Book Review: DRAGON MOUNTAIN by Katie and Kevin Tsang (Middle Grade Monday)

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: Yes - first book

Synopsis:

Deep within the mountain, a great creature stirred in its sleep. Its eyes rolled back in its head, and its wings jerked wide open…

When 12-year-old Billy Chan finds out his parents are sending him to a summer camp in middle-of-nowhere China he doesn’t know what to expect. There he meets fellow campers Dylan, Charlotte and Ling-Fei and together they stumble upon an age-old secret: four powerful warrior dragons, hidden deep within the mountain behind the camp. They have been trapped since an epic battle with the Dragon of Death and need the children’s help to set them free before terrible evil is unleashed on the earth.

Billy and his friends must set off on a dangerous adventure that will take them to the heart of the Dragon Realm. But can they save the dragon and human worlds from destruction?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

The story was not at all what I was expecting. I had expected a book set in our world, but instead, probably at least half this book is set in the other realm. And they’re still there at the end of the book. I suppose only a few days have passed in the story, so it’s not like they’ve just abandoned their families.

As for the plot itself, it was so unpredictable – in a good way. It was a real rollercoaster that defied my expectations continually. There’s so much crammed into such a short book (and the font size is big.) I don’t know if I read enough of this end of the MG spectrum to say if that’s normal or not, and so whether some events were rushed or not. There’s not much time spent on the emotional side of things, or the psychological consequences, but I think that’s a MG thing.

DRAGON MOUNTAIN certainly sits at the younger end of MG, with a much simpler writing style and story than some other MG I’ve read recently. I was very aware that I was not the target audience as I read. It was still very enjoyable, but does read very young.

If I put all my (skewed by reading mostly upper-YA/crossover/adult) expectations to one side, this is such a fun ride of a book. I love the magic and the characters are a really nice unit. There’s a nice complementary nature about their main attributes. I could see bits of myself in both Ling-Fei and Charlotte. Also Charlotte asking for pockets on her clothes was brilliant – and I immediately messaged my friend who’d also read the book. Buttons, naturally, is my favourite dragon, as he’s just so sweet – followed by Xing.

The magic is a lot of light-hearted fun. Not many rules I can see, but it was such a blast that I didn’t care that the world felt so undefined – a mark of good writing considering how picky I am with world building!

Luckily, we don’t have to wait very long for the next instalment – March 2021!


Read my reviews of other books by Katie and Kevin Tsang:

Dragon Realm (this series):

For Young Adult books by Katherine Webber (Katie Tsang), see W

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