Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dragon's Pupils Review

Dragon's Pupils: The Sword Guest
by Martin Chu Shui
Released September 28, 2010

Half-Chinese, half-Australian, Liz is not interested in her father’s ancient Tao wisdom, or his cryptic tales. She is more concerned with environmental issues—particularly the plan to mine one of Australia’s great landmarks, Wave Rock. Her father’s latest gift, a Chinese calligraphy pen, seems set to take its place in her bottom drawer forever.

Then Wave Rock is blasted open by something more than a mining operation, and Liz finds that she must battle monsters from ancient times as well as creatures from other worlds, all intent on destroying Earth. She must call on all her powers, from both her Eastern heritage and her Western upbringing, to save her world. Her pen becomes her way into a new and magical world, and Liz discovers she has powers—and allies—that she never could have guessed.

An exciting, fast-paced tale that combines the wisdom of ancient tradition with the pace of a Kung Fu movie and brings them to life in contemporary Australia, this exciting tale takes the best of two cultures and blends them to open up a new world of adventure and mystery.
I have to say that this book surprised me quite a lot. Although it's written for a younger age group, the story itself was interesting enough to keep this 20-something entertained from the very beginning to the end.

The three main characters - Liz, Henry and Sue - are all fourteen years old. While in most instances these characters act their age very much so, there are some points where they seem a little more mature. Liz seems to be more driven. Sue, on the other hand, seemed a little less mature at the beginning then did a complete turn-around at the end. Honestly, I think she really popped out as a character - very redeeming. I think the only thing that confused me was how much freedom the kids had. They were gone from home all the time, yet there was no instance in which a parent said anything about it? Then again, that could just be a personal thought resonating from my own childhood... plus, this IS a fiction story - I just thought that specific aspect was a little... off.

That aside, the story itself was quite remarkable. There was tons of action thrown into the story, which I absolutely loved. The story moved with a decent flow at a good pace, which made for a pretty fast read. There was a lot of Chinese culture mixed into this book as well that made it all the more fun to read. This one for me was definitely more plot-driven, though the heavy character developments throughout cannot be ignored.

To be honest, I'm flip-flopping between a 3.5 and a 4.0 on this book. If I look at this critically enough, then I cannot overlook the fact that there were some things that may not have been explained enough and just kind of left you hanging. I think I would have been happier with a little more detail added into the story to explain things a little better. However, if I look at this as a YA book meant for younger readers (not older teens and up), then I can justify the dismissal of some details because when you're dealing with younger kids.. it's more about how to keep the ball rolling, and less about what color and weight the ball is - if you get my meaning.

So, I'm going to rate this how I see fair and give it 4 stars. Yes, there were some things I would have liked to see elaborated on a little more. BUT the story IS really good and has a lot in it to keep you interested from beginning to end. Sometimes, that's enough. It is in this case.

Rating: ★★★★✩
Source: Author




Buy The BookAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
*Dragon's Pupils: The Sword Guest is actually free right now on B&N and SW!

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