2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Becoming the Dragon is an imaginative novel of teleportation, in which an insightful Russian
sixteen year old boy is accidentally thrown into a frightening new world by way of his physicist father's incomplete research experiment.
It is very hard to tell what audience this book is meant for, because it unfortunately reads
as if a high school student wrote it for a creative writing assignment - specifically a student who was a devoted fan of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. For instance, there is a Middle Earth-ish world in which numerous tribes and clans (and vampires? Really?) fight each other, eat each other, and if not enjoying those past-times, then somewhat civilly co-mingling.
I thank Mr. Sapegin deeply for providing a glossary to help with the vocabularies of the various
languages. I just wish he included a list of characters with their names, nicknames, and their numerous other names as well. The setting is a very populated and diverse environment filled with intriguing beings, all of which have multiple names for some reason.
The author also spends an inordinate amount of time intensely detailing the descriptions of the
garments worn by these unusual "peoples", but not as much on character development. I would have
loved to have more of a background of the creatures themselves, telling me a bit about each species, rather than what they wore.
The author did provide an in depth history of this Tolkien-like world that was very interesting, (if not at times tedious), except when he mentioned real books or individuals here on earth (for instance ironically making note of The Hobbit, as well as Norsemen and Vikings). This caused an unsettling sensation for the reader of "breaking the invisible wall" as they say in theater. Is the setting of this book on the planet Ilanta, as was described, or a place on this earth? One minute I was in a land of dragons, elves and gnomes, and the next minute back home on the couch reading in the here and now.
Mr. Sapegin also annoyingly tends to make the assumption that the reader is already acquainted with all of these lands, peoples, and terms when in fact this is his first book in the series. So there was a tendency for me to scroll back several pages to see if I had missed anything.
Interestingly, the section of the book that describes one of the characters actually becoming a dragon was wonderfully reminiscent of Kafka's The Metamorphosis. And in this section of his book, the more detail and realism the better. For me, this description saved the book from doom. Or better yet, being devoured by a dragon of Ilanta.
I would rather have simply re-read The Lord Of The Rings.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars, due to the lack of depth of the characters, and the somewhat juvenile writing.
Becoming the Dragon
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords
Like KC8's review? Post a comment saying so!