Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Effie Truelove believes in magic, as does her grandfather Griffin (although he refuses to do any magic, let alone teach Effie how to use it). After a mysterious incident leaves Griffin close to death, Effie is given an unusual silver ring and told she must look after her grandfather’s library of rare and powerful books. But then the books fall into the hands of shady scholar Leonard Levar, and Effie is propelled into the most dangerous adventure of her life.
Now, Effie and her friends–nerdy Maxmillian, rugby-mad Wolf, helpful Lexy, and eccentric Raven–must discover their true powers if they are to get the books back. And Effie alone will have to travel to the Otherworld, she will discover the true meaning of the strange old book called Dragon’s Green…
Dragon’s Green is Scarlett Thomas’s first book written for children, and what a marvelous beginning it is! Effie Truelove is a heroine in the same vein as Harry Potter. She’s courageous, loyal, and determined to do the right thing. But her true strength comes from the support of friends, who are just as well-developed as Effie. They’re an entertaining mix of kids who are always willing to come to each other’s aid. The dialogue between them is clever and funny, which further adds to the enjoyment of the story. The world-building is simply phenomenal. The story is set in an alternative London after a catastrophic earthquake has destroyed the majority of technology and seemingly, magic. You can probably guess from the cover and premise, that books play a central role here, which makes this even more appealing. The only reason why I haven’t given this a perfect 5 star rating, is because except for Effie’s grandfather and Maxmillian’s mother, who both seem to know more than they’re willing to share with our intrepid heroes, most of the adults are at best, uncaring, and at worst absolutely horrible. They’re very reminiscent of the way adults are depicted in Roald Dahl’s books. I was left wishing they were a little more original, but the rest of the story is so wonderful that this is a minor complaint. Dragon’s Green is a fantastic and creative beginning to this new middle grade series, and I highly recommend it to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I can’t wait for the next book!