The Dragon Diary: Dragonology Chronicles Volume 2 by Dugald Steer

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The Dragon Diary: Dragonology Chronicles Volume 2 by Dugald Steer

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sophie Hickman
Reviewed by Sophie Hickman
Summary: Designed to tie in with the other Dragonology titles, this book seems to have been written in a rush. This threatens to be a disappointment to fans, but may please with its perfectly pitched plot.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Candlewick
ISBN: 978-0763634254

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Daniel and Beatrice Cook are studying Dragonology with Dr Ernest Drake, and are awaiting the hatching of their very own dragon egg. But suddenly their parents have gone missing, an illness is killing dragons and it all smells of evil dragonologist, Alexandra Gorynytchka. Before they know it, the brother, sister and new dragon chick have to deliver Liber Draconis, the dragon diary, and St Petroc's chalice to Dr Drake in Hong Wei, which may hold the secret to the cure. As the back cover reads: The future of dragon kind hangs in the balance!

Following on from the massively successful Dragonology books, and all the other Ology publications, I was anxious to see whether the authors second foray into fiction was worth a read, or just another piece of merchandise. Having read it, I have to say I'm on the fence.

I hadn't read the first book in the series, but that's alright because most good sequels can be read as stand-alone novels, right? Mmmmmmm . . . well, sort of. The plot is good, perfect for the age range, in fact. But the characters from the first book, e.g. Beatrice and Daniel, aren't properly described (our only indication as to what they look like are the illustrations) and we are never told their ages (apart from Daniel's age being mentioned in the blurb).

But this isn't the only weak point. This book really feels like it started with a good idea, but was written in a rush. The writing has some major flaws. The dialogue is unrealistic, there are too many 'said's and some things are far too convenient not to be irritating. Some bits were slow – like the beginning - and some were fast - flying over a continent is described in a couple of pages. This book could have definitely done with a bit more polishing.

Some children will probably enjoy this book – it's got a fun plot and characters that would have been brilliant if they had been brought to life more. But I am afraid it just didn't tick all the boxes for me.

This could be a nice read-aloud sort of book, a pleasant adventure to share, but I don't think it will be a favourite. You can only probably get really involved in this book if you have read the other Dragonology titles. However, I think there is enough here to sweep a young reader along with the story.

This is a lovely looking book, which looks great on your bookshelf, and is really traditional in appearance with its illustrations.

And the verdict? It's not mere merchandise and Dugald A. Steer certainly has an imagination – he is in fact just a short leap away from a brilliant book.

Thanks to the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you enjoyed this, or like this sort of thing but are looking for something better, the Bookbag recommends Kenny and the Dragon.

Buy The Dragon Diary: Dragonology Chronicles Volume 2 by Dugald Steer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dragon Diary: Dragonology Chronicles Volume 2 by Dugald Steer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Dragon Diary: Dragonology Chronicles Volume 2 by Dugald Steer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dragon Diary: Dragonology Chronicles Volume 2 by Dugald Steer at Amazon.com.


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