Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday #Review - The Dragon's Playlist by Laura Bickle (Urban Fantasy)

Series: Standalone
Format: Kindle, 219 pages
Release Date: June 01, 2017
Publisher: Pronoun
Source: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy > Dragons

From the author of THE HALLOWED ONES and NINE OF STARS comes a new novel blending the magical and the real…
“This is war,” the dragon said. And she believed him.
Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.
If the mining company’s operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family’s best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di’s shrinking world.
In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind. 

Author Laura Bickle, best known for her Hallowed Ones, and Dark Alchemy series, returns with The Dragon's Playlist. The story is a contemporary themed novel with a rather unusual dragon who just wants to be left alone. Diamond (Di) Hoffman was away at college when her father was caught in a mine disaster. Her father, like a majority of those in her home town in West Virginia, relies heavily on the coal industry for steady jobs. 

While her father is recovering from his injuries, Di finds that she may have to stay around her hometown a bit longer than she thought. This means putting her own career as a violin soloist on the back burner. Music is very much a part of Di's life. She learned it from her grandfather and she had high hopes that her musical career would take her places she's never been or seen before. There is a release whenever Di plays her music. A release that she can't get anywhere else.

Di's music calls a Dragon named Afakos who is fascinated by her music. Afakos has made his home in the mountain and just wants to be left alone with his treasure trove of shiny things. Di starts her own investigation after taking a job with the company that her father worked for. This also means reconnecting with Jason Carroll, her ex-boyfriend whom she walked away from. The same Jason who rushed & saved her father's life.

There was something unusual about the accident. Something strange happened. Even though her father doesn't remember everything that happened, he does remember that much. It is at this point where Di finds herself conflicted. Does she save the Dragon she just met, or does she save the workers like Jason who have followed in their families footsteps in working for the mine because there was nothing else available?

Bickle does a good job in a rather short story of weighing both sides of the argument for and against coal. After Di connects with a political action protester named Will, she starts to question the reason for top leveling of mountains in order to get to the coal easier. Does this affect the drinking water in the area? Will they really reclaim the land once they are done with it, or will they move on to the next mountain, and the next one after that? Where will Afakos go if his home is destroyed? 

The Dragon's Playlist will have readers debating on the issue of coal mines, and whether or not we really need them. I won't publicly state my opinion for fear that I will once again be attacked that by those who love to scream and shout instead of having calm and peaceful discussions. There is room to move closer on both sides of the issues. It probably won't happen in my lifetime.

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