We’re headed back to the world of Middle Grade Fantasy today with the action-packed Space Dragons by Robin Bennett. Many thanks to Robin, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.
If Stan Pollux had known he would be spending his summer holidays in the outer reaches of our solar system, he would have put on different underpants.
But when he gets kidnapped by the Planet Dragon Mercury, most things suddenly seem small and insignificant. Stan finds himself in a universe of dragons who had once ruled the skies as gods: Mars, Venus, Saturn and even Uranus way out back. This is shaping up to be the best summer holiday in the history of the cosmos until Stan discovers his stupid sister is missing and that Pluto (AKA Hades) is trying to use her to destroy the Solar System. And it will be all Stan’s fault if he doesn’t get Poppy back.
So, all Stan has to do is learn how to fight like a hero in space armour, defeat the dragon god Hades, rescue his sister and save the world. All before his parents realise she is missing.
Space Dragons instantly struck me as a book that would appeal to so many different children (and adults for that matter), whether they have a fascination with dragons, are a future astronomer, have a passion for mythology, or are just fans of adventure. Add to this the fact that although the main character is a young boy, he has a fiesty little sister who girls will love, and this book really does have something for everyone.
As a Rick Riordan fan and a lover of mythology in general, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this incarnation of the ancient gods. Having the appearance of each dragon reflect that of their namesake planet is just such a clever way of educating children without them even realising, and with each dragon taking to the extreme their individual quirks and foibles, the astronomical information takes on a form that will give kids a point to focus on so it will stick in their memory. Add to this the little facts and snippets of information at the start of each chapter and you have a young scientists dream.
Although this book is clearly aimed at the young market, the language used manages to feel mature enough for adults to also enjoy it, but still perfectly reflects the thought process of an 11 year old boy. Even as an only child I could feel the frustration caused by a careless younger sibling, and by the inability to stand up to the school bully. I think a lot of children will find Stan to be an extremely relatable character.
I loved getting to know each of the dragons, with their complicated family dynamics. Their reunion dinner on Jupiter was a true feast for the imagination, both in terms of the food they eat, and the way they interact with each other. I found I was particularly fond of excitable Mercury and fierce Mars. I even found I developed a soft spot for the hellhound Cerberus.
This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read for all ages, and struck me as the perfect bed time reading, when the young readers could view the night sky as they read, and maybe spot a dragon of their own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children, adults, and everything in between. Listed in the Who’s Who of British Business Excellence at 29, his 2016 documentary “Fantastic Britain”, about the British obsession with fantasy and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, and his first book for young adults, Picus the Thief, won the Writer’s News Indie Published Book of the Year Award in 2012. Robin is also a director at Firefly Press.
Win 10 x Hardcover Copies of Space Dragons – UK Only
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Don’t forget to check out the other blogs taking part in this tour.