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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Drake and the Fliers is a post-apocalyptic fantasy written by Allison Maruska. Drake was living in the high-rise apartment he had been sharing with his older sister, Kelsey, before she died from the virus that had decimated the adult population of the planet. There were other survivors out there on the streets, but those Drake had encountered were gathered in gangs and best avoided. When his erstwhile home was invaded by one of those gangs, he realized that he had to move on. As he prepared himself, a moment's lapse into sleep was abruptly shattered by a chill as of water and a sense that something sharp was pinching his back. Then he noticed the changes that were taking place in his hands, felt the horns beginning to protrude from the top of his head, and saw the wings that unfurled and barely fitted into the room. Drake was turning into a dragon.
Allison Maruska's post-apocalyptic coming of age story, Drake and the Fliers, is an original and highly entertaining fantasy wherein the survivors of a destructive virus are able to shift into winged animals. Watching as Drake discovers his new form and tests out his wings in a maiden flight is an enthralling and splendid experience. I enjoyed reading about his and Preston's travels across the country and marveled at the winged forms of the people they met. Maruska explores social issues in this engaging fantasy as the two adventurers take up with Scopes, a controlling and dominant young woman, who wields strict control over the teens she's gathered in her midst. Drake discovers love in the form of Talon, and Preston realizes he's not the only gay survivor. Drake and the Fliers is a fantasy that entertains as it makes you think, and that's a very good thing indeed. It's highly recommended.