Review: The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin

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Cover for The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa ShearinThe Dragon Conspiracy is a satisfying, action-filled urban fantasy. At New Year’s Eve, Makenna Fraser helped stop Grendels from invading Times Square. Now, near Halloween, she is guarding a collection of priceless—and possibly cursed—diamonds on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from a very possessive, very hostile dragon. When the diamonds are stolen by harpies, she and her colleagues have to figure out where the diamonds are, who had the harpies steal them, and why the dragon brought them to the city in the first place. They also have to puzzle out what kind of catastrophe the diamonds may cause and how to stop it.

Makenna Fraser is a seer for SPI–Supernatural Protection & Investigations. As a seer, she can look through any glamour, magical or electronic, to see the real being hiding behind. As an employee of SPI, she helps police the supernatural world, protecting humans from “mythical” beings and the beings from humans and each other as needed. Her part of the job is supposed to be non-violent, but the extremely short lifespans of the previous two seers mean that she needs to learn how to fight–fast.

Lisa Shearin has come up with one of the best secret agencies in urban fantasy. SPI exists because the inhuman creatures would just as soon be allowed to go about their lives in this dimension in peace—and because a very powerful dragon decided that New York was her territory and she was going to make sure that everyone cooperated. Or else. This is no vague conspiracy: Makenna’s boss has the money, the knowledge, and the motivation to keep a super-secret agency hidden and funded.

Shearin keeps the plot moving and the pages turning rapidly. The SPI agents are intelligent, determined, and well-trained. So are the people they are fighting, and that is what keeps things interesting. The world of The Dragon Conspiracy is well-developed with a collection of differing cultures and beings mixing and clashing. Clues are revealed as SPI finds them, and there is a race against the clock for good reason. Makenna knows her supernatural beings, but is still learning how to work as an agent, giving readers a chance to learn with her and to watch as she makes mistakes.

The Dragon Conspiracy is the second book in the SPI files, but stands well on its own. There is an over-arching mystery beginning to emerge, but each book also has its own puzzles to solve and battles to fight.

The Dragon Conspiracy is recommended for those who like quick, action-packed urban-fantasy.

Potential read-alongs:
The Grendel Affair SPI Files #1

The InCryptid books by Seanan Mcguire are all available on Amazon–and probably in your local library (We have mentioned the awesome nature of libraries once or twice). They have all the action plus a sharp sense of humor.

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish (This adds archaeology to the mix, plus some real thought about the different cultures involved. Read FangirlNation’s review here).

The Accidental Alchemist (This one is the quietest of the lot, almost verging on a supernatural cozy; FangirlNation’s review is here).

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