Friday, May 17, 2013

REVIEW: Dragon Run by Patrick Matthews

Dragon Run Dragon Run by Patrick Matthews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dragon Run was exciting and fun!

+ the plot

The first half was good. I liked how exposition was conveyed without tipping into info-dumping territory. Never once did the story feel slow going. In fact, there was always suspense which surprised and thrilled me.

Once the plot hit the half mark, it ran faster. There was CONSPIRACY. It appeared Al’s induction as a rank zero triggered converging schemes into motion. Hot damn!

When the plot reached last quarter mark, it ran furiously. Revelations struck, bam! War against the evil dragons began, bam! The hero rushed to accomplish his mission before all hope was lost, bam, bam, bam! Action, action, action. I loved it!

+ the characters

I liked Al a lot. He had a lot of anxieties and insecurities in the beginning but near halfway in the book he began to discover courage, resourcefulness, and this thing called thinking on your own. He began to grow into the hero I hoped he would become. I liked how what made him a hero was his inner strength, not his status as a rank zero which thankfully never devolved into a special snowflake.

What I loved most about Al was the fact that he learned from his mistakes, in particular how he continued to practice his sword skill — on his own, without anyone’s provocation — because he knew it was survival skill he must learn. A hero learning from his mistakes and trying to be smart and practical? Say what? Hell yes! The kid rocked the story in the last half with his awesomeness. I never felt like he was out of his depth or too young for the task. Hot damn, Al put a lot of the adult heroes I read in my adult books to shame. A lot, a lot. Ocean wide.

I also liked Al’s friends. I loved that Trillia and Wisp reappeared by the half mark and teamed up with Al to save him which quickly turned into save the world from the evil dragons. Two boys, one girl, one mission to the save world; it’s a true and tried formula.

I liked Al, and Wisp was okay, but I loved Trillia the most! She was a lady, but she was no damsel in distress. If anything, she would be the knight in shining armor on a white horse who would ride to rescue her dudes in distress, Al and Wisp. I would not have been surprised if that happen in some form. She was so awesome but fortunately for Al she never shone so much that she took the spotlight away him, although to be honest I wouldn’t have minded it much.

I pitied Wisp. He was just pitifully average in comparison to his heroic friends, but I’m glad he turned out to be a true friend and a helpful person (read: not a burden) in the mission. I quickly forgave Wisp for his single act of betrayal against Al.

+ niggles

The characters were great but there some niggles with the supporting characters, besides the one with Wisp for being pitifully average. Readers never learn who Lady Sapphire truly was or what specific role Al’s father played in regard to the Third, a clandestine militia who went anti-Dragons because their Dragon lord betrayed them. It was not as if there was a lack of opportunities because there were many. Then there was Al’s sister who was always mentioned but never in-depth as if she was insignificant which struck me as odd. I liked that the plot always kept things moving, but it did to an extent where I felt like an inch of depth was sacrificed in the process.

My last niggle was the ending. It was great, but I wished there was an epilogue to extend the celebratory mood and allow me to see the aftermath.

In Conclusion

I rate Dragon Run 4-stars for I really liked it. I decided to bump it a star because it was a fun read which I don’t get enough of lately, especially when one of the last books I recently read had a protagonist who was only a year older than Al but it was a brutal read. Dragon Run was a great followup after that book.

I recommend Dragon Run if you’re looking for a fun read. Don’t let the fact that it’s a Middle Grade book deter you if you don’t usually read Middle Grade like me. If you love the movie How To Train Your Dragon and desire a similar entertainment, try Dragon Run.

Goodreads | Amazon

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