- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Living Ink Books; Fifth Edition edition (June 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0899571700
- ISBN-13: 978-0899571706
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Raising Dragons (Dragons in Our Midst, Book 1) Paperback – June 25, 2004
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In Raising Dragons, Bryan Davis has infused fantasy into every teenager's normal high school experience. The result is riveting. The adventure mixes believable characters with heart-thumping suspense. Realistic heroes defeating delightfully evil rogues. Good versus evil it doesn't get any better than this. Readers will be furiously reading late into the night. --Donita K. Paul (Award-winning author of Dragonspell) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
It pains me greatly to say this. I wanted so badly to like this book. It took me several months to read it, mostly due to other obligations I had which came first.
First of all, I like the premise. The fact that it talks a great deal about God and the Bible was very good. Being a Christian myself, it means a lot to me.
Billy is a young boy of (maybe) twelve, whose father has a secret. He is actually a dragon, and has lived for hundreds of years, since the time of King Arthur. The principal of Billy's school, Dr. Whittier, is actually a dragon slayer, bent on destroying all remaining dragons in human form. Billy has inherited some of his father's abilities, including able to breathe fire when in danger. He makes a friend named Bonnie, who has bat-like wings, and has to hide them from others with an extra-large backpack. She's the daughter of another former dragon in human form, whose whereabouts are unknown (she's supposedly dead, but there are hints that suggest she may be alive).
When the principle discovers Billy and Bonnie's secret, he is determined to destroy them. He believes that all dragons are evil, citing the Bible as evidence. But Billy's father, who is a pilot, is able to escape with Billy and Bonnie, as well as his wife, who is aware of his secret. Billy, for some reason, is having difficulty trusting his father, since he hid his secret from Billy for so long. They are able to escape, but Dr. Whittier (whose real name is Devin, a descendant of the same Sir Devin who sought to destroy the dragons at the time of King Arthur and Merlin. Yes, Merlin comes into the story, but only briefly.) Infiltrates the plane and shoots Billy's father, seriously injuring him. The plane crashes, and it is unclear for a while whether Billy's father survives. Billy, Bonnie, and his mother make it out alive, but not without injury.
A massive search starts for Billy's father, who has vanished. A good friend of Billy's, a boy named Walter, along with one of Billy's teacher's (who is a big believer in good dragons), aids in the search. They find the wreckage of the plane, but Billy's father, as stated, has vanished. Devin appears, posing as an FBI agent, and demands to be informed if Billy's father is located.
One event leads to another, and Billy's father is eventually found, once again in dragon form. He informs them that the human they knew as Billy's father was dead, and that he would no longer be able to live with them, which I found to rather unfair. Sure, he was now stuck as a dragon, but why couldn't he once again take human form? How hard would that have been? He had taken a potion several centuries before, to hide from the dragon slayers. I don't know the circumstances as to how that potion was made, so it may have been impossible to re-create it, but why couldn't they at least try?
Anyway, events eventually lead Billy to engage in a sword fight with Devin and one of his minions, in which Billy miraculously wins. Devin flees, and Billy wakes up in a hospital a while later.
Several things happen in between, but that's the main gist of the story. There is zero bad language, and zero inappropriate situations, which is a plus.
Nothing is wrong with the story itself. That's not my issue. My issues are the many times when Billy goes to sleep, and then, in the very next paragraph, with no space in between, he wakes up the next day. Why was the story written like that? Never mind the atrocious grammar which was impossible to ignore. There should be a space in between paragraphs when time passes between events. That's only common sense.
I don't blame the author for this. It's not his fault. The story itself gets a full score of five stars out of five. But the book, unfortunately, gets only a three out of five. It may take me a while before I read any future books in the series. I have Book Two, "The Candlestone" in my possession, but I doubt I'll be able to read it any time soon. I have it from the library, and I haven't even gotten past the first chapter, and I've had it since early May. I have to return it before the end of the month, since I'm out of renewals. I do own the first book on my Kindle, which is why I took my time reading this book. But I most likely won't finish it before I return it. My local library doesn't even have the first or third books in this series, which is why I had to purchase it on my Kindle in order to read it.
Anyway, if you enjoy book series that are highly religious, then you'll most likely like it. Perhaps you'll be able to overlook the grammar mistakes, and the weird placement of non-spaces between time passages. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
I now have children of my own and am very intentional about what is allowed into their hands to read as they grow and mature. When they are of age, this book will be one of the first in their hands. Why? Simply because there is no better teacher than parable, no more vivid example than ones own imaginations, and when these things are combined into a deliberate message about character, honor, faith...well that is what I so desperately want to instill in my children. For the parents out there I recommend this book, this whole series and more, as a way to offer your children a wonderful and enchanting guide to bring them down the road to chivalry, chastity, and faith. Bryan Davis writes with the scope of Tolkien, the focus of Lewis, the grandeur of Verne, and most of all the heart of Christ.
I've seen other people compare Mr. Davis to the likes of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis and I think that is a very valid thing to say about his writing. If you liked The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, you'll like Bryan Davis' books.
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