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Dragons Wild (Dragons #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  966 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
First in a brand new series from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Myth and Phule novels.

A low-stakes con artist and killer poker player, Griffen "Grifter" McCandles graduated college fully expecting his wealthy family to have a job waiting for him. Instead, his mysterious uncle reveals a strange family secret: Griffen and his sister, Valerie, are actually dr
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ebook, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Penguin Group (USA)
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(showing 1-30)
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Janine Southard
I was optimistic about this book going in because:
1) I remember liking Asprin's other works as a kid.
2) The cover has a poker playing dragon.

Sadly, this book was utterly lame. The plot was somewhere between contrived and cliched. You couldn't identify with any of the characters. And it was all exposition all the time. Like, people would explain things for paragraph upon paragraph, and our hapless protagonist would simply echo their last few words, in order to keep them going. Torture!

Aside from
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Chris
Jan 05, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Better plotted than most of Asprin's stuff, probably because it isn't all a joke (on the readers, too?), but it's still simplistic & a bit juvenile. Worst problem: the paternalistic attitude towards Valerie (and females in general) grates -- part of the general immaturity.

The book feels like an ode to New Orleans, almost in the same way as Spider Robinson's books are an ongoing paean to Callahan's Place -- the people there are cleverer, more spiritual, more perceptive, and more humane than e
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Terran
Nov 14, 2008 Terran rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terran by: Droids & Dragons book club in ABQ, NM
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
Actual rating: 1.5. Only exceeded 1 because I didn't DNF. Barely.

I wanted to love this book. I really did. It's got a great concept and setting, and the IDEAS inside it were so promising.

Sadly, all of that was let down - badly - by the execution.

The whole bloody book is an infodump. It switches between being a horrendous, massive infodump of expository background (hey, let's get all the exposition and backstory out of the way in a brief recap ten pages in!) or it's an infodump on the workings o
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Dian
Apr 30, 2011 Dian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to read this book not only did a friend recommend it but it sounded really good. And I'm sure there are tons of people who will love this book I'm just not one of them. The action was to spread out, the few confrontations were anticlimatic, and the characters show very little growth except towards the end. Not to mention the author really didn't go into everything that he could have, like exploring the trials of Griffin growing his powers. It was talked about some but only a ...more
Elisa
Nov 12, 2015 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this series start. I think because I was on a plane ride and it was a fun, easy, at times silly paranormal read. Plus most of it takes place in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Yes! Love that, it feels like I just visited.
Our heroes find out they are dragons. They have to deal with that. Powerful ones, so there are all sorts of folks who want to either recruit, kill, test, join or marry them while they are naive. So it is a bit of a coming of age for these two siblings. Becau
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Jacqueline
I enjoyed this book. It was not a farce like I am used to from this author. It was an interesting story about a young man who finds out he is a dragon when he graduates college. He is apparently a powerful near pure blood and so everyone wants a piece of him. This book was slow moving and a bit meandering but was somehow riveting all the same. I just had to keep reading to see how he was going to grow into his powers. It was well written as you'd expect from this accomplished author. Lots of int ...more
Anna
I read this book immediately after "gods behaving badly" by Marie Phillips. Both books had a new take on old concepts (dragon mythology and Greek gods), but only "Dragon Wilds" succeeded in selling the concept.

While there are strong resemblances to Asprin's "Myth Adventures" series, the protagonist, Griffen McCandles, and his sister Valerie are definitely unique and engaging to read from start to finish. I also loved the backdrop of New Orleans; the city was a palpable character in the book and
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Gabriele Russo
While perhaps not the most intriguing story of all times, it's an enjoyable and easy read. The climax comes a bit as a surprise - too much so, it doesn't quite fit with the story and feels like an afterthought.
Marilyn Fontane
Mar 16, 2011 Marilyn Fontane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asprin
A wonderful book. Reminds me of the early Aaze and Skeeve. I love the setting. Maybe better to have dragons and vampires, etc. in New Orleans that pervects and clauds on other planets. I wish he had written many of them before his death
Claire
May 18, 2016 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Griffen's main ambition is to live an easy life, with easy money and easy gambling. Then, he gets told that he and his sister are "Dragons", and that the old dragons are taking an interest in them for good or bad, mostly for bad. An old friend shows up and gives him a possible out from the political machinations: becoming the head dragon of an illegal gambling operation in New Orleans.

The majority of the book is simply Griffen growing into his new life in New Orleans and coming to terms with wh
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Jessica
Jan 02, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First published on Jessica's Rainbow Inspiration

Sad to say, Dragons Wild is not a good urban fantasy. It has weak tension, character development and worldbuilding.

This urban fantasy novel is about Griffen coming into his own as a person after graduating from university and as a dragon who just discovered his heritage. Being of near-pure Dragon blood, Griffen and Valerie, Griffen's sister, face mortal danger - they might be killed by dragons who think they are a threat or they might be recrui
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Bronzdragon
Let's start with the fact that I liked this book, but it had a few issues. Well start with the proverbial elephant (or 'dragon' if you will) in the room.

There is no poker, and there are no dragons.

Now, this book markets itself as containing dragons playing poker. You only need to look at the cover to see that, but games of poker are fairly rare in the book. We are told that the main character is very good at it, but it's never shown in the book. It usually ends with "and then the main character
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Nekouken
Jul 07, 2008 Nekouken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
My review is a bit slanted from others I've read, but chiefly because I haven't read the other books by Robert Aspirin that this one is just like.

Off the bat, I enjoyed this book, but having read the Phule series, I know this isn't his best effort.

Scenes and chapters feel rushed and new characters are introduced at such a machine-gun rate that it's easy to forget even the primary cast when they're not in a scene. The rushed nature of the story also weakens the impact of its setting; stories set
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Tim Hicks
Jun 05, 2013 Tim Hicks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Two sequels, huh? Hmm. This one sure suffers from setting-up-a-series-itis.
Halfway through we already know that things aren't going to be satisfactorily resolved in this volume.

As others noted, there's too much dull exposition.

Griffen's development [did he REALLY have to be called that? So no one could guess he might be special?] is reasonably well done. He's slow to accept what's going on with his specialness, but that's partly because it's only developing slowly.

I disagree with other review
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An Odd1
Oct 29, 2011 An Odd1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Asprin starts a new series I will not finish. Much flat exposition setup, no trademark humor. I want an opening that grabs me by the throat, makes me care and be curious about who and where. Here, rich lazy teen fumes, flees, shops, sleeps. Conspiracy of dragons dark, no hints glimmer.
Griff, new Chicago business grad, majored in cards, won sportscar (interest or research topic of author?). His guardian uncle discloses pure-bred dragon abilities burgeon, powerful groups are concerned, females ar
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April Brown
Aug 28, 2013 April Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What ages would I recommend it too? – Eighteen and up. (Too much sex to be legal for teens in the US.)

Length? – Two days to reads.

Characters? – Memorable, several characters.

Setting? – Real World, mostly in New Orleans, around 2000.

Written approximately? – 2008.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Will the next book prove the women as the true strength and rock?

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? Yes. In one place his bedroom ha no windows for safety
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Doris
Dec 05, 2012 Doris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fun, imaginative and an easy read, although it didn't really have what I would consider much of a story line. It tended to treat women as inconsequential, and although the story is supposedly about Griffen McCandles and his sister, you hear very little about Valerie.

There is quite a bit of descriptive narrative about the city and politics, but some phrases needed explaining. For instance, this story was the first place I came across the term "grifter", although I have seen it seve
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Jenz
Jan 16, 2012 Jenz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got a chance to meet Robert Asprin at a convention back in the 80s, and he was awesome. I've very much enjoyed some of his previous works, and I really wanted to like this one, too. I wish I could rate it higher, but there are some major weaknesses in here, particularly the amount of tedious explanations (really, is there ANYONE who doesn't already know about law enforcement profiling?). It gets to the point where, when you see yet another explanation coming (and you will see them coming), you ...more
Nigel
Oct 30, 2010 Nigel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The setup: Griffen McCandles, recent college graduate and slacker, has a job interview with his wealthy uncle who paid his way through college. But instead of a straight-up job offer, he's informed that he and his sister are actually dragons. He doesn't take it seriously, but evidently other people do, and in short order he and his sister, Valerie, flee to New Orleans to try and get a handle on their new lives. Unfortunately, it appears an assassin is out to get him.

Pluses: Appealing characters,
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Pete Guion
Aug 21, 2009 Pete Guion rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
I grew up on Asprin's Myth Adventures series, and even dived into one or two books from his Phule's series. So I think it's a very important point to start with is that this is not the same style. It's not the tongue-in-cheek humor, lots of goofiness, etc., that marked those other series. Its much more serious, but it isn't heavy-dramatic.

