The Souls of the Fire Dragon begins in a dystopian reality controlled by The Patrician, a totalitaian dictator who controls the population with his security force of Watchmen and a cultist religion. A young man named Akea falls asleep in this world and wakes up in an alley with no memories and a woman hovering over him telling him "The Watchmen are coming!" Following the mysterious stranger, Akea discovers that he is actually a magician in the bizarre world where magic is outlawed. Thrust into a mission to free the populace from The Patrician's rule, Akea befriends other magic users and a female dragon with the unseen figures of Fate and Chance watching - and occasionally stepping in - along the way.
I really enjoyed the set-up of this book and the futuristic world that author John Wrieden created. The details of eye scanners at coffee shops to alert barristas of customers' drink choices and the intimidating know-all Watchmen were a good premise for a science-fiction thriller. I also thought the transition from this dystopia to the creation of multiple realities populated by dragons, magicians, elves, and dwarves was a creative and intriguing story. However, there was something lacking in the construction of this novel, and the plot never quite came together cohesively. The details of the Watchmen as torturers were overly gruesome and the female characters were often stereotyped as helpless victims - with the exception of Argonath the dragon, although her personality is somewhat overshadowed by her relationship with Akea.
Overall, I think this book was interesting and original. The execution could have been better but Wrieden has some great ideas and concepts and definitely shows promise for future works as his writing develops.