Patti McCoy Jacob
on March 23, 2014 :
“A Dragon Rises: Mercenary” hits the ground running with the first sentence - literally. From that point on, the author Dale Boyd expertly adjusts the pace accordingly in order to convey the appropriate atmosphere and feel of the story at any given moment. At one point, he makes sure the readers are drawn into the urgency at hand, anxious to read how dramatic events will unfold, their hands covering their mouths in the process. The next moment, he eases them into a sense of compassion for and familiarity with certain characters whose pasts are revealed, little by little.
That is one of the beauties of Dale Boyd’s style – he knows how to run the gamut when it comes to evoking emotions as well as incorporate back-story incrementally throughout the book as opposed to introducing it to the reader in the typical chronological fashion. He will have a character mention almost innocuously an aside that is pertinent about that character's past, but enough detail is given to pique the reader’s curiosity which is later appeased in a way that is both intriguing and provoking of empathy for the protagonists. This is not easy to do. Many times, the author writes about a main character who he simply cannot relate to, and this comes across in the vibe of the story. Or the author may “feel” the character as he writes about him, but to translate that feeling to the reader often falls short. Dale Boyd not only related to his characters, but he has a gift for pulling the reader in so that the reader envisions and connects with each character as much as Dale did while writing about them. A big reason for this is because Dale's dialogue rings true. And this is with each character, good and bad.
Speaking of which, there are several main ones who are true heroes, a few who are on the fence, and one who is downright evil. From the onset, you are begging the author to protect the good guys and inflict upon the bad guy a horribly painful death, although as the story goes on, “horribly painful” feels too merciful for him. That is how much Dale convinces you through his words to abhor this villain. And by the same token, to feel choked up when one of the good guys threatens to fall.
This is the first of five books in Dale R. Boyd’s A Dragon Rises series. I read this first book in one sitting – that is how compelling his story is. I recommend it highly. Very well worth the read.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)