Signal Review: Life with a Fire Breathing Girlfriend
Dragons, romance, adventure, humor, and real sweetness: who could ask for more? Bryan Fields' _Life with a Fire Breathing Girlfriend_ is a delicious wish-fulfilment sort of fantasy. Rose the dragon comes to Earth for a short-term liaison with a well-selected human. Well-selected means "fantasy fan" among other things, so David knows a lot of what he's getting into.
So, this book is hilarious in spots, with references to fan pop culture, and puns. Doing a single one of these wrong could ruin a chapter, if not a whole book, but somehow Fields manages to be pitch-perfect every time. When Rose says "They can't take my sky from me", it's not a Firefly quote, it's a perfectly sensible thing for her to say in context. If you don't know the references (and very often I don't) it just sounds like natural conversation.
And there's adventure. A murder — an attack by a vengeful homeowner's association — a genocidal unicorn. The dangers are quite real, and sometimes made worse by the protagonists' choices; and Rose's draconic powers aren't always the right ones to confront them.
Romance. At the beginning, I thought the romance was kind of lazy: Rose finds David with a spell, and does some sort of "invoke perfect mutual love" spell on him, and they never have the sort of relationship trouble that comes from reality. By the end, though, there's a lot more to that relationship than just the magic.
(Warning: this book contains sympathetic descriptions of gay people, science fiction fans, policemen, and assorted other kinds of real people. All the characters were pretty much friends of mine, and probably of yours too.)
Five firebreaths out of five: I relished this book in the top 20% of books I finish. (But I write books with the same set of tags myself, so I'm just a bit biased.)