Age Range: 9 - 12
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Super-powered teen follows video meme to dragon cult. Fifteen-year-old Freedom Smith, a Gypsy boy with a mutant gene that gives him increased strength, returns in his second adventure (Fight Game, 2007), searching for his missing girlfriend after a strange video causes some viewers to disappear. Accompanied by a gigantic bulldog named Spike, Freedom heads to Malta to investigate the link between the Draconis family and the mysterious message. Wild’s return to Freedom’s world is plagued by some of the problems of the first novel: Freedom’s Gypsy ancestry is merely touched upon, the violence is cartoonish yet brutal and the character development is stilted. Freedom is a petulant teen, and his tone will quickly bother more sophisticated readers. None of the other human characters has a well-developed presence, and the relationship between Freedom and crush Java is forced at best. Spike, though, has a definite personality, and builds strong emotional connections with readers. Further, the mystical elements aren’t communicated well, and the martial-arts scenes don’t thrill. Rather than sizzling, this work barely simmers. (Science fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-87176-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2009