Book Reviews

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Drake and the Fliers,” by Author, Allison Maruska


Title: Drake and the Fliers

Amazon Author Page: Allison Maruska

Publication Date: November 30, 2015

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: #Post Apocalyptic, #Science Fiction, #Lesbian, #Gay, #Bisexual & #Transgender,



Sixteen-year-old Drake can’t understand why the virus spared him. The only survivors he’s seen vandalized his makeshift dwelling, and despite his sister’s dying wish that he connect with others, he spends his days alone – that is, until he shapeshifts into a dragon.

While exploring his new abilities, Drake nearly flies into Preston, another shifter. Their chances of survival increase if they team up with others like them, but when their search leads to a group in Las Vegas, they find not everyone is welcoming.

As Drake develops new relationships, Preston endures daily confrontation and eventually takes off on his own. Concerned for his friend’s safety, Drake launches a search and stumbles into a situation stranger than anything he could imagine. Now he must embrace his animalism if he wants to save his humanity.

“Maruska does a stellar job of creating believable characters that are flawed and relatable but also admirable in their determination.” – Allison Gammons, author and blogger for Eclectic Alli


I received this book as a gift and enjoyed it so much I had to write a review. I love YA fiction and strong characters because I think these portrayals give hope to our teens in a chaotic world. Fictional heroes have a way of letting kids know they can do anything they set their mind to. Drake is one of those positive heroes.

I’m not normally drawn to post-apocalyptic novels but I was intrigued by Drake’s character from the first few pages. The reader learns that he’s a survivor and that he’s not the only one. Drake must figure out why he survived when others didn’t. That was all I needed to read. I had to find out more!

A virus has decimated the population of the world, affecting the DNA of the survivors. Teenagers find themselves in charge. And, if that isn’t enough to surprise you, the teens also have the ability to shift into human-sized flying creatures.

After a few weeks, Drake takes the form of a dragon. Initially, he doesn’t realize that he can fly but once he does, he takes to the sky perfecting his flight skills. It is noteworthy that he can shift back into his human form on command.

Living in the remains of an office building that he shared with his sister, Drake can’t figure out why he survived the effects of the virus and his sister didn’t. He is consumed with guilt and misses her desperately. Loneliness and depression overwhelm him.

A few days later, Drake meets Preston, who is the spitting image of a mythological Phoenix. He learns that Preston has flown to many cities, where he has been releasing the animals from the zoos around the country who are starving with no humans left to care for them. The animals are untouched by the virus. The adventure begins when Drake and Preston leave Denver and head west.

In search of other survivors, the boys stumble upon a group of teens living in Las Vegas which sets into motion a series of events the kids never planned on. It’s going to take every ounce of their strength to learn how to survive in this new society.

Needless to say, once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a couple of days. There are some unique twists to the plot that I never saw coming which made the story pure magic!

The characters really made this story complete. Many teenage personalities worked out issues that most adults would find difficult in the best of circumstances. The author’s portraits of adolescent love and LGBTQ relationships were a welcome addition; imprinting a touch of authenticity on the teens who were forced to grow up within a new reality. Personally, I felt the novel was appropriated for all ages.

The story is engaging and fast-paced, which brings the reader to a satisfying conclusion reinforcing the belief that in the face of disappointment lies infinite hope.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies


*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Alison Maruska

Author, Allison Maruska

About the Author:

Allison is a YA and mystery/suspense author, blogger, teacher, mom, wife, coffee and wine consumer, and owl enthusiast. Her blog includes humor posts, short stories, and posts on writing strategy, parenting, and teaching.


How to Connect with the Author:



FACEBOOKAllison Maruska, Author

Witchey ReadsThanks for stopping by to meet Allison and hear about this excellent post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller. I loved it! ❤

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.


    1. Balroop, what a nice thing to say! Thank you. LOL! I love to read and I seldom read a book that I don’t love. Reading is such joyful entertainment. You get to connect with fabulous characters, travel into the past, future, and present. That is pure magic! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  1. What an interesting premise, Colleen. I find that in books where the bounds of “reality” are stretched, the relatability and emotional depth of characters are what grounds the reader. It’s wonderful to hear that Allison has achieved that. Congrats to her on the awesome review. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Diana. It’s difficult to portray magic in a present reality in a way that touches the reader. With most “fantasy” you expect magical lands and abilities. Drake and the Fliers, is excellent. If anyone thinks that 14 or 15 year old teens can’t make logical decisions they need to listen to our current news. The kids from the latest school shooting remind me of the strong personalities in this book. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m encouraged by what’s happening on the news, Colleen. Perhaps teenagers will accomplish what adults haven’t had the will or moral fortitude to do. If that’s what these characters are like, that’s a huge plug for the book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, yeah! I drew that conclusion immediately. Maybe that’s why I like to read and write YA fiction. Heroes are made at an early age. I’m thrilled at Millennials are stepping up. They are so mature at 14 and 15 years old now. It’s refreshing to see them take a stand and make logical decisions. I love it! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

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