Review: Devil Dragon by Deborah Sheldon
Dr. Erin Harris may be a scientist, but she has an unscientific obsession: to find a living Varanus priscus. Cryptozoologists call it the Devil dragon. This giant Australian reptile went extinct some 12,000 years ago but like Bigfoot or Nessie, there are occasional sightings. Spurred by a credible witness, Erin cobbles together an expedition party consisting of herself, the witness, and his deer-hunting neighbours. They travel into the unexplored heart of a remote national park. Erin, believing the Devil dragon to be a larger version of the Komodo, is confident she can outwit a specimen. However, the terrifying monster that lumbers out of the bush is a savage and unpredictable predator the size of a campervan. To escape, Erin must transform herself from genteel university lecturer to hard-core survivalist.
I have to admit there were several times I rolled my eyes, talked back to the book and even wondered why I kept reading. But that is exactly what happened. I wanted to see Dr Erin Harris get what was coming to her. Lets face it, she got a group of people in over their heads. A situation that she very soon learns does not apply to her book knowledge yet...somehow she seems to keep winning the survival lottery.
I did not have to get very far into the story before I started rooting for the Devil Dragon and it's battle to keep the outsiders off it's land. It takes one of the most brutal beatings ever and still manages to fight back like a warrior. I felt that the Dr's character was wobbly at best. She seemed to have all the facts, people trusted her and followed her into this bush land, yet it seems like every single fact that she knew, turned against her, yet they all continued to listen and follow.
As for the "deer-hunting" neighbors you think that their experience will help them, but all we see is a lot of unnecessary deaths of several animals, unlawful people who feel like what they do is to support their family, but highly questionable at times. Even their hunting knowledge is no help against this incredibly tough skinned predator.
From the first page we see Dr. Erin Harris digging herself deeper and deeper into situation that the reader will feel there is absolutely no way out of. Yet hope always seems to find a way.
This is a story that was like a car wreck, where you just can't stop watching to see what is happening. Entertaining in the way that a Syfy original movie is. It's dark, gross and bloody, great for a short wild romp in the woods.. from your home. I would not recommend to read this while camping.