Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 456
Timeless themes and relatable Characters
(Updated: November 13, 2022)
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What I Loved: This book was about dragons and the world after their arrival destroyed everything and how you find your new normal. In many ways, this was more relatable than dragon books usually are to our real lives. Replace dragons with pandemic and there are many similarities. Noah’s family survived lockdown for three years in a bunker before emerging and trying to survive in a world where dragons infest the skies and can kill you at any moment. Most of us can relate a little bit to the boredom, fear, and uncertainty that Noah recalls from the start of the dragon invasion even if we weren’t on lockdown for the same amount of time. His love of reading to cope struck a chord with me and I deeply identified with his character. He doesn’t know where the dragons came from and it doesn’t really matter because they are here to stay now.
Understandably, Noah hates dragons and wishes them dead. He misses the before times and life is a struggle to find enough to eat and safety is always at risk. Every summer they go into the subways of New York with other survivors to wait till the dragons hibernate and it is safe once again to emerge. This is a pretty bleak existence that changes when the dragons come back early.
His dad plans to stay above ground and rescue his mother who went to live in a dragon-loving cult. Noah is determined to help his family be back together and sneaks away from the group so that he can stay as well. From there he meets a young dragon named Asha and they form a bond that can heal the dragon-human war for those in his area. The small steps to build trust and to see the other side’s perspective have many parallels to any two groups that have deep and well-founded grievances against the other side.
Final Verdict: This book is currently very relatable as we all have fairly fresh memories of isolation and lockdown and a different world post-pandemic. It is also timeless in the themes of bridging the divide, building trust, and healing after conflict. The dragons are a nice touch to capture the attention of Middle-Grade audiences and the deeper parallels make for a wonderful book to discuss. The action moves quickly and ultimately it is a book of hope for a better world.
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