When Elephants Fly by Alex DiPego (The Fabled Elephants; 1)

The Synopsis:

Something has destroyed the city of Bayonne… This time. And the Hooded Monk Shadow wants to find out if the rumors are true. When the world restarts and a new cycle begins, so does his mission. 

When Shadow learns a Bishop may be the root of the problem, he comes back the following cycle. Following the Bishop, Shadow learns there are worse things than a corrupt Bishop– a dragon who isn’t receiving its quittance. Protecting Bayonne just proved much harder and when a twelve-year-old orphan gets in the way, Shadow has to decide. Is Bayonne worth saving? Or does he let the city die and save the orphan? His decision will start the most famous mercenary guild in history The Flying Elephants.

I received this book from the author via Reedsy for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


In a premise similar to the movie On the Edge of Tomorrow, When Elephants Fly is a story about problem solving. Again and again Shadow fails to save the city of Bayonne from the dragon, but he is determined that there is a way to save the city, and everyone in it. He just has to keep reliving the destruction until he finds the solution. But how many times can he die the same death?

The storyline of When Elephants Fly is incredibly interesting. I love the promise of camaraderie leading into this series and the uniqueness of multiple fantasy creatures uniting to defeat a common enemy. Shadow and Elizabeth are both very well done characters as well and I’d look forward to knowing them even better in the future.

However, I feel like there was a lot of story missing. The book is short to say the least, not really a short story, but not a full length novel either. There were a lot of places where details would have pulled me into the story so much more effectively, but those were left out. Also, it’s very fast paced, so the ending felt too easy. The details of the battle scene was excellent, it just ended so quickly that I never needed that moment to catch my breath.

There were also several typos that I came across and some grammar that needed to be edited. Nothing major, it was just enough to interfere with the flow of reading and made me do a few double-takes.

Overall, I would be interested in continuing Shadow and Liz’s story, but I’m not completely in love with it. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

There is some very mild language (“d*mn” and “h*ll” only two or three times each), semi-detailed action and blood, and almost no sexual content (a guard is mentioned “searching” a girl’s body for stolen goods, but is effectively knocked unconscious before anything else happens).

Goodreads | Amazon | barnes & noble (not avail.) | litsy



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