Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: The Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson

 For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.

N. D. Wilson, author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards, returns with an imagination-capturing adventure that inventively combines the contemporary and the legendary.

This book was pitched to me as something for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and I have to say when I hear that, I go, ‘uh huh, yeah right, nice try though’. Don’t give me that look, we all do. But, (and get ready to read something incredible) this book is actually really appropriate for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. And you all KNOW I don’t drop my homeboy’s name Percy into anything very often. Because it’s PERCY. But I’m legit gonna say that if you like Percy Jackson, you’ll like this. Because I did. And I LOVE Percy as we all know.

Let’s start with Cyrus. Cyrus is kind of snarky and stubborn and totally bad ass. Gee, who does that sound like? Only my favorite Middle Grade protagonist ever. But he’s less jokey and more serious like (here we go) Harry Potter.

And then there’s Cyrus’s sister Antigone with the absolutely most adorable nickname ever, Tigs. As antiquated and as tragic as the name means, Tigs makes it so cute! But she is also kickass. Kind of like her namesake. Together, they are even more freaking kick ass. Sure, they are orphaned, their oldest brother is missing and their home has been burned to the ground, but does that intimidate them?! No! They sally forth into magic and worlds unknown regardless.

Nolan. I’ve got to talk about him. I want more Nolan. In fact, can I somehow commission ND Wilson to write a whole book about Nolan? I love this kid. A morbid immortal kid who is just a touch shady, but you know he’s begrudgingly good? Well, that’s it. That’s my favorite kind of character in one sentence.

Now let’s talk about the lesser known fact that this book loosely alludes to Treasure Island. Not all kiddos might get this, but as a youngin’ I obsessively watched Muppet Treasure Island to the point of psychosis and oh, I totally got it on the oh-so-clever William Skeleton (Billy Bones) reference. I am so smart. And while I’ve never read Treasure Island (let’s face it, the book doesn’t have Tim Curry singing in it) I did appreciate the loose alluding to it. But it’s not just straight up Treasure Island because that would be boring and done-before. There is magic and all kinds of mythology thrown into a giant melting pot of a book. I love mythology and I LOVE that it isn’t just Greek and Roman!

It was very fortunate that the sequel was sitting beside me because when I finished this book, I needed the sequel, there was no question about that. But I will tell you that if you give a reader this book, they’re going to want the sequel. It is that good.

Now, I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this, but for this book’s ‘Similar recommendations’ section, the winner is: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. That's it, folks. Everyone can go home now.

-Reviewed by Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. The cook was also a Treasure Island reference (Long John Silver was the "cook" on the voyage to the island and was missing a leg; Ben Sterling, the cook at Ashtown, is missing both his legs).