The Great Texas Dragon Race

The Great Texas Dragon Race
Age Range
Release Date
August 01, 2023
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Thirteen-year-old Cassidy Drake wants nothing more than to race with her best dragon, Ranga, in the annual Great Texas Dragon Race. Her mother was a racing legacy, and growing up on her family's dragon sanctuary ranch, Cassidy lives and breathes dragons. She knows she could win against the exploitative FireCorp team that cares more about corporate greed than caring for the dragons. 

Cassidy is so determined to race that she sneaks out of her house against her father's wishes and enters the competition. Soon, Cassidy takes to the skies with Ranga across her glorious Lone Star State. But with five grueling tasks ahead of her, dangerous dragon challenges waiting at each one, and more enemies than allies on the course, Cassidy will need to know more than just dragons to survive. 

Editor review

1 review
Sometimes, you can't do it alone
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The plot is interesting as it’s related to a couple of current, real-world issues. The story is set in West Texas on a farm dedicated to protecting abused and lost animals. Okay, the animals in question are dragons but the focus on rescuing creatures from deplorable conditions and death is similar to actual dog shelters today. The nation’s largest oil company, FireCorp, is the main violator of dragon mistreatment and their attitude is that they can do whatever they want and solve any problems with money. FireCorp wants to buy the dragon sanctuary property in order to build another refinery. Big business versus the common man is a universal conflict in many novels.
The opening pages display pictures and brief descriptions of dragons appearing in the story. It’s not overly critical to memorize them but they’re nice to reference if readers desire. Cassidy rides a Polychromatic Dragon called Ranga that she rescued when he was quite little. He’s fast but unpredictable due to what I’ll call PTSD at the hands of FireCorp. The author blends real descriptions of the desolate, dangerous Texas desert with the make-believe world of dragons that will make readers feel like their part of the race. Water and food are scarce and wild dragons are an ever-present danger so the dragon race is also a survival test. Riders are required to perform dragon-ranching skills along the way as they receive hologram clues from past race winners telling them various destinations. However, the riders must be wary of dirty tricks and sabotage from their competitors.
Cassidy wants to win the race to help with her family’s money problems but other issues make the plot more intriguing. FireCorp has dominated the winners in past dragon races and this year’s team of riders continues to intimidate everyone else. However, their sabotage and shady tactics frequently target Cassidy more than others and they’re determined to keep her from winning. Is it because her deceased mother was a former champion, because they want to get her family’s dragon ranch, or is it because of another unknown reason? Cassidy has a bad experience with one of the FireCorp riders but he apologizes afterward and says that wasn’t really him. Cassidy is well aware that ALL of the dragon riders only care about themselves and winning so she’s very reluctant to trust any of the competitors.
What didn’t work as well:
This is pretty petty but the words used to describe dragon sounds are generic and don’t work. I’m looking for onomatopoeia or additional descriptions to really help readers experience the noises.
The Final Verdict:
The story is about a fun, deadly adventure in the Texas desert where problem-solving, survival skills, and perseverance are requirements to reach the finish line. Cassidy learns valuable lessons about teamwork, friendship, and what’s important and the author wraps up the conflict in an unexpected way. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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