Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas
Release date: May 30, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
Effie Truelove believes in magic, as does her grandfather Griffin (although he refuses to do any magic, let alone teach Effie how to use it). After a mysterious incident leaves Griffin close to death, Effie is given an unusual silver ring and told she must look after her grandfather’s library of rare and powerful books. But then the books fall into the hands of shady scholar Leonard Levar, and Effie is propelled into the most dangerous adventure of her life.
Now, Effie and her friends—nerdy Maximilian, rugby-mad Wolf, helpful Lexy, and eccentric Raven—must discover their true powers if they are to get the books back. And Effie alone will have to travel to the Otherworld, where she will uncover the true meaning of the strange old book called Dragon’s Green…
Acclaimed novelist Scarlett Thomas invites you into the wondrous realm of the Worldquake Sequence, where magic most decidedly exists, a growing evil lurks, and a group of children is destined to save the world.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
All in all this was a fun read. The plot takes some left turns sometimes and you are not really sure what is going on but it is eventually all explained. This could be an issue with some kids, but I’m sure others will be like me and just roll with it. The left turns are interesting, just sort of startling at first.
The characters are all delightful children and some horrid adults. In this way it does remind me of Roald Dahl a bit. The adults don’t understand the kids and are quite horrid to them, but the kids take it in stride for the most part and continue to do what they need to. The exception is Effie’s grandfather and Maximilian’s mom, who both seem to know more than they ever tell the kids.
Effie is more or less the main character, but the other kids are almost as important and also tell part of the story. They are a nice mix of kids, smart, funny, athletic and they are all willing to help each other when they get into trouble. I liked all of the kids and found all of them likable and engaging.
The setting of the story is an alternative London. There has been a cataclysmic earthquake, called the Worldshake, which has destroyed most technology and removed most of the magic from the world. Books play a very large role in this story, but I won’t spoil it by telling you how. I’ll just say that it was the main reason for the left turns the plot takes.
There is a dragon in this book, although Dragon’s Green refers to a place. He is a different sort of dragon, described as looking more like a man with scales, claws and wings than what we typically think of as a dragon. But I found him quite amusing. The dragon is the ‘he’ in the quote at the top of this post. He likes to eat princesses, it is his favorite food.
This was an enjoyable read, and I look forward to seeing more adventures with Effie and her friends.