden as well. All of them realize how crucial the success of their mission is to the survival of the universe. But will they recognize the threat before it is too late?

At the same time, Billy Bannister tries to find out why his friend Bonnie and her mother have both taken off for fear of dragon slayers. It will take a trans-dimensional journey and many old friends to unravel the mystery that ultimately will bring them back to an ancient enemy.

I’m always left with a sense of just having gotten off a roller coaster when I finish these books. All of the characters have something to learn, something to accomplish, and are all important to the story. This may be overwhelmingly complicated, but that’s what makes this so good. It’s a depth of story that I don’t usually see in fantasy. Although Last of the Nephilim is a little bit slower than Bryan Davis’ other books that I have read, it is still well worth reading. I’m looking forward to the hair-raising conclusion that must be coming in Bones of Makaidos.

Enoch’s Ghost

Our rating: ****½

Back in present day, Enoch’s Ghost continues from where the Dragons in Our Midst series left off. Ashley, Walter, Karen, and Thigocia are beginning their search for Gabriel and Makaidos. But it’s not long before a sinister plot is uncovered—Mardon is taking steps to merge Hades, Earth, and Heaven. Even with help from Sapphira Adi, Walter, Ashley, and the others are up against great odds. Multiple storylines grow and build, leading to a powerful climax across three dimensions.

I did enjoy this book, but I must admit that it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Having persevered through the enormous Eye of the Oracle (and consequently feeling like I’d run my brain through a fruit pulper!) I was ready to get back to a present-day setting, with maybe a simpler plot and something I could actually wrap my mind around without strain. “A search for missing family members, with adventures along the way,” I told myself, settling in to read. Well, not quite. A lot of the history and technology from Eye of the Oracle ties into Enoch’s Ghost, and the results are far from simple. All told, it’s masterfully put together, and I’ll certainly be reading the final two books. I’m just finding the Oracles of Fire series to be a little too over the top for me to really enjoy as much.

Eye of the Oracle

Our rating: *****

In the days just before Noah’s Flood, Lilith and Naamah plot to join fallen angels in order to rule the world. But first they must get rid of the dragons, who are able to easily destroy the demons and their offspring, the Nephilim.

After the Flood, Morgan (Lilith) and Elaine (Naamah) are banished to the Circles of Seven (readers of Circles of Seven will recognize places), although they can come to the human dimension for short periods of time. Mara, one of Morgan’s slaves working to build an army of giants, is chosen by Elohim to become Sapphira Adi, an oracle of fire. For the next 400+ pages of Eye of the Oracle Sapphira performs mighty deeds with the help of many other people and dragons she meets along the way.

Alright, that was barely any of the story. In other words, this book is deep. Really deep, like a dizzying number of subplots and main plots all going on at once and culminating in an ending that leads very well into the next book, Enoch’s Ghost. And yet Bryan Davis manages to keep everything clear enough for you to understand everything. You should read Dragons in Our Midst before Eye of the Oracle, because the final chapter summarizes all of the events in Dragons in Our Midst, and the entire book gives backstory on many of the main characters from Dragons in Our Midst. I only had one small problem with the book. A few chapters at the end of the second part are repeats of the “history” bits of Dragons in Our Midst. Other than that, though, this one’s definitely a must read for any dragon lover, or anybody who likes a good action-packed story.