Review by Bookwormgirl1 -- Becoming the Dragon

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Review by Bookwormgirl1 -- Becoming the Dragon

Post by Bookwormgirl1 » 19 Aug 2018, 16:27

[Following is a volunteer review of "Becoming the Dragon" by Alex Sapegin.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin is a sci-fi/fantasy novel that follows the adventures of Andy Kerimov, a 16-year-old boy living in Russia. The beginning of the book focuses on Andy’s normal life, describing his family and his relationships. As a child, Andy was struck by lightning and since then he has been unable to use certain electronic devices, such as computers, without causing them to crash. While this interesting piece of information doesn’t have very much to do with the storyline, Andy’s experience helps to give his character depth and trials. The beginning of the book does not include the fantasy elements and mythical creatures that I expected upon hearing the title, but that expectation was soon met when Andy is accidentally transported to a different world when he wanders into a testing sight while an experiment is being conducted.

Andy finds himself in a world completely different than our own. This world includes elves, gnomes, orcs, gryphons, and yes, dragons. From the very moment he enters this new world, Andy is beset with bad luck. He goes from being nearly eaten alive by hundreds of fire ants to being hunted by gryphons to being captured and sold as a slave all over the course of just a few days. Although Andy grew up in the world we know today with no reason to fight constantly for his life, he soon adjusts to this new land and finds the strength within to resist and overcome all types of challenges.

The title of the book gives away a main event in young Andy’s life. In order to cheat death and survive, Andy undergoes a magical process and becomes a dragon. In his new form he must relearn to live his life and stay true to the human within him.

Written in third person, Andy is the main character of the book and most of the story is told from his point of view, but many times throughout the story, the perspectives of the other characters are shown. This is quite helpful when determining the good and the bad guys, as Andy is not always correct when judging the people he meets. The reader gets to see all sides of the story and understand each character’s motives and desires.

While I did enjoy this book for the most part, there were some problems with it as well. Personally, I found Andy to be a little bit unlikable. He was cocky and rude and simply came off as a jerk. Of course, that is my opinion and other readers may not feel the same. While I did not enjoy Andy’s characterization, I did love some of the other characters, namely Karegar, the last known dragon, and Gynug, an orc who helps Andy survive.

The tone of the book came off as mostly lighthearted, but there were some dark parts as well, such as torture and murder. At one point, Andy is treated like an animal for over two weeks and is barely able to maintain his human nature, as he is no longer acknowledged as such. Mixed in with these dark bits a reader will find humor and jokes made mainly by Andy that helps to lighten the mood and bring the story back to the original carefree beginning.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I did enjoy the main storyline and loved some of the characters and problems faced, but I couldn’t get past the obvious similarities to many other fantasy books that I have read. While none of the similarities are close enough to suggest any plagiarism by any means, I found the story to be quite predictable. I think that many people would enjoy this book and look forward to the sequels, but I will not be actively on the lookout for the other three books.

Becoming the Dragon
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