The Last Firedog by Ian Boyd and Gary Luck

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The Last Firedog is the second eco-fantasy novel by Ian Boyd and Gary Luck, following the popular release of Melody Finch in 2020.

This time the story follows bullied but resourceful young cricketer, Reynold, who suddenly becomes a Tasmanian devil when a terrifying bushfire breaks out in his parents’ devil refuge. He must make fast decisions and juggle competing priorities to survive and get home safely. These priorities include saving another devil who is vital for the eradication of a terrible face cancer, helping other animals escape the fire, fulfilling the dying wish of a mother quoll, and unravelling the mystery of the mythical firedog, all while navigating new and old relationships.

The story races along with plenty of humour and a cast of great characters - both human and animal. During the adventure we learn interesting information about bushfires, the environment, and a huge variety of Tasmanian wildlife. We also learn about friendships, family, and love, as well as resilience, bravery and doing the right thing even when it's tough.

The pairing of Ian Boyd and Gary Luck brings together the best of their two backgrounds. Boyd is a South Australian author with experience in children’s entertainment, gardening and landscape design. He is passionate about the outdoors and fascinated with the idea of seeing life through the eyes of animals. Luck is a wildlife ecologist with a special interest and focus on conservation and sustainability in Tasmania.

Together these two have crafted a wonderful second novel which is engaging, magical and undeniably Australian/Tasmanian.

Themes: Bushfires, Environment, Bullying, Friendship, Resilience, Tasmania.

Kylie Grant