Jul 27 2015 8:30am

First Look: Katie MacAlister’s Dragon Fall (July 28, 2015)

Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

Katie MacAlister
Dragon Fall (Dragon Fall #1)
Forever / July 28, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

Katie MacAlister is one of those authors that has many published works that I’ve never really thought about reading. Dragons, however, are always a good spot for me—in romance especially, thanks to Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound. MacAlister also has a reputation for being humorous, which appeals to me as a reader that tends to go for high angst. I decided to go into her latest book with open arms in the hopes of finding that enjoyable mix of laughing and dragons—and maybe some awesome romance added in, too.

Aoife Dakar never expected to get wrapped up in the supernatural world. Truth be told, all she wanted to do was attend a gothic fair with her most recent date—a dark and handsome dude that seemed to take the fair’s paranormal leanings a little too seriously. It goes well, until Aoife gets handed a “magical” ring by her date, to then have him promptly destroyed in a puff of smoke. She tells the authorities that he’s dead just in time for him to reappear in front of her.

They call her mentally unstable and send to her a hospital. Aoife knows what she saw, but according to her doctors and her siblings, she needs mental help. Two years pass until Aoife is released and believes that her therapists were right: she saw something that never really happened. Everything goes on as normal when Aoife returns to the fair to quell her past demons. Nothing happens.

That is, until she runs over a large black dog on her ride home. She takes it to a vet and gets told to keep it because it’s probably a stray. When she gets home, the dog senses something at the stream below her home. The thing he senses is the unconscious body of a man.

Aoife’s luck may be shit, but the man manages to survive when she takes him to a local doctor. The man seems to have little memory of why he was unconscious, but he does spout of a copious amount of strange things. One thing he can’t shake is the existence of dragons. Aoife wants to believe that he’s delusional, but his instance and the way it seems to coincide with the events from two years before make her think otherwise. It also doesn’t help that he’s extremely attractive. With all of that ahead of her, what’s a girl like Aoife to do?

Katie MacAlister’s works are ridiculous. They’re not books you read with a straight face, or with the hope of something serious happening. Her writing is tongue-in-cheek, her heroines talk like rapidfire, and they have a tendency to avoid dropping f-bombs by saying every “clean” phrase in existence. On top of that, her heroes are very alpha and combative when it comes to their attraction with the heroine.

This can actually be really fun. What I found with Dragon Fall is that I enjoyed reading it because it’s mildly aware of the romance genre and uses that as a basis for its humor. Aoife may be clueless, but she’s also passionate and insistent about her place in the world. MacAlister’s heroines walk the line between being ignorant and being aware, and it’s a combination that worked better in this case than in some of MacAlister’s other works. It’s something that I don’t think will appeal to everyone, because the humor doesn’t always hit its mark, but in the right mood it can be a pleasant diversion from more serious romance.

“Maybe I should try painting again. Or writing. Oh, poetry! Poets are always tortured and angsty, and after what I went through, I bet the dark, tormented poems would just ooze out of – Son of a fruit bat!”

The car fishtailed wildly when I slammed on the brakes, the horrible thumping sound of a large object being struck by the bumper echoing in my brain, but not even coming close to touching the sheer, utter horror I felt at the thought of hitting something. Ever since I had been a child and my father had hit a deer in a remote section of northern Sweden, I feared running down a living thing. And here I was, happily yacking away to myself and not paying attention to the road…

With a sick heart and even sicker stomach, I got out of the car, peering through the darkness at the road behind me…

“Please let it be something old and ready to die…please let it be something old and ready to die,” I repeated as I stumbled forward a few steps.

I also appreciated how MacAlister touched on the ridiculous when it came to the romance. Her romances are pretty speedy ones, so the attraction and lustiness relies a lot on the characters being silly with each other as the attraction progresses. I liked watching Aoife and Kostya finding each other attractive in odd moments, and having their romance pushed ahead by a talking dog demon. It was funny and over the top, and it will appeal to readers that enjoy romances with characters that have no intention of falling for each other. Kostya may be a bit too alpha for some, but he’s hot as hell and certainly makes his attraction to Aoife worth the rather complicated circumstances of their meeting.

“That is so...I mean, they have a word for sex that way, assuming you are talking about doing it while looking like a tiny T. rex, and while I’m saying that…ew.”

“Dragons do not look like tiny T. rexes. We have excellent forms that none can duplicate.” He lifted a hand in a vague gesture. “You would not say ew if you knew the pleasures to be found in a dragon form.”

Dragon Fall is a funny, fast-paced start to a new dragon series for MacAlister. Readers that have enjoyed her style in the past will be pleased with Dragon Fall and the nods to the romance genre in the inflated tropes, and references to things like Georgette Heyer’s work.  Her style of comedy isn’t for everyone, but for someone looking for a mix of satire and ridiculousness it’s right on the nose. Especially if they like goth fairs, demonic dog companions, and sexy dragons who are consensual but definitely alpha males. 


Learn more about or order a copy of Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister, available on July 28, 2015: 

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound



John is a student, reviewer, and editor with a taste for social justice.  He's queer/LGBTQ and has always loved a good romance novel.  A current student at Ithaca College, he is majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications and trying to pick up a creative writing minor on the side. If you observe him in the wild, you may see him reading—or find him watching reruns of The Golden Girls while sipping his first/second/third cup of coffee for the day.  You can find his reviews on his blog, Dreaming in Books, and listen to his random musings on Twitter @DreamingReviews



Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Post a comment