The First Tail revolves around a group of characters called spooks, a race that predates humanity and exists outside the traditional rules of carbon-based existence. They are paranormal beings with nine lives and the ability to manipulate energy and change form. They represent a unifying theory of supernatural occurrences, explaining vampires, werewolves, the Bermuda triangle and the yeti. The powers of the spooks are wide ranging, from energy manipulation to shape shifting and seeing into the future. “The First Tail” revolves around three spooks that share an extraordinary gift: the ability to transform themselves into dragons. While many spooks can change into a wide variety of animals, the power to transfigure oneself into a dragon is reserved for those whose souls are dragons.
As a diverse group of creatures spook society does not have a central authority to govern it, but approximately a millennia before the present in the book King Arthur’s court did rule spook-kind. Many of the events in the book, and the ultimate story line, is based loosely on the myths, legends and tall tales of King Arthur and Merlin, his famous magical advisor.
The protagonist is a spook named Alice; the story starts out in the year 1849, London England, at which time she is a governess working for a rich widower, a role she assumes twice for different generations of the same family in the ensuing story. The difficult relationship between Alice’s mother – half the legend of Merlin – and her father sparks a series of dangerous situations and even Alice’s death on several occasions. Rapidly the reader discovers a plot to kill not only Alice but her sort-of brother Blake, a plot derived by a group called the Last Descendents, lead by Alice’s slightly twisted father with her half-sister by his side. The existence of the group and their terrible plot is owed to the existence of a prophecy that tells of the destruction of thousands of lives when two of the dragons – the last descendants of the two great dragons. Alice’s mother was one of the great dragons, while her uncle was the second, and Alice rapidly finds out that she’s going to be her mother’s last descendent. There is going to be a battle between the parts of her family that Alice needs to protect and the parts of her family that are trying to destroy everything.
The book is written in the first person, giving the reader a rare experience to really live inside the story.