Book Review – Origin by AJ Sherwood and Jocelynn Drake

Scales ‘n’ Spells #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 435
Characters: Cameron/Alric
POV: 3rd
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Series

Cameron wants to make it clear that he did not go into the festival to find a dragon mate.

Germany is supposed to be an escape. With a new mechanical engineering degree, a new job looming, and a whole life planned out that isn’t his, Germany seems like the best place to find himself.

So how does he end up discovering his lost magic heritage, running from bad guys with a secret agenda, and being adopted by the not-so-extinct Fire Dragon clan?

Cameron blames tall, dark, and sexy Alric, king of the Fire dragons. His fated mate. Because of course he is, and mates are meant to take the blame, right?

It may take a hot second, but as Cameron learns more about the scarred Alric and the life he’s landed in, Cameron realizes that perhaps this is where he’s meant to be, magic and mates and kidnapping and all.

Turns out coming to Germany wasn’t an escape but his awakening.

Not-so-extinct, Shifter dragons, mages, fated mates, secret clans, epic libraries, hurt/comfort, age gap, not that Alric cares, magical heritage, mechanical engineers being BAMF, grumpy dragon kings being protective of their cute mates, really the cuteness is downright criminal, we might need a firehose for these two, or not, sass, so much sass, Ravi and Cameron are no longer allowed to be alone together, for reasons, dragons hoarding, when you live long enough statistics will get you, bats named Cheryl, beheadings, no damsels in distress here, just very unhappy mages, with trigger fingers, anyone have life hacks on how to get rid of kidnappers, Cameron is open to suggestions

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I loved this story from beginning to end. The world building is fabulous and I love the idea of dragons still existing in not quite our world yet in a modern setting and most thinking they’re extinct.

The characters feel very real, and I love the banter. Cameron totally rocks, especially when he comes into his own and kicks arse. I love how he’s so caring, and protective of Alric. I also liked how he needs to get his head around everything, rather than just accepting it, and that includes the very real consequences of mating with a dragon king. Poor Alric, thinking he’s damaged, and convincing himself all the way through that Cameron’s mate must be someone else. Those two seriously needed to grow a clue when even Gunther figures out they were meant for each other. I loved the scene when Alric goes after Cameron, finally transforms, and goes all protective against the bad guys.

The supporting cast are wonderful. I hope Ravi gets his own book. I love his bubbly, overenthusiastic personality and he needs his own HEA. Baldewin needs a book too. There’s way more to him than meets the eye and I’m sure this book only touched the surface. I loved how many strong women were in this world. Lilith is a force to be reckoned with, and I loved Cassie, and her and Cameron’s grandmother. The scene with the bat is brilliant.

I’m a sucker for anything with dragons and I liked the thought that had gone into the magic, and dragon mythos. It made sense, and using magic and science together is very clever. I like how the bonding works between a dragon and a mage too. I also liked that the bad guys are a real threat, and that taking them down is going to take more than one book.

The plot was a great mix of romance, and action, and despite being a long book, I found it a fast read as I kept turning pages needing to know what happened next. I’m very happy this is the start of a new series, and I’m looking forward to more.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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