Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Diego's Dragon: Spirits of the Sun by Kevin Gerard

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, April 14, 2014
Title: Spirits of the Sun (Diego's Dragon #1)
Author: Kevin Gerard
Rating: ★ ★ ★★ 
Genres: MG, Fantasy, Adventure
Format Read: Smashwords, 43,950 words
Copy provided by Author

Description from Goodreads
An eleven-year-old Latino boy wins a district-wide writing contest for sixth graders. When an author visits his school to award his prize, Diego Ramirez has no idea how much his life is about to change.Nathan Sullivan hands Diego his statue, a handsome, glistening black dragon. He shakes his hand and leaves him to his friends. The students crowd around Diego, asking for permission to hold it.After hearing the name Magnifico spoken aloud by family and friends, Diego awards it to his new dragon. If he only knew how fitting the name was, he might have known what lay ahead. Magnifico is the leader of the Sol Dragones, dragons that live within the magical fires of the sun. Nathan Sullivan is the earth's connection to the mysterious creatures. It is his task to find Magnifico's guide.As Magnifico comes to life he becomes quite mischievous, playing tricks on Diego to embarrass him. As he discovers his bloodline, however, Diego assumes greater control over his dragon and his destiny. In the climactic journey, he frees his people and suffers a terrible loss by guiding Magnifico to their goal.

My Review:

I've been seeing this book on lots of blogs lately. The cover was so eye catching and I was instantly intrigued. Needless to say that I was super excited to read about Diego's journey. 

Diego is a sixth grader, who is smarter than the other kids of his age. When an author gives him a statue of a dragon, for winning a contest, his entire life turns upside down. All sort of crazy stuff starts happening: his dragon, Magnifico, comes to life and plays tricks on him, the girl he has a crush on starts talking to him and the mysterious author tells him about a grand journey.

I really like the idea that's inspired Mr. Gerard to write this book. I think it's unique, and that Diego makes a really great hero. He is charming, intelligent and an adorable little kid who loves his family. I like how he follows what his instinct tells him; he immediately feels that there is something wrong with the dragon and when he realizes that it might harm his beloved ones, he doesn't think twice before getting rid of it.

Magnifico, on the other hand is a really mischievous and unpredictable creature. He has a temper and tends to cause trouble, and it takes a while for Diego to learn how to control and deal with his new dragon.
This book reminds me a little of Hiccup and Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. The two stories are nothing alike, but whenever I read about Diego and Mangnifico dashing through the sky, I feel the same feelings of lightheartedness and joy that I felt when I watched How To Train Your Dragon. But maybe that's just because of my weird obsession with that movie.

The hispanic culture is beautifully portrayed in this book. I really love learning and reading about different values and traditions, and I think it's a pity how most YA books lack of those themes. However, this book also deals with issues that are very common in teen books like alcohol and rebellious teenagers. 

Although I really enjoyed reading this book, I confess that I was a bit confused about Racquel's mysterious part in Diego's journey. But later on I noticed that I woudn't have been that confused, if I read the last part of the book description attentively. Aside from that issue, the ending was really satisfying. 

Overall I really enjoyed reading Diego's Dragon. It's a great fantasy and adventure book with lots of amazing characters. I highly recommend it to those who are fans of How To Train Your Dragon.

Thank you to the author for providing me with an ecopy in exchange for an honest review.


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