A fantasy heist long on worldbuilding and short on theft.
Following her mother’s midheist disappearance, Sky Hawkins wants to determine what happened and repair her grieving family and their fall in wyvern society. Wyverns, this Earth’s famous-for-being-famous people, are formerly shape-shifting dragons exiled from Home. They look like and live among humans but have their own customs and rules; hoard size conveys status, and teens come of age with a first heist. Sky assembles her crew—loyal boyfriend, Ryan, whose vault Sky’s mother was robbing; book-smart human Gabriela Marquez, who mostly exists to drive Sky around and feel worthless compared to the adventurous wyverns; and brown-skinned wyvern wizard Maximus, who has his own plans—and schemes to follow her mother’s trail while Sky’s three protective older brothers and her father keep secrets. The heist is absurdly simple (they have an inside guy) and quickly gives way to many revelations and a journey Home, followed by a return and the requisite upending of society. Sky’s incredible wealth and privilege are acknowledged in her wry narration, but the poor-little-rich-girl refrain and self-consumed approach make her hard to like. Secondary characters largely lack depth. On the other hand, hints of the larger world—like wyvern-run California—intrigue. The Hawkins family is assumed white.
A quick read not without pleasures, but the premise is the best part. (Fantasy. 12-16)