The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.
On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Traveling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.
Dragon of the Month Club [paperback]
Middle Grade, Fantasy
Already Pub'd 2015
Middle Grade, Fantasy
Already Pub'd 2015
I would like to thank author Iain Reading for a copy of this book to review. Though I received this book for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review.
This is a fantastic book, and not just for middle school readers! The characters of Ayana and Tyler are sweet, engaging, and very realistic. Possibly a bit naive, but then again maybe not. Tyler is from Medicine Hat, Alberta, while Ayana hails from Vancouver. The two cities, if one can call Medicine Hat a city, are nothing alike. Aside from sheer scale, Vancouver has mountains, forests, and rivers to spare, while Medicine Hat has dry prairie land. That's it, just dry prairie as far as the eye can see. Or at least in Ayana's eyes, though Tyler probably wouldn't put up much of an argument. But now Ayana lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta too. And she's not happy about it. She and her mom had to move back in with her grandparents after her dad left the two of them. So now, because he walked out on them, she's stuck in a podunk town, starting over in a new school. Meanwhile all her friends are still back in Vancouver, and no doubt taking advantage of all the amazing opportunities it has to offer.
Ayana is the new girl in school with the sad misfortune of being targeted by the class bully, Heather van der Sloot, plus her mean friends/followers. Heather is the most popular girl in school, who just happens to come from the most powerful and wealthiest family in town. This of course means that Ayana has no friends in school, as no one is willing to stand up to the snooty, but powerful, Heather and crew. So it isn't long before the local library becomes Ayana's refuge and hiding place. It also is where she meets Tyler, and where they discover the book that will change their lives forever.
Tyler goes to a private school. He's a brainiac, loves to read, and also loves designing things. And he may even love Ayana. But that's not the point. Or not yet anyway; who knows what might happen in the future? So Ayana and Tyler meet in the library. They become best friends, and find a magical book. A book about dragons. They conjure their first dragon and can't believe it when a dragon actually appears. Pretty soon all their time revolves around magical dragons. Soon they are members of a mysterious, but awesome, dragon of the month club. Every month they anxiously await the arrival of the instructions for their newest dragon. But they don't always have the necessary ingredients to create that month's dragon, so sometimes they have to wait for what feels like forever before they get a dragon they can conjure.
They're always very careful when conjuring their dragons, because that's just the way they are. Well, actually, Tyler is more cautious and careful while Ayana is more spontaneous and daring. But neither one wants to mess up a spell, or find out what the mysterious warnings could mean. Because there are warnings about being very careful and precise when conjuring a dragon. If you do the wrong thing at the wrong point. . . well just don't. But one day, despite their best efforts, something happens. They conjure their dragon, but are all sucked into a strange vortex. They discover that they're still in Tyler's room, but everything has changed. For example now they're tiny. So small in fact they fit right into the pop-up book that was open next to them on the bed when all this happened. Yup, I said into. Not onto, but into. And that the mountain in the distance? That's actually Tyler's desk.
Now they must find a way to return to normal size and fast! All of their adventures revolve around the books they step into, books that were open on Tyler's floor, bed, and desk. From Chinese proverbs, to German fairytales, to Sherlock Holmes; the two friends and their dragons must travel through all these and more in search of a way back to the real world. But it's not just the books that have changed. Things in Tyler's room take on a life of their own, making their journey that much more exciting, scary, and exhilarating. As they travel through each different story they learn something new, even if they're not yet aware of it.
The characters are so well thought out, so beautifully created, that you simply can't help but enjoy the ride with them. As they travel through other stories their experiences remain true to the story they've stepped into, granting them access to information and experiences most only dream about. Though the beginning of their story is a bit slower before the arrival of their first dragon, it is widely used to give both of them background and depth. The pacing of this story is right on, and will be sure to keep anyone's attention, no matter how long or short that span may be. This book is a winner for any and all readers, regardless of age. Go, get your hands on this book now - but make sure you've got some time for reading, because once you start you won't want to stop until it ends. And then you'll only stop because there are no more words on the page. Which means you'll end up like me, anxiously waiting for the next book of their adventures to come out!
There is an ongoing contest for readers to win a one-of-a-kind hardcover version of The Dragon of the Month Club with their artwork as the cover.
“Draw a picture! Write a story! Take a photograph! Bake some cookies! Mold a dragon out of clay! Knit one out of yarn! Make one out of LEGO! Whatever you want! Just let your imagination run wild because anything goes – the more creative the better! Send your dragon in and then on the 13th day of every month one entry will be chosen at random and featured on the official Dragon Of The Month Club website. Each month’s lucky winner will also receive a free one-of-a-kind personalized hard-cover edition of The Dragon Of The Month Club book featuring their winning artwork (or other creative content) on the cover or inside the book itself,” says Iain.
To learn more, go to http://www.dragonofthemonthclub.com/
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.
Iain writes middle grade and young adult books. His published works include the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/