Harry Potter meets the 87th Precinct? Well, not quite. DeCandido's mix of fantasy and police procedural may be set in a world where magic thrives, but it's definitely not a children's book. Humans, trolls, elves, wizards, and various hybrid combinations … see full wiki
Keith R.A. DeCandido never met an entertainment franchise that he didn't like. I've heard it rumored that he's pitched a series of novels focusing on that former fat-guy Jerod from all of those "Subway" commercials ... and that may end up being more entertaining fare than his fantasy-themed riff on CBS's juggernaut "CSI" franchise with "Dragon Precinct," a largely tepid but thankfully quick read.
Don't get me wrong: DeCandido (and others) has done a scholar's work in sinking the "Star Trek" franchise into the worst level of vanity publishing, but I was looking forward to his creative "stretch" here with an original novel, and, on some levels, it actually succeeds. There's a unique intrigue to the world of fantasy populated by elves, trolls, wizards, and common folk, and, had he stayed firmly grounded in the tongue-in-cheek humor that only occasionally pops up in this tale of exploring the "mystery in a box" theme, he may have hit a homerun. When he hits some farcical moments, the tale spins nicely; unfortunately, those moments are very, very, very few and far between.
Sadly, the procedural isn't that strong, and methinks KRAD could have spent more time reading those instead of the fantasy/science fiction realm he's so often dabbled in. The narrative within the chapters flips wildly from character to character, and, at times, it gets a bit difficult to follow. By the conclusion, I found myself caring less and less about the lead characters and more and more about simply seeing it all finished.
Hopefully, there will be no follow-up, though a few ends are dangled. Methinks he'd best stick to "Star Trek" where, at least, he's guaranteed an audience.