I am a sucker for dragons and fantasy and misunderstood kids. It is almost always a great combination.
I began to read this book with anticipation and a little bit of trepidation. Anticipation for the possibility that the book seemed to promise. The trepidation came because I had just finished a book that utterly disappointed me by not living up to the promise of the jacket blurb.
I am relieved to say that this book was not a disappointment.
It was a joy.
L.R.W. Lee writes a delightful story for a younger audience.
Our newly minted hero, Andy, is relate-able. He is an imaginative kid who feels constantly misunderstood by his family. So it is with more excitement than fear that he finds himself transported to a magical land called Oomaldee. On arrival he is tasked with helping to break a curse for a centuries old king while being thwarted by a spiteful ghost. He makes new friends and grows as an individual while discovering secrets and battling dragons.
The intro to the book and the history of the curse is nicely done. A funny and fresh take on what awaits those who have passed on.
This book is intended for a younger reader than most of the YA fiction I review. As such it seemed at times to over simplify some situations and maybe underestimate the intended reader. I think that even the younger 8-11 year olds this seems geared towards could understand and appreciate a little more nuance.
The story is well crafted and enjoyable. As an adult I still found the story interesting. It was whimsically quirky without being patronizing or obvious. A very hard combination to achieve. I wanted to know more about this land.
I am hoping that some of the questions I had will be answered in the next book in the series. (How is Andy a descendant being the main one.)
I think this would be an excellent book for a parent and child to read together as both will enjoy it.
My advice to the author would be to trust the young reader and to fully explore the vivid world she is creating.
I was provided a gratis copy of this book for review.