2 out of 4 stars
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Becoming the Dragon is a coming-of-age novel written by Alex Sapegin, and it is the first in a series of four books which include: Wings on my Back, A Cruel Tale, Crown of Horns, and Home at Last. The author is a Russian engineer who loves writing fantasy and sci-fi stories. It was first published in 2010 in Russia, becoming a best-seller in its home country. This 2017 version is a translation to English.
In the book, Andy Kerimov is a 16-year-old boy teleported from Russia to the planet of Ilanta. Here, Andy finds himself needing to learn how to survive, eventually finding a medieval civilization. Then, through a series of unfortunate events, ends up becoming a dragon. But through the story, Andy not just transforms physically into a dragon, he transforms mentally into a man.
Now, on to what I liked the most about this book. The storyline is magnificent, no wonder it was a best-seller in Russia. It is a very original fiction that combines fantasy and sci-fi quite well. I love books about dragons, so I’ve tried to get my hands on every dragon-themed book I could find. I must praise how the author takes sci-fi concepts, then takes fantasy concepts and combines them like is no big deal, it made the book unique.
Although I liked the story and its uniqueness, I had many issues while reading it. It may have something to do with the fact that the novel was an English adaptation of the original but the writing style was poor. Half the time I was confused with what was occurring in the story, the narrator shifted from 3rd person to 1st person out of nowhere plus descriptions were wearing. I must add that it was hard to keep up with the characters, there were too many, they were not properly introduced and then died quickly. Also, the initial 15 percent of the text is virtually pointless, the relevant pieces of information there could have been mentioned when needed and not described so thoroughly at the beginning of the book.
Then, let’s talk about Andy, the male Mary Sue. The character is idealized and perfect for the role he has in the story. He excelled at everything he went through, was a reflection of the author, and had practically no personality. Andy was splendid but pretty predictable.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. It is not 1 star because I consider it to have a remarkably good story, but I will not give it 3 or more stars because of all the things I disliked. The entire book acts as an introduction to the series but with no storyline of its own. I would not recommend this book, but I wouldn’t stop anyone from reading it either.
The audience seems to be older teens because the main character is 16, but the story is not a light as it appears. Also, three explicit sexual comments where made, so it stops being appropriate for younger teens.
Becoming the Dragon
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