City of Speed (Battle Dragons #2)

City of Speed (Battle Dragons #2)
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
August 02, 2022
ISBN
978-1338716573
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In a modern mega-city built around dragons, one boy gets caught up in the world of underground dragon battles and a high-stakes gang war that could tear his family apart.
In the city of Drakopolis, dragons and humans have co-existed for centuries. Dragons burn the city's garbage, taxi its busy citizens from place to place, and even compete in vicious underground battles for ganglike kins.

But the dragons also compete in legal sports, like the spectacular aerial races that draw in cheering crowds by the tens of thousands.

Abel is at just such a race when he witnesses the unthinkable. A long-shot competitor pulls off an impossible win -- then flies into a destructive rage! Someone in the city is experimenting on dragons: hacking their DNA, rebuilding their bodies, and breaking their minds. Who could be driving the dragons berserk?

Abel must find out who's behind the experiments and put a stop to them, and to do so he’ll infiltrate the kins’ underground street races on a long-shot dragon of his own. But with his sister working for a kin, his brother serving the city's secret police, and a bully at school racing for Abel's worst enemies, will Abel find any safety past the finish line?

Editor review

1 review
High Stakes Thriller
(Updated: January 13, 2023)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I Liked: This is a unique Middle-Grade fiction. The gritty city of Drakopolis where humans work alongside Dragons and the gangs are the true power of the city makes for an intense high-stakes story full of suspense and danger. Abel is a middle-schooler who is torn between his dragon thief sister who is in the Kinner gang, Sky Knights, and his brother who is secret police trying to find her. Both force him into dangerous decisions where he must secure a low-priced dragon and infiltrate the illegal races of the gangs and help both meet their objective. All the while he is struggling with his own conscience to discover who he is and what he stands for and not die trying to navigate all three objectives.
The danger is intense and the high-speed dragon chases are sure to keep a reader engaged and turning pages. I like the gentler moments as well where Abel and his friends show loyalty and bravery as they navigate through Abel’s dilemmas together. I like that his parents know something is happening and want Abel to know that he can come to them but try to give him the space to decide he wants their help. His parents are gems. I love that once they find out, they don’t stop him, but find the best way to help him succeed and stay alive in the process. There are laugh-out-loud interactions where the character’s personalities shine through making this a realistic story in a story full of dragons and high-speed antics. The author even manages to sneak some advanced vocabulary into the story so that readers are learning at the same time. (Always a plus with teachers and parents!)
Final Verdict: This was a great addition to the series. The resolution to their dilemma has piqued my curiosity because it could serve as an ending to the series, but I know a sequel publishes in a few months so I wonder how it will continue with such a change in the current dynamic under which the family has been working. Abel seems to have a unique relationship with the dragons which also begs the question of how much they understand. I wonder if the chaos Abel brings will ultimately change the dynamics of the political landscape between the gangs and the government and people and the dragons.
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