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the dragon of the month club (Volume 1) Paperback – December 18, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
First, I would like to clarify that this book is more of a middle grade level than a young adult level. It doesn't matter to me, but it might if you have a child.
Anyway, I really liked the friendship between Ayana and Tyler. I felt that it was well thought out and it seemed like they really care about each other. I love that they get into these dragon-summoning shenanigans together.
A lot of detail and planning went into this book, and I appreciate that. Each dragon that Ayana and Tyler summon is an individual, with its own personality, traits, and story. It was kind of cool, because honestly who really pictures a dozen different kinds of dragons? Not me! There's also the detail that comes into play as the pair find themselves in a booklover's dream- a fantasy book land. There's so many references and it makes my literary heart happy.
It got a little muddled at times, because there's so many worlds and dragons and things going on, but ultimately it didn't detract from my reading experience very much.
I recommend this to the late elementary/middle school crowd, to any kid who loves fantasy, magic, dragons, or who loves books in general. It's an engrossing adventure that kids are sure to love.
I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Ayana and Tyler are characters kids will enjoy. They are well-rounded friends who are resourceful and inventive. Their dragons are cute, loyal, and trusting. Quickly, each dragon connects with both kids. When Dune Buggy is traded for a debt owed the Fremen, the sadness of losing this dragon is easily felt. The Book World is full of intrigue and danger, making for an exciting and unpredictable story.
There are a couple of problems. The directions for conjuring a dragon are very specific, with step one always being “Name Your Dragon.” Interestingly, when a last minute fast conjure of the waterfall dragon is needed, it is accomplished without step one. A magical spell needs all of its steps, just as prose needs fully edited for punctuation. Little details like this stick out poorly, as does the incomplete editing. Kids, and reviewers, notice these things.
Then there is the story of the wolf. While imaginative and instructive, this proverb neither propels the story forward nor enlightens the reader. It is simply dressing on a story that needs none. The same holds true for Tyler’s infatuation with Sherlock Holmes, which side-tracked the story, though in the end, Sherlock gets the kids back on track. Why does Tyler feel Sherlock needs his help to solve crime? He doesn’t. What this snippet does do is stroke Tyler’s ego, but why?
I was a little disappointed in the direction the story took after setting up the bullies and harassment Ayana suffers on a daily basis. I was hoping these dragons of the month would help Ayana address her bullies, but instead that story was set aside for the imaginative book world. Hopefully the author will get back to Ayana’s distressing “real world” problems.
Illustrations would have been a terrific addition to The Dragon of the Month Club. In middle grade novels images are still accepted and often expected. The Dragon of the Month Club’s unusual dragons and Book World are a treasure trove of opportunity for an illustrator. Images could greatly enhanced the story and the reader’s experience.
CRITICISMS ASIDE, Iain Reading has an interesting voice. He knows how to tell a story and keep kids interested. The Dragon of the Month Club is an ambitious story, full of excitement, unforeseen twists, and an imaginative world. Kids will enjoy the various dragons Ayana and Tyler conjure and the interesting abilities each dragon possesses. A snarky epilogue titled, “Welcome to the Real World,” forebodes the unexpected final twist and the end of book one. Will Tyler and Ayana find their way back home or be forever stuck in Tyler’s alternative bedroom? Book 2 cannot be released soon enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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