Author: N.D. Wilson
Genre: Children's Fiction (Ages 10 and Up,
or mature 8 and 9 year olds), Fantasy
The Recipe: (Description from Goodreads) For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.
Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.
The Frosting and Sprinkles: I was super excited to read the first of N.D. Wilson's new series because I loved his last trilogy, 100 Cupboards, so much. SO, when my awesome bibliophile sister gave it to me for Christmas, I devoured it. Wilson did it again-I totally love this book. It is very different from 100 Cupboards, which shows Wilson can create new and unique worlds and plots and has more than one great idea.
Wilson's characters in The Dragon's Tooth are unique but very real and likeable. Siblings Cyrus, Antigone, and Daniel (though he appears less in this novel) have experienced real tragedy which makes them sympathetic characters, but they also are flawed and inexperienced. Cyrus is, of course, my favorite. If he were a real person, middle school April would have totally had a crush on him. Slightly arrogant, sarcastic, amusing, and a rule-breaker, but with a big heart and strong character...wait a minute...I DID marry him. Cyrus is totally my husband at 12. No wonder I love him.
The Dragon's Tooth is a page-turner that I found hard to put down. The plot is complex with interesting twists and turns and Wilson's writing is never boring. This book is a mixed bag of everything one might like in an adventure story-action, peril, magic, a psychotic and uber creepy villain, the supernatural, mystery, a giant immortal turtle. The kids are the heroes in this story, which makes the best children stories, in my opinion.
But, it's more than a great adventure story. The Dragon's Tooth contains a lot of subjects that will challenge both children and adults-racism, elitism, genetic experiments (not kidding), and immortality to name a few. I could write a whole blog entry analyzing this, but I appreciate how Wilson portrays death and immortality-death is viewed as grim and unnatural, not glorious, but immortality sought for unnaturally is also portrayed as dark and evil. Leaves you thinking.
The ending is a perfect teaser. I can't wait for the next book to be released! According to Amazon, number two will be available Sept. 11, 2012.
The Hair That Fell Into the Batter: Nada.
5 Out of 5 Cupcakes!