One of my goals starting Drankgon LLC was to become a Dragon Expert in hopes that random dragon-lovers would reach out to me for advice or expertise. Well, it's been happening. In one of the more random emails I received, Author Nathan Smith Jones asked me to read and review his new book, Dragonkyn, as part of his Dragonkyn Blog Tour. My favorite part of his opening email to me was this: "I also noticed you're not big on alcohol. PERFECT! There's a subtle anti-teen-alcohol message in my book." Website-comprehension-failure aside, I was happy to review the book. Here is my review:
Dragonkyn is a book about an average teenager (Mark) who suddenly learns that he is part dragon. Yep, super jealous. This leads to him to discover that he has certain powers, such as being immune to fire and some other cool things. He also learns about the Dragonkyn, other humans who come from the same line of dragons. All of them have different powers, which manifest themselves in different ways. They bring Mark onto the team, which of course, leads to unexpected results. Without giving away too much, I will just say that there is a villain, some funny human sidekicks, and some solid action sequences. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, which was a quick fun read. I think that dragon-lovers will appreciate the unique take on what it means to be part-dragon, though it felt more like a wizard book than a dragon book.
I kept thinking how much the Dragonkyn remind me of the X-men. There are a bunch of them with different personalities and different powers. Some are moody. Some are aloof. Some are super friendly. And some are short albinos who can read minds... In other words, they are bulimic. Ok, that's Zoolander. Whatever. If you like fantasy and are in need of something somewhat fun and mindless to read, I would recommend that you go check out Dragonkyn. Here are some of the pros and cons:
- Lots of action with short chapters, making it easy to pick up.
- Loved the different powers that various characters had in the book.
- Solid character development with emotional back stories.
- Unique take on what it means to be part-dragon.
- Great back story on the dragon lineage with lots of fun new wizardry terms.
- I enjoyed the small-town human characters and imagery. The author did a good job of describing this.
- Could have used some more actual dragons.
- The ending left something to be desired.
- Main villain needed to be more sinister and powerful.
- Would have loved to see more events centered around the main character "learning new powers while at high school." Those scenes were some of my favorites.
- The middle to end part of the book felt a bit disjointed and rushed.
- WHO WAS THE BLACK DRAGON AND WHY WAS HE IMPORTANT? Sorry, I had to get that one out. There was a random scene in the book with a Black Dragon appearing in a cabinet that seemed to have great importance, and then it was never revealed what he was or why he was important. I NEED TO KNOW.
Dragonkyn is definitely a young adult book, and the anti-alcohol message didn't really come across to me until the end. And even then, it felt like a bit of a stretch. The ending also seemed like it was going to be awesome, but then kinda fell flat in my mind. It felt like it was setting up the next book too much. All in all, I enjoyed the book and give it 4 out of 5 stars as far as dragon books go. Thanks for the read, Mr. Jones!