How to Drive a Dragon Crazy
by G.A. Aiken
(Zebra, $7.99, R) ISBN 978-1-4201-0890-3
**
I'm still having trouble picturing actual dragons as mates for human men and women, but that seems to be the case in G.A. Aiken's latest dragon novel, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy. Or maybe they're humans with dragon-like features? Four hundred-odd pages, and I am yet clueless.

Regardless of their appearance, as the title suggests, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy is a paranormal romance about dragons and the humans that love/hate them. I completely understand why the dragon in question is crazy - Eibhear the Contemptible, by name - because the characters in this book are absolutely loathsome and grating, including Eibhear himself. In fact, he may be the worst of them.

After being relieved of his military duty to go visit his mother, a dragon queen, Eibhear sets off to collect the human girl of his dreams (whom he ditched a decade before), a girl every bit as crazy as himself, Izzy. Not only is Izzy now a warrior and still in hate of Eibhear, she hears voices and sees the father god of the dragons himself, even though she's not a dragon.

From the sounds of things (there are books before this one in the series), dragons have been at war for a long time, and Aiden likes her battle scenes. Frankly, the battle scenes bore me to tears, but some people will enjoy the action sequences if not that goofy dialogue. Other people - let's say fans of Monty Python - may like the goofy dialogue. For the first few chapters, I thought it was pretty dang funny myself, but then I realized it probably wasn't meant to be a parody. Eibhear is a great oaf as well as a great warrior, one who has been separated from his family for a long time and been running with the most horrible group of guerilla fighters known to dragonhood. Iseaubail seems to be trying to live up to the dragon warriors despite her human frame, and is in no mood to put up with his crap.

There are a great many characters in How to Drive a Dragon Crazy, several of whom will be recognizable, I assume, from previous titles. They often have difficult names, so those of you who don't like a huge cast of characters should probably give it up now. The quasi-Viking warrior take is kind of fun, as long as you like gore; and as mentioned, readers with an interesting sense of humor should be thrilled. I was not. But then, I'm not known for my well-developed humor.

--Sarrah Knight


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