That said, I found the style (eventually, as I was sort of expecting the same humor initially) to be very similar to Asprin's other works. Namely a conflict w
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James Oden
Dec 19, 2013 James Oden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love Robert Asprin's books. This one though I'm not as enamored by. Its easy enough to read, but the story line never really pulled me in. It may be no fault of Mr. Asprin's at all...I just didn't really ever dig the main character.

So whats it about? Well first off the setting is modern times. You have your typical college graduate with no clue about what he really wants to do. He knows what he likes too do: party. He knows what he's good at: gambling. Neither of those seem to be good foundati
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David
Dec 02, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Bleh! The world that Asprin starts to build is mildly interesting, but the story is not. I'm new to this whole "fantasy trilogy" deal, so I don't know how much tolerance I should have for a lame climax and trite "I guess we'll see what happens in the sequel" ending, but besides that the protagonist is an insufferable Mary Sue, and it really had a sort of fanfic-y vibe, especially in how people were described (and how Valerie and Griffen call each other as "Big Brother" and "Little Sister". Peopl ...more
Ed Nemo
Feb 23, 2011 Ed Nemo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I got online this morning and checked my e-mail to discover the dreaded news...Robert Asprin had died. Now, I love a bunch of his books, specifically, The Cold Cash War, The Bug Wars, and Phule's Company. As I was taking my car to get new tires put on, I knew I would be doing nothing so I bought a book...this one. And, wow! It was absolutely great! I love the concept of something so fantastical as dragons (which normally I have no love for) being used in a modern way. And best of all, you like t ...more
Susan
Book club for June.

Almost everyone in our book club had essentially the same sad thing to say -- what a poor book for Asprin to go out on. The writing is wooden and the phrasing is bad. Plot threads are created and dropped. The author loses track of the details of his setting (at one point, he makes a big deal of there being no windows in the main character's room, then in another he makes a big deal about the light streaming in through the window).

It reads like someone phoning it in. Someone at
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E.
May 06, 2009 E. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Griffen McCandles has squeaked through college and now is adrift and looking for a cushy job, ideally with the uncle who has supported Griffen and his sister ever since they became orphaned. Surprisingly, the family legacy is even more complex than the siblings have ever realized and they are shocked to discover that they are dragons. The catch is that they have to realize their full potential without adequate coaching before rival dragon factions destroy them. They begin their education with a ...more
Sarah
Apr 06, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
For fans of the MYTH series, the characters will seem a bit familiar. The star of this new series, a young male, seems to blunder along, naive for his situation, yet very wise for his age, always managing to do the right thing, and surrounded by a group of strangers filled with useful skills and wise advice.

His sister - devastatingly sexy, supernaturally strong, and loyal to the male star.

Like I said, a bit familiar. I wish I could say the idea of dragons in human form was unique, but alas, no
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Brackman1066
May 14, 2008 Brackman1066 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Myth book fans
Shelves: fantasy
I heard Asprin read sections from this at Dragon*Con last year, so had been looking for it. It was reasonably entertaining, but somehow the picaresque form of this novel just didn't hold together for me. It didn't seem to have a clear arc, just several separate episodes. It felt a little like it was describing episodes from Season One of a TV series--sudden chapter transitions skipping forward several months are jarring when just about every chapter begins that way. This one just didn't feel lik ...more
Crystal
Jun 01, 2011 Crystal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF

:sigh… author's note in beginning is expressing gratitude about being able to write something that deviates from his usual fare. IOW, he's abandoned the tried and true and is now exploring new horizons, using his readers as guinea pigs. In this case, the author is/was known for humor. I'm not laughing. Or even smiling. Mostly, it's dull. And… the trilogy (there are three books) ends on a cliff hanger. Not a huge deal in most cases BUT…the author died before any of them were published. Hmmm… I
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John Lewis
Sep 21, 2014 John Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Known as a leap from Robert Asprin's original writing style, Dragons Wild is a fantasy novel that will pull fans of dragons, transformation, and gambling in. The novel follows a newly-introduced dragon, known as Gryphon, as he tries to understand this new world of magic, gambling, and bayou traditions with his sister-dragon, Valerie. At parts, the novel could have been smoother, and chapters fall short enough that they could have been combined with another chapter as a scene, but the fantasy wor ...more
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Robert (Lynn) Asprin was born in 1946. While he wrote some stand alone novels such as Cold Cash War, Tambu and The Bug Wars and also the Duncan and Mallory Illustrated stories, Bob is best known for his series fantasy, such as the Myth Adventures of Aahz and Skeeve, the Phule’s Company novels and the Time Scout novels written with Linda Evans. He also edited the groundbreaking Thieves’ World antho ...more
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