Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Tween Reads

Dragons vs. Drones: D&D fantasy meets today’s tech

dragons vs dronesDragons vs. Drones, by Wesley King (Mar. 2016, Razorbill), $16.99, ISBN: 9781595147974

Recommended for ages 9-12

In a land called Dracone, Dree labors away as a welder. Her family was once nobility; her father, a dragon rider, until their fortunes reversed. Now, dragon riders are considered traitors, dragons hunted for their fangs and scales, and Dree’s father spends his day as a shadow of the man he once was while Dree and her mother work to scrape together a living for their family.

In our world, Marcus, the son of a CIA analyst who disappeared when he was only 4 is desperate to find out what happened to his father. He’s told by the government that his father was a traitor; his mother died when he was a baby. Raised by his father’s best friend – who seems to know more than he’s letting on – Marcus has been studying weather patterns that may lead to some answers. The only problem is, he’s being watched by government drones.

When Marcus breaks a code that sends him into an alternate world, he meets Dree and discovers a world like nothing he’s ever known. But the drones have followed him and are wreaking havoc on the Draconian citizens. Can Dree and Marcus forge a peace between humans and dragons to save themselves from an evil plan to destroy the land?

Dragons vs. Drones is a fantasy novel that’s part fantasy and part tech/sci-fi thriller. It’s been called “Eragon meets Transformers”, which is a pretty accurate description. We’ve got dragons, and we’ve got codebreaking. STEM fans, there is some pretty intense discussions of welding/metalworking and coding/hacking here, so it’s a good book to give the kids in your life who love to play around at the computer, fool around with their own Raspberry Pi, and dream about dragons, swords and magic. Magic and science co-exist here, broadening the audience, and there are both male and female main characters, for anyone who still flinches at “boy books” vs. “girl books” (I’ve got a few in my library).¬† There’s quite a bit of world-building on both worlds, and the ending provides a promise for a sequel.

Some timely topics to discuss in a group setting include government surveillance, deforestation for industrial progress, and ethics of hunting/endangered species.

A good addition to science fiction and fantasy collections.

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Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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