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Raising Dragons Graphic Novel Paperback – March 1, 2015
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About the Author
Bryan Davis is the author of the Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Dragons of Starlight, Tales of Starlight, and Echoes from the Edge series, contemporary/fantasy books for young adults and adults. His books have hit bestseller lists several times, including Eye of the Oracle’s #1 showing on the CBA Young Adult bestseller list in January of 2007. Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern U.S. From the time he taught himself how to read before school age, through his seminary years and beyond, he has demonstrated a passion for the written word, reading and writing in many disciplines and genres, including theology, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and humor. Bryan and his wife, Susie, have seven children. He is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. in Industrial Engineering). In high school, he was valedictorian of his class and won various academic awards. He continues to expand his writing education by teaching at relevant writing conferences and conventions. Although he is now a full time writer, Bryan was a computer professional for over 20 years.
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The story is straight from RAISING DRAGONS, and those who have read that book will not find anything new here story-wise. The book centers around a boy named Billy Bannister, who is just trying to survive school when he discovers a strange ability: he can breathe literal fire. Soon, his power is growing out of control, and so is the secret his family has been hiding all these years. Now, an ancient dragon slayer is after Billy and his new, mysterious friend, Bonnie Silver. Together, they must unravel the mystery of Merlin's riddle, as well as survive the snowy mountains surrounding their town. Only their faith in God can save them now.
Told in a graphic novel format, the story of RAISING DRAGONS is pretty easy to follow. I would even venture so far as to say the graphic novel treatment actually lends itself to the action sequences pretty well, and makes them a bit easier to follow than the novel. However, some of the initial weaknesses of the first book are revealed here. Davis has grown much in his story-telling abilities, and the fact that this first book features some convenient plot devices and logic jumps become even more apparent when parred down for the visual format. Some of the characterization is also lost in translation, and often we find others explaining the emotions of the main characters rather than seeing them for ourselves. All said, the story was so innovative back in 2004 that much of its weaker points were not as easily noticeable.
As for the art, that is where RAISING DRAGONS: GRAPHIC NOVEL shines. Ville's style is perfect for this brand, and the way he has brought each of these characters and dragons to life is incredible. The art is great, and it is very easy to see some of his influences from Akira Himekawa and others. The panels flow well from one to the next, and definitely tell the story well. The only thing I could have seen it benefit from is the breakup of some of the sections into chapters. It might have been a tad easier to follow the storyline if there were some definite breaks between sections. Otherwise, the art is really top notch.
Fans of the original RAISING DRAGONS novel will likely love this, as I did, and newcomers to the series can definitely start here as all the essential plot points to set up later books are contained here. It's definitely worth your while to check out this incredible new artist, and revisit an old favorite in a new way.
I finished this book in one setting, and I have never read the first book. The artwork really shone and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. There is not a whole lot I can say in this review that hasn't been mentioned in other reviews.
I appreciated the definite Christian overtones without getting too preachy and exposing the hypocrisy of faith. That all parties believed in a god and even used the bible to authenticate the existence of dragons was interesting. Do not let the bible quotes put you off this book is not evangelical it just gives us a moment to reflect on what could be.
I did find the good guys a bit too good. I would have liked to have seen more flaws. At least the antagonist had parts about him such as blindness forged from centuries of a belief that dragons are evil to the point of obsession. But I could relate to all of the characters and indeed root for them.
The plot was a good standard three act structure that left the reader fulfilled.
Definitely worth a look and I recommend reading it. It was a ton of fun.