Monday 9 September 2013


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Book 1 of the Seraphina series
Read by Mandy Williams and Justine Eyre
Genre: victorian urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookAudiobook

About Seraphina:
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered — in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
Source: Info in the About Seraphina was taken from GoodReads at on 08/07/2013.

I picked this book up because obviously I like dragons. And there are dragons in this book aplenty. Good and bad dragons. So no one is purely bad or purely good... Just like the humans. It is a fight of good versus evil. Plus dragons in a victorian setting is a new twist for me. It has always been in a medieval-like setting or the modern world. Very good premise! That however was toned down by the author's blatant attempt to create a situation where the heroes could show off and save the world by making some characters act stupid. What was that all about?! Pretty weak plot. And as if that is not enough, we get inconsistent and conflicting scenes/behaviour. The people just seems rude! And they are suppose to be victorian-like. Polite and civilized society?? For somebody to call someone else something like an "ugly demon" in front of a lot of people is to me, the height of impoliteness. Even I know that, socially inept as I am. But these people do it all the time. And they pride themselves to be a civilized and polite society.... right!!! Maybe it could be presented in such a way that some authors could pull it off and come off convincing. This author, however, did not. Another thing which drops the believability factor is that this is suppose to be a royal court right? So where is the court intrigue? Greedy manipulations? Political power play? There is a distinct lack of realism in the story. It drops the suspension of disbelief a couple of notches down. I think that is one of the reason why it took me so long to get into the story. The lack of realism. So much so that even with the convenience of the audiobook, it still took me something like two months to read the book. Another contributing factor to the book not being a fast-paced read is that I had to have breaks from the "stupids" and the inconsistent behaviour. It just annoys me. So you couldn't call the story telling quality very compelling. But in the end it is a dragon book and I like dragons but I don't think I would be buying anything from this author again.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2.5
Character development = 3
Story itself = 2.5
Ending = 4
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 3
Pace = 1
Plot = 1
Narration = 3

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Seraphina Series:

Thursday 3 January 2013


Shadow Walker by Allyson James
Book 3 of Stormwalker series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback

About Shadow Walker:
Stormwalker Janet Begay returns home only to have the ground collapse beneath her - literally. After tumbling two hundred feet underground, Janet is rescued by her dragon boyfriend, Mick. But something dark touches Mick while in the sinkhole, and Janet might lose him forever unless she recruites the most unlikely of allies to stop the growing shadow.
Source: Info in the About Shadow Walker was taken from GoodReads at on 19/12/12.

My Thoughts:
What I Liked:
I am an old Allyson James fan so I am already familiar with her "author's voice" and I know that the story telling quality of her books is good. I also know that she can spin a beautiful world which I could totally immerse get lost in. I am an escapist reader, so I like worlds where I could get away from reality. And the world of Janet Begay is such a world. But that is not the bestest best thing about this book or this series... the feature I liked most is that the dragons in this world interacts with our contemporary world in a realistic way. I am a dragon geek after all! And besides, I am sucker for bad boys!!
What I Didn't Like:
I'ts not that I don't really like it, it's more like it kinda contributed to diminishing my enjoyment in this book. The thing is, this book dragged at times in the middle. I can't really pin point why. It's just that my mind wanders away and I find myself staring at the came page for moments on end. And I realize that I was just staring and not reading and so I start reading again. After sometime of that I would give up and put the book down to be picked up again later on in the day. This made the reading a bit longer than usual for a book with a good story telling quality. However the pace became quicker once past about three quarters into the book and it was fast until the last page.
Final Say:
In the end I enjoyed this book alot, dragging parts and all, and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series which I already bought and waiting for to arrive in the mail!
Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 4

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In This Series:

Wednesday 2 January 2013


[image credit: GET YOUR SKETCH]
The year 2012 has ended and therefore the end of our DRAGON READS CHALLENGE 2012 has come to pass. How did we do? Not bad... Six dragon books read in 2012. That puts us in the 6-10 Books range which makes us a Junior Apprentice Dragoneer. However that also puts us 3 dragon books read less compared to 2011. So this year, let's see if we can top last year's record or would we read even less? We'll find out...

Challenge Icon:
I so like this tabasco advert that I think we'll have this for our challenge art! To reiterate, we'll keep track of all our reads that got anything to do with dragons in it for this year, 2013. And everytime you do a  review of such a book, give us the link to your review in the comments and include our little challenge icon below in your review post:

<center><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" height="200" width="168"/></a></center>

0 dragon book read - Not Meant To Be In The Dragon Industry
1-5 dragon books read - Novice Dragoneer
6-10 dragon books read - Junior Apprentice Dragoneer
11-15 dragon books read - Journeyman
more than 15 dragon books - Dragon Master

*Number of books rating in the legend encompass the one year time span of 2013.

And by the end of this year, we'll see how we do...