Ness is on tip-top form here, deftly propelling a complex plot. Sarah seems to be at the nexus of a prophecy about the end of the world, and a young assassin named Malcolm, part of a dangerous cult that worships dragons, sets out on her trail; two FBI agents are close behind. Filmic scenes offer striking images: a car flying through the air in the claws of a dragon, a shoot-out straight from Quentin Tarantino.
If that sounds mad and complicated, it doesn’t read that way; Ness has great control over his plot and writes beautifully. He is particularly good on exploring our desire to destroy our own world and the possibility of hope for the future — but without sounding like a bank commercial. And that’s really something to get fired up about.