Ahoy there me mateys! This book was so not for me. The humor was juvenile and too filled with poop, vomit, and stupid. The characters felt like caricatures of Bayou life and none of them were redeemable. The plot was dumb and uninteresting but I kept reading because I wanted the dragon to be cool. Sadly, at 46% the dragon pissed on the arm of the main character and that was enough.
HOWEVER, the book included a bizarre spelling of the French word for mosquito which led me down an awesome rabbit hole about language. I have a love of words and much like the foray into mispronounced words I recently took, this journey involved hours of reading about etymology of the French language. Turns out the spelling of mosquito in the book came from Missouri French also known as Paw Paw French. This language is not to be confused with Louisiana French, Canadian French, or Traditional French. It is also NOT French Creole. I didn’t even know that Missouri or Louisiana French was an official thing.
Now my French language usage has declined a ton since me schooling days. Today I can order food and ask directions. But I still have enough basics to love the differences between French variants. These are me favourites.
|English||Standard French||Canadian French||Louisiana French||Missouri French|
|mosquito||moustique (m.)||maringouin (m.)||moustique (m.)||maringouin (m.)|
|picaouin (m.)||maringouin (m.)||moustique (m.)|
|moustique (m.)||cousin (m.)|
|hello, hi, good morning||bonjour||bonjour||bonjour||beaujour|
|voiture (f.)||auto (f.)||char (m.)||char (m.)|
|raccoon||raton laveur (m.)||raton laveur (m.)||chaoui /
|bean||haricot (m.)||bine (m.)||bine (m.)||fève (f.)|
|hummingbird||colibri (m.)||colibri (m.)||suce-fleur (m.)||zouéseau à mouches (m.)|
|oiseau-mouche (m.)||colibri (m.)|
After reading about the loveliness that is Paw Paw French, the First Mate and I looked into the Oïl languages of which one is Walloon. Walloon is spoken in Wallonia in Belgium and its formation began in 980. It is not quite a dead language yet but is cool. Example: French – Salut! = Walloon – A. Then there was an adventure into the differences between creole and pidgin. But I will stop here. Though dorks like me can click all the links above to fall down that same rabbit hole if it suits ye.
So while I am trying to get the actual book out of me noggin, I am grateful to it just the same. Arrr!
Side note: If ye really want to be a dork with me then get me started on the OED.
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series comes a hilarious and high-octane adult novel about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana—and the raucous adventures that ensue when he crosses paths with a fifteen-year-old troublemaker on the run from a crooked sheriff.
In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?
A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.
Regence Hooke is not just a dirty cop, he’s a despicable human being—who happens to want Squib’s momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by…a dragon?
The swamp can make strange bedfellows, and rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar)—fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.—in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There’s about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct—or Vern’s glory days are back.
A triumphant return to the genre-bending fantasy that Eoin Colfer is so well known for, Highfire is an effortlessly clever and relentlessly funny tour-de-force of comedy and action.
To visit the author’s website go to:
To buy the book go to:
To add to Goodreads go to: