A teenage boy dragon battles bullies, a mad scientist, and his own self-doubt in his quest to win over a girl dragon.
It's hard not to love a story about a dragon with a spaceship that cribs its plot from a John Hughes movie. Hudson (Dear Mr. President, 2002) follows up his devastating short story debut with a wacky teen comedy with shades of Terry Pratchett and Tom Holt. Our narrator is Gork, a clumsy but very determined student at WarWings Military Academy on the planet Blegwethia. Our boy isn’t doing so hot with his diminished horns, a power rating of “Snacklicious,” and the nickname “Weak Sauce.” As happens in teen comedies, it’s “Crown Day,” in which dragons must ask a girl to be their queen or be forever banished as a slave. Gork’s intended paramour is the fierce Runcita Floop. “Me and my Queen Runcita will be laying plans for invading a planet together,” Gork says. “Soon I’ll be out in space on my Fertility Mission, and me and Runcita will be ‘bumping scales,’ so she can lay my eggs.” Unfortunately, Dean Floop has no intention of letting Gork anywhere near his daughter. Technically, Gork has some help from his grandfather Dr. Terrible, which includes a brain implant that makes him more ferocious when he recites poems, but grandpa is also malicious and kind of insane. Gork has other allies, though, in his tomboy friend Fribby (a cyborg dragon who takes no guff from Gork) and his spaceship Athenos II, a sentient being that carries secrets from Gork’s childhood. If it all sounds a bit crazy, it is, in a weird and kind of wonderful way that combines immature humor with a heartfelt coming-of-age story.
The hyperkinetic teen-dragon comedy-romance you never knew you wanted.