Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Here, There Be Dragons --by James A. Owen

Fiction / Fantasy

352 Pages / 1284 KB
4 Stars

This is a friend's favorite read, and while I found it a good story, I also found things in it, or not in it, that make it, for me, a good read—not my favorite.

It's a teen read, not sure it's quite Young Adult, but not sure it isn't. For me, the story dragged a bit here and there, and when the thief escaped in a rowboat, I couldn't understand why the sailboat didn't chase him down? They knew, immediately, what happened. And how did the thief, in his little rowboat, find the other sailboat that wasn't visible at the time?

Much of it reminded me of Tolkien and Lewis, who are not bad people to be reminded of, though without the strong religious bent. This is the first of a series, and I will most assuredly pick up the next in the series.

It begins in 1917, and John has been in the trenches of France and sent home to England to recuperate from a combination of shell shock and gas. He is a so-so student of his mentor, in ancient languages, and hasn't a great deal of ambition at the moment. He receives a note from his mentor, not entirely clear what the note means, he goes to London only to arrive at his mentor's office to find him dead.

He ends up with two other companions, Jack and Charles, being rescued by Bert from the snarling, nasty, killing imaginary beasts called Wendigos. They leap onto Bert's sailboat, sail out of London and onto a new sea, and into a fantastical adventure where they discover they are keepers of the great atlas, the Imaginarium Geographica, and must not only guard it, but save the Archipelago from evil.

A nice twist at the end, when their full names are revealed. If you're up on your literature, or at least that of Williams, Tolkien, Lewis, and Wells, it may hold even more interest for you. At the least, it's an enjoyable story, complete with some laugh-out-loud moments.

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