Hello, reader peeps!
I have a treat for you.
This is Scorch.
Now, as you all know, I do not review books often. And when I do, the reviews are short and… well, they aren’t great.
Scorch isn’t happy about this. Because, he tells me, I am holding us back from publishers’ ARC lists. I need to up my review game. Since we don’t get to the library very often, the majority of the books we read are bought. And as any reader anywhere might tell you, having to buy a book you are scared you might dislike is not fun. Also, books cost money, sometimes a lot. Which is a bit of a big detail to a young lady who currently doesn’t have a salary.
As you are imagining this argument between me and my dragon, imagine me rolling my eyes about now. I see my lovely literate lizard’s point, I really do. But I have lots of books I already own that I haven’t gotten to and if you get sent an ARC, you have to read and review it in a timely fashion and what if I don’t like the book, because then I have to give a bad review.
And then Scorch argues with me, saying that they still want an honest review (and that I always try to find something good about a book anyway) and I need to read more (
which sounds like the baby dragon might want more time with me, now that I think about that) and if I really tried, I could write a good review.
To which, I reply “If you think it’s so easy, Gareth Scorch Pendragon, YOU write a review!”
There was a small silence and then he said, “…Can I? And can we post it on your blog?”
So, here we are. My ravenously reading reptile wants to write a book review.
For his first review, Scorch wanted to pick a book he knew well. He also wanted to pick one that he liked. Though we are planning a fabulous Mistborn reread, we haven’t gotten to it yet. And it’s been a while since we read The Scorpio Races. So, his next pick was a book we read just this past summer.
And now, without further ado, Scorch’s review of The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.
The Last Dragonslayer was a really good book, despite the name. It was pretty suspenseful for me, though (I am a dragon, after all).
The story was about a girl named Jennifer Strange who lives in a magic world with wizards and cars and magic and breakfast cereal. She runs an employment agency/ home for magicians, since her boss disappeared. One day, everyone starts hearing that the last dragon is going to die at a specific time. (SCARY!!!)
The dragons lived in a special land that no one but a dragonslayer or a dragonslayer apprentice could enter. The dragonslayers were only supposed to kill dragons if a dragon was attacking people. When the last dragon dies, the dragon land would go to whoever claimed it first. So people are staking out outside of the dragon lands, waiting for the dragon to be killed by the dragonslayer (which is very sad).
This involves Jennifer because all the wizards are freaking out about this thing called Big Magic that has to do with the dragon’s death. And then, she finds out that SHE is the last dragonslayer! (I was determined not to like her after that, but she is a very good character. And she couldn’t help being the last dragonslayer, really.)
My favorite character in the story was the Quarkbeast. He’s some kind of creature that says “Quark” and eats everything. And he’s big (I am not big).
There were lots of other fun characters, too. There were lots of wizards and magicians and a mean king named Snodd and a Mother Superior who is blind and really, really old. There is a kid named Tiger who is learning how to help Jennifer at the magic agency. And the dragon! His name was Maltcassion. And he was a BIG dragon and he was very polite to Jennifer, even though she was supposed to kill him.
My favorite thing about this book was how fun it was. It was funny. Also, the author took a lot of things that seemed random and put them together. This book was a fantasy. But it took place in a city. And the dragon lands were a forest! And it seems to take place in a future America (or somewhere in Europe, maybe; Katie and I aren’t sure). But there are still cars and soda and breakfast cereal. And there are dragons and wizards and a guild of dragonslayers! Everything fit together so well!
I rate this book 4 out of 5 fireballs. I really liked it, but the whole concept of dragonslaying was terrifying! (Katie gave this book five stars. The dragonslaying didn’t bother her, except one little detail that freaked us both out and made us both want to close the book. But Katie was already freaked out from something scary she had seen that was not in the book. [Scorch, finish up, please.])
Here’s a blurb for the book! (That’s what Katie says they’re called.)
In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery.
Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.
It was so much fun writing this review! Maybe Katie will let me do more of these. [We’ll see, Scorch.]