Review: Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby

With ex-firefighter Cole Brannigan in command of the Smoke Eaters, the dragon menace is under control. Thanks to non-lethal Canadian tech, the beasts are just tranquilized and locked up. But for Tamerica Williams, a job filled with action and danger has become routine. She’s so bored she nearly gets her whole team killed, and Brannigan has to step in. When a new threat emerges, the legendary bird of fire – the Phoenix – spreading fire like a plague and whipping dragons into a frenzy, it’s a perfect task for Williams, but killing the Phoenix just brings it back stronger. Is that too much excitement, even for Williams?

The second book in the series following on from Gigsby’s debut Smoke Eaters see’s us return to our Dragon killing firefighters. Only this time they aren’t killing, they’re capturing instead.

In a brilliant narrative decision this time we are following Tamerica rather than Brannigan. This gives us a fresh perspective on the role and world the Smoke Eaters inhabit.

Frustrated with the change in remit the Smoke Eaters are working under Tamerica is desperate for some action. She certainly gets it. A new threat has literally risen from the ashes – a huge flaming Phoenix is causing chaos and it’s so hot even the Smoke Eaters are having trouble getting near it.

Still present is the gritty realism of firefighting, the women feel more rounded as characters than the first time and the action sequences are fast paced and gripping.

An excellent second outing (I was thrilled to see Brannigan’s robo-dog again too). Action packed with heart as well, this is an enjoyable read. If you’ve not discovered this series yet I recommend it.

With thanks to Angry Robot and Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ash Kickers is available 09 July 2019