2 out of 4 stars
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Becoming The Dragon is the first in a 5 part series about a boy named Andy who is unique from the beginning. When he was just a kid, he was struck by lighting. Surviving this almost tragic situation, Andy is left with a unique ability. He can destroy electronics just by being near them. His father is an inventor and is working on a largely government-funded project for teleportation. Andy's tasked with delivering documents to his father's lab. There are investors there that want to test progress. He stumbles upon the experimentation field for the project on his way through the compound. As his luck would have it, just as his father is turning the system on to test it. The investors did not expect what happened next, in an instant Andy disappears and is teleported to the land of Ilanta. Andy's father watches in horror as his son vanishes into a portal that closes quickly behind him. Will he ever see Andy again?
This new world is full of orcs, elf, magic, and plenty of chaos. Andy must survive with nothing more than the contents of his pockets which include a small knife and the clothes on his back. He has no idea what’s really in store for him.
Following his theme of misfortune, Andy ends up transformed into a dragon. There is another dragon who rules the Valley known as “Karegar Valley” named for the dragon himself. Karegar is the last of his kind, having survived a great war against the dragons thousands of years ago. He has a loyal companion in Jagirra, a brazen elf with a fiery temper. With their help Andy begins to make sense of his new self.
I feel this book, and its plot, had a huge amount of potential, however, it fell short. The descriptions of animals and Andy's surroundings are well done and give the reader a good visual of what Andy is seeing. The characterizations, however, were not nearly as helpful. I was confused about why the author both wrote Andy’s thoughts and also had him speak out loud when he was alone. The thoughts were scattered and hard to follow. They often seemed like things one would mutter out loud to themselves. Likewise, the things he spoke out loud seemed like they should have been thoughts with more detail. I think that if the author would have stuck to one or the other, in terms of Andy’s dialogue, it would have been easier to follow what Andy was going through.
The book was confusing in its transitions as well. There was no description of the people who came and went throughout the story. For example, part two of the story begins with a new set of characters speaking a new language of sorts. At least that’s what it feels like. There was no explanation of whom they were at all, only a few words were used to describe them that no definition could be found for. The story continued this way jumping to and from new characters, only described in short, and as stated, often using made up fantastical words that one has to figure out the meaning of on their own. This left me distracted and unable to engage in the storyline fully.
I rate this book a 2 out of 4 stars. The plot was not engaging and very confusing as stated earlier. With better character descriptions and some explanation of the magical components, this book could have gained a star or two. As it stands, however, I only recommend it to very serious high fantasy/Sci-fi fans. And even still, if you need thorough explanation of characters or don't have a lot of patience for a slow plot, I would steer clear as this book won’t be for you.
Becoming the Dragon
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