Book Review: Domesticating Dragons (D is for Dragons)

Amazon Cover

Domesticating Dragons by Dan Koboldt



Noah Parker, a newly minted Ph.D., is thrilled to land a dream job at Reptilian Corp., the hottest tech company in the American Southwest. He’s eager to put his genetic engineering expertise to use designing new lines of Reptilian’s feature product: living, breathing dragons.

Although highly specialized dragons have been used for industrial purposes for years, Reptilian is desperate to crack the general retail market. By creating a dragon that can be the perfect family pet, Reptilian hopes to put a dragon into every home.

While Noah’s research may help Reptilian create truly domesticated dragons, Noah has a secret goal. With his access to the company’s equipment and resources, Noah plans to slip changes into the dragons’ genetic code, bending the company’s products to another purpose entirely . . .



Domesticating Dragons is a techno-medical pseudo-science near-future science fiction. A nice mix of romance, action, mild humor, and techno-babble gives a good-feel sci-fi read.

The main downside is while the main character can interact with female co-workers just fine and mentally puts them into the “no mix” category … every other female is fair game to find attractive and to hit on. Eventually one of the “hits” sticks – and that one is constantly either being looked at as amazing for her go-get-’em attitude or is described as dirty and sweaty (for her go-get-’em actions), but still beautiful. Mind and emotional states aren’t brought up much. (But there are women, … I don’t think any talk to each other …, and a lot of them are doing things with their brains. So the book has THAT going for it.) This attitude of hitting on everything when you meet them for the first time reminds me a lot of where people are in their twenties; they are finding their lifemates so the questions for the appropriate gender of attraction in order are (1) can I pursue them, (2) do they respond positively to feelers, (3) do they say yes to a date, (4) do I find them attractive and can I hang out with them in a variety of circumstances. All these actions are appropriate to the age of the character. Just at my age, the mating dance is a bit tiresome.

I really enjoyed the dragons – the creating of dragons. Big dragons and little ones, flying ones and attack ones, hot pink birthday custom orders and 3-d printing mistakes. Claws, teeth, wings, and scales all are considered in the build-a-dragon. Most importantly, can they be programmed as domesticated?

The ending comes a little quick, the pacing in some places is off for the build to a big crescendo and my editing brain was trying to figure what places need adjustment to fix the problem. My reader brain kept saying while I was reading “shut UP – this is really good as is, enjoy it!!!”

If you want some good sci-fi on plain-old-Earth, with DRAGONS and three-D printing, this is the ride you are looking for. Enjoy it!!


Full Disclosure: I received this book at a Baen’s Road Show at a convention. I love Road Show panels, especially Baen’s. These panels show what my favorite sci-fi/fantasy publisher has just released or is releasing this year. Always with the covers – Baen has AWESOME covers. Seeing the cover art without all the text is artistically satisfying.

6 thoughts to “Book Review: Domesticating Dragons (D is for Dragons)”

  1. The late Rod Serling admitted he had trouble writing diverse female characters. All of his female characters were either housewives modeled after his mother or smart, determined modern women modeled after his wife. Despite his self-admitted shortcomings in creating female characters, I always appreciated his not treating women as sex objects. All too many writers do.
    I thought it would be kind of cool to do something like A to Z book reviews for the next A to Z challenge, but then I thought, no, it would be a nightmare. Best I stick to dumb drabbles.
    Thanks for visiting me at the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp!

    1. I’m just doing a mixed bag, not any one thing. I liked George R.R. Martin response to someone asking “I noticed you write women really well and really different. Where does that come from?” … his reply, “You know I’ve always considered women to be people.”

      Thanks for visiting me back.

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