THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON by James A. Owen

THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica
From the "Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica" series, volume 2
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Narrative tension can’t save this sequel from glaring flaws. Nine years have passed since John, Jack and Charles had their last Archipelago adventure in Here There Be Dragons (2006), but now they must return to save the world from a child-stealing villain. There’s simply no child or YA audience for this text—the adult protagonists mock adolescence, and the child characters are lisping feral innocents. Thematically concerned with superior adulthood (much of the adventure takes place in the Archipelago’s version of Neverland crossed with Dante’s Inferno), this adventure is positively hostile to a young readership. Like the previous volume, this entry mixes mythology, fairy tale and folklore, intertwining Daedalus with Peter Pan, Arthur with the Pied Piper, Narnia with the lost Roanoke colony. The result might have been coherent had it been well-constructed, but clumsy moments, such as a classically trained character misattributing a John F. Kennedy quotation to Dante, shatter the story’s conceit. Moreover, when one of the story’s villains asks the heroes why the Caretaker position “has been reserved mostly for light-skinned Europeans,” his brutal villainy makes a mockery of the question. In this world, raising concerns about elitism and racism is something done only by a foolish despot. Full of unmet potential. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4850-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2007




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