Dragon Noir

Dragon Cycles

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
214 Pages
Reviewed on 06/14/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Daniel J Moylan is a proud product of Vermont, a family man, and an old-school geek. Early encounters with speculative fiction opened him to the world of Philosophy which he studied formally at a small Vermont college -- always with an eye on one day writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Professionally, Daniel has worked as a computer programmer and adjunct professor both of which have informed his thinking on the topics of Epistemology, Future Casting, and Technology, which are recurring themes in his work.

He enjoys a healthy dose of hobbies both mainstream and firmly planted in geek culture. Daniel's time is currently divided between, work, family, and writing. His amazing wife, daughter, and two dogs give him the love, motivation, and grounding need to forge forward and follow his dreams.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Dragon Noir is a work of urban fantasy and historical fiction set in the 1920s and penned by author Daniel J Moylan as part of the Dragon Cycles series. In the grisly yet exciting city of New Amsterdam, the twenties are roaring and there is literally magic in the air. Although Victor Quinn is a prominent warlock, he keeps his head down and works as a noir-style detective on the darkest streets of the city. But when a missing person case tips the balance of all he’s been able to keep level so far, Victor finds himself in too deep and changing within his very bones.

This is an exciting and compelling noir read for mystery and magic fans of all ages, bringing the world of noir detective fiction into a new light by fusing it with the modern urban fantasy genre. The atmosphere of NA in the '20s paints a backdrop of suspense, glamour, crime, and mystery for the story to take place, and all of author Daniel J Moylan’s plot elements are well considered and well paced to give the story a true page-turning quality. The character development focuses heavily on our central figure Victor, allowing us a deep insight into the detective mind, but also the emotional journey of magical transformation which he undergoes. Equally thrilling in atmosphere, characterization, and plot, Dragon Noir promises to be a slick and charismatic opening to a truly exciting new series, and I’d highly recommend it to both fantasy fans and noir crime readers. I absolutely loved this book. Great job.

Lit Amri

"My name is Victor Quinn and I am a seventh son—the seventh in seven generations. Born the heir apparent to the regional monarchy of the Americas, I had one goal in life: to save my soul from the ancient contract that had made me a warlock; to do that, I needed to stay free from obligation and keep my magic simple. So, I ignored my princely duties and worked as a detective—focusing on other people’s lives—to avoid living my own. It was a good plan, while it lasted." In Dragon Noir (Dragon Cycles) by Daniel J. Moylan, Victor has no idea that a missing person case will lead to a more complicated matter that he has to deal with—a life-changing matter.

Combining noir and fantasy, Daniel J. Moylan's Dragon Noir (Dragon Cycles) gives readers an old pulp-style detective story including magic and sorcery where these elements intertwine seamlessly. The concept and story premise piqued my interest right away. The writing has a classic flair that evokes the noir-esque ambiance of dark alleys and curious sounds from the shadows while vibrantly depicting the use of magic by the characters. Divided into three parts, the story gradually reads more like a fantasy as it develops. I would have preferred for some events to unfold faster, but the overall pacing is good and the plot is admirably imaginative. Victor is easy to root for despite some of his emotional flaws. Several characters’ demises happened slightly too early for me but they fulfill their role wonderfully to move the story forward. All in all, it’s a solid read with lots of action that fantasy fans will enjoy.

Grant Leishman

Written somewhat in the vernacular of old mobster-style novels from the ’40s, Dragon Noir (Dragon Cycles) by Daniel J Moylan is a new and interesting take on the existence of magic and witches in our society. Victor Quinn is the seventh son of the seventh son of the Magician’s King of the Americas. As such and as a warlock, he is in line for the throne, eventually. What he doesn’t realize is that his opportunity to shine as ruler will come much sooner than he anticipates. He has, to some extent, shunned the wealth and power of the family royal name and until such time as he inherits his title, he is happy to work as a private detective using his abilities to perform the role. Despite expectations from the family to provide a future lineage, Victor has to date stayed very much unattached. That is until his mother sends a woman to him that seeks his help but also opens his heart to love and need. Victor is about to discover there is much more to being a warlock than he, or even his father or his beloved Paps, knew and understood. He is about to embark on his own journey of self-discovery.

Dragon Noir (Dragon Cycles) is certainly not your usual run-of-the-mill fantasy adventure about magic. I liked that it was set in a real-world environment where keeping the magic secret from the rest of the dullards on earth was a prime objective. Author Daniel J Moylan has created a group of characters who are caricatures of mobsters from '40s crime novels and has done it successfully. The plot was novel, the writing imaginative, inventive and refreshingly new, for this reader, anyway. I also liked the fact that the author kept the possibility of future stories of this vein alive with a clear path to a possible sequel. The writer’s ability to entrap the reader's senses with his prose was evident in the descriptive nature of some of the gorier fight scenes inherent in the story. It was possible to almost smell the rot, the decay and the sense of fear described so eloquently by Moylan. If you like real-life fantasy adventure, then this book should absolutely satisfy your needs. I was particularly taken by the idea that the warlock was not the final state of being and, without giving away the plot, I look forward to more exploration of that theme in future stories.