Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DNF Review: Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past by Paul Cude

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Title: Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past
Author: Paul Cude
My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: October 1st 2011
Format: Ebook, 360 pages
Copy provided by Author

Description from Goodreads

An adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present dat world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them.

My Review:

When the author contacted me to review his book, I was a bit skeptical to read it because truth be told, the cover isn't very attractive. However, I realized I wasn't being fair so I decided to put my first impression aside and give this book a chance.

There are several things that I didn't like about this book. The first was the slow pacing. I kept putting this book down because I had a really hard time getting into the story. I didn't like how flashbacks were used for the world building and to tell the background story. I think it made the tale really slow and boring. There were also a lot of information to take in, and I felt that some things could have been omitted as they weren't relevant. Another reason why I didn't enjoy this book, was that I didn't click with the characters. After reading more than 200 pages I still didn't feel for them. I even tried to take a break from reading, so I could have a fresh start but when that didn't work, I eventually gave up. I feel that the main character, Peter, is very shallow which didn't make him interesting to read. He isn't a brave person, he allows others to walk over him and always relies on his two friends, Tank and Richie. Although I think he probably may have changed by the end of the book, I didn't think he was an enjoyable character to read. This book has also a mystery aspect to it, but it unfolds really slowly and I didn't find it very intriguing.

However, the fascinating thing about Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past was that it focuses a lot on sport. It's something I have never encountered in other novels before, and I think it's what differentiates this book from other similar-sounding books. I also like the idea it's based upon. It's set in the present where dragons live secretly amongst humans. Since they were born, the dragons have been training to assume human forms and learning about human lifestyle, so they could easily blend in. I liked how there's a whole "dragon community" that lives underground, and how all the training doesn't happen in secret academies and schools. 

To summarize, I think this could have been a really great book. I liked the setup, but didn't like the execution. Sadly, this is neither a plot-driven nor a character-driven book.

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


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