From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Joe and Katie play a popular fantasy card game, DragonSteel, whenever and wherever they can. When Joe finds a computer game based on their favorite pastime, the two friends can't wait to try it out. They soon discover that it's not really a computer game, but instead a gateway into the world of Komondor, an alternate universe full of characters who look like "Japanimations" (Japanese-style cartoons with big hair, giant eyes, etc.). The youngsters must find all five pieces of the DragonSteel Amulet before an evil emperor uses them to take over Komondor and Earth. Written in a lighthearted tone and packed with amusing puns, this fast-paced adventure is filled with action that is over the top and enjoyable. The characters are shallow, but believable. DragonSteel closely resembles Pokmon or Yu-Gi-Oh, and will seem familiar to many readers. The black-and-white illustrations, which look like cookie-cutter Japanese anime, fit well with the narrative. Don't think too much while reading or you'll lose the moment. If you need fun fantasy books, and you already have the top-of-the-line authors (Douglas Adams, Roald Dahl, Dav Pilkey, Lemony Snicket, and Terry Pratchett), this is a good choice for second string.Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
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Gr. 5-7. This slapstick first novel will find its audience among fans of fantasy, computer gaming, and manga.
Middle-school sweethearts Joe and Katie are thrilled when they find a CD-ROM version of DragonSteel,
their favorite trading card game. It turns out that the CD is a portal to the DragonSteel
world, a parallel universe where everyday life is just like a video game, including "PowerUp" bonuses and lifespan indicator orbs that hover over combatants during battles. Joe and Katie--transformed into Japanimation characters--must fulfill an ancient prophecy by reuniting the scattered pieces of a powerful amulet. Joined by another boy and girl, the adventurers face the usual beasts and evil enchanters but also less-exotic problems, such as a computer glitch that keeps shutting down their portal and typical junior-high worries about who likes whom. The characters are thinly developed and the illustrations unsophisticated, but there's appeal enough in Osterweil's spoof of genres near and dear to preteen boys. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved