Killing Dragons (Order of the Dolphin Book 1) by Kristie Clark
A Technothriller Novel published by Delphi Imprint, LLC (05/30/21)
First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC
‘”There’s something out there, Mel, and I don’t think it cares what we call it.”‘ (Location 3088 of 5743, Kindle Edition).
Eva Paz has to show progress on her dolphin communication research before she loses her grant. Surrounded by the ocean on a tropical island, something else is lurking in the water. Legends talk about a sea dragon but Eva Paz believes in science. When this mysterious creature attacks one of her lead dolphins, Eva’s research will have to be set aside until they can figure out what’s going on and stop people and the sea life from getting hurt. Amidst the chaos in the ocean, Eva’s also dealing with the reappearance of an old flame, the creepy ex-drug lord, and the rich owner of the local large-scale operation fish farm who won’t take no for an answer.
Dolphins, Communication, Teaching, Parents, Friendship, Family, Marine Life, Swimming, Submarine, Boat, Yacht, Dolphin Communication, Marine Biology, Island, Genetics, eco-fiction
Though Killing Dragons starts off slow, the interesting research on dolphin communication hooked me immediately. The topic felt well researched, though I know almost nothing about dolphins and dolphin communication. Eva may have described her research in technical terms but the author is able to explain what’s going on through visual details in a way that anyone could understand and enjoy. The chapters from the POV of the dolphin Taffy only add to the fascination of the technology and Eva’s research. I really enjoyed Clark’s imaginative and rich landscape of Roatan and the surrounding water life. Reading about the diving experience will make you want to try it for yourself, especially where there aren’t any sea monsters involved!
When the plot picks up speed, I had a hard time putting the book down. There were quite a few layers to the core conflict as well as some juicy subplots and hints that will be answered in book two of the series.
Each of the characters has their own rich backstory, even the dolphins have distinct personalities. The one character who isn’t in the story as much is Julian and I can’t wait to get more of his story and see more of his personality.
I didn’t care for the flashbacks that Thomas experiences. Though there is a tie-in for the flashbacks between Thomas, Eva, and another character, I didn’t feel like the payoff was worth it and this subplot thread could have been edited out.
The ending was nicely paced and quite satisfying, while still leaving some small subplot loose ends open for the second book in this series to answer.
All the interactions between Eva and Ignacio and Eva and the guy she dates had me on edge. The way that these entitled men treated her made me grind my teeth and I couldn’t wait for her to speak up. Eva is anything but a doormat and keeps getting put in the middle of sticky situations. She has to keep on her toes and carefully work herself out of these oftentimes dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. Eva is not a passive character, though sometimes her charge-ahead attitude puts her into even more dangerous situations!
If you are a fan of the Jurassic Park books by Michael Crichton and enjoy eco-fiction and/or thrillers, you will get a kick out of this novel about dolphins, fish farms, and a dangerous sea dragon.
This novel was published by Delphi Imprint, LLC on 05/30/2021 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50
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