Review by teacherjh -- Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

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teacherjh
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Latest Review: Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

Review by teacherjh -- Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

Post by teacherjh » 01 Jun 2018, 15:39

[Following is a volunteer review of "Becoming the Dragon" by Alex Sapegin.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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I don’t read fantasy very often, but a boy being transported to a mysterious land and being transformed into a dragon sounded irresistible. When I picked up Becoming the Dragon by A. Sapegin, I was ready for an exciting adventure. Unfortunately, I was soon disappointed. The book lacked in both cohesion and character development.

The main character, Andy, is a young teen who had the unfortunate experience of being struck by lightning in sixth grade. Now whenever he comes near a computer, it freezes. Therefore, Andy fills his time with other interests including cooking, reading, and archery. One day as Andy is delivering some notes to his scientist father, he is accidentally sucked into an experimental portal that transports him to a faraway fantasy world.

The author then leads Andy through various adventures as he navigates this new world. He faces various animals – some friendly, others deadly. He meets tribal hunters, wizards, elves, and gnomes. Eventually, Andy even befriends a dragon. He and the dragon are both being held captive at the time. Andy uses his own newly-found magic to help them both escape which eventually leads to the fulfillment of the title of the book. Andy’s life as a dragon takes up the second half of the novel.

There were times when I enjoyed this story. I liked the foreshadowing in the first section as Andy’s sister discusses with some friends how a modern person would fare if transported to a fantasy world. I also thoroughly appreciated the intricate explanations of Andy’s dragon transformation as well as his adjusting to this new chapter of his adventure. In addition, the editing of the book was well done especially considering it was translated into English. I only ran into a few mistakes related to verb tense. However, the majority of the time, I found the book confusing and frustrating. The author introduces new characters with a short back-story and then leaves them behind, moving on to a totally different scene. Most of these strands are never returned to much less resolved. I realize this is the first installment of a series, but it needed some cohesive plot and resolution to tie it together. Also, the character development was weak. I did not connect with most of the characters because their motivation was unclear. Plus, they did not stick around long enough for me to get to know them. At times the author attempted to pull the reader into the world he had created, but too often it was confusing. He referenced things I did not understand such as dragon portals and magical amulets. It seemed as if he expected the reader to know how this world worked without his explaining it. I felt like I was trying to put a puzzle together without all the pieces and no idea what the picture was supposed to be.

Overall, I felt this novel was poorly done. Due to the weak character development and unfinished plot strands, I have decided to rate this book with 2 out of 4 stars. True fantasy lovers might enjoy the mythical aspects and the world building, but anyone looking for closure will be disappointed.

******
Becoming the Dragon
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thaservices1
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Post by thaservices1 » 02 Jun 2018, 09:21

Thank you for this honest review. I have been back and forth on whether to read this, but I truly enjoy depth in fantasy novels. I think I will continue to pass on this one.
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teacherjh
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Post by teacherjh » 02 Jun 2018, 10:46

thaservices1 wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 09:21
Thank you for this honest review. I have been back and forth on whether to read this, but I truly enjoy depth in fantasy novels. I think I will continue to pass on this one.
Some people seem to love it, but it definitely wasn’t for me. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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Post by Dael Reader » 02 Jun 2018, 18:42

LOL. It sounds like the author might have been trying to be a bit too ambitious. I mean, if you have tribal hunters, wizards, elves, and gnomes, do you really need to turn into a dragon too? Sometimes you read something new and find a gem. Sometimes, it's just a lump of coal. Nice review.

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Post by trajoe1206 » 02 Jun 2018, 21:29

Thanks for the detailed review. I normally like fantasy but, with the lack of cohesion and character development, I may have to give this one a miss

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teacherjh
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Post by teacherjh » 02 Jun 2018, 23:26

Dael Reader wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 18:42
LOL. It sounds like the author might have been trying to be a bit too ambitious. I mean, if you have tribal hunters, wizards, elves, and gnomes, do you really need to turn into a dragon too? Sometimes you read something new and find a gem. Sometimes, it's just a lump of coal. Nice review.
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Post by Bianka Walter » 03 Jun 2018, 05:45

I was also so confused as to why the author created intricate characters, only to forget about them. I hoped that maybe they would be introduced again in the following books, but still - it was annoying.
Thanks so much for your review - I enjoyed it :)
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Post by Dael Reader » 03 Jun 2018, 09:14

teacherjh wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 23:26
Dael Reader wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 18:42
LOL. It sounds like the author might have been trying to be a bit too ambitious. I mean, if you have tribal hunters, wizards, elves, and gnomes, do you really need to turn into a dragon too? Sometimes you read something new and find a gem. Sometimes, it's just a lump of coal. Nice review.
You always make me laugh.
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Post by Helen_Combe » 03 Jun 2018, 15:32

I have to admit that fantasy isn’t my favourite genre. Incoherent fantasy definitely isn’t. Thanks for the review.
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teacherjh
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Post by teacherjh » 03 Jun 2018, 21:07

Bianka Walter wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 05:45
I was also so confused as to why the author created intricate characters, only to forget about them. I hoped that maybe they would be introduced again in the following books, but still - it was annoying.
Thanks so much for your review - I enjoyed it :)
Good character development is key for me in a book, so this was a big let down.

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Post by teacherjh » 04 Jun 2018, 09:58

Helen_Combe wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 15:32
I have to admit that fantasy isn’t my favorite genre. Incoherent fantasy definitely isn’t. Thanks for the review.
I don't read much fantasy either. This one just sounded interesting. Ah well - back to my crime and sci-fi.
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Post by Manali_DC » 05 Jun 2018, 01:47

I love anything to do with dragons and would always want to read about them or watch them on TV. I came across this book and wondered if I should try it. Thank you for a beautifully written and honest review- while I like the idea of the story I don't think I would want to read this one!

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Post by teacherjh » 05 Jun 2018, 13:22

trajoe1206 wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 21:29
Thanks for the detailed review. I normally like fantasy but, with the lack of cohesion and character development, I may have to give this one a miss
Yeah, there are so many great books out there to enjoy. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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Post by Laura Ungureanu » 05 Jun 2018, 15:15

Great review. I have also reviewed this book and I can say I really tried to find something good, because I couldn't see why people liked this book so much. So I clinged to every piece that looked a little interesting. But I was disappointed with everything too.

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Post by teacherjh » 06 Jun 2018, 11:56

Manali_DC wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 01:47
I love anything to do with dragons and would always want to read about them or watch them on TV. I came across this book and wondered if I should try it. Thank you for a beautifully written and honest review- while I like the idea of the story I don't think I would want to read this one!
This book had so much potential, but it just didn’t work for me.

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