Review: The Dragondain (The Moonrealm, #2)

The Dragondain (Moon Realm, #2)The Dragondain by Richard Due
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Moon Realm series. Prepare for lots of deep magic, play-by-play battle scenes, and some world-hopping. My dumbed-down review is this: I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first, and though I DID like the writing style, I found the story so chocked full of characters that I couldn’t keep track of them all, and I felt confused half the time. I’m also more than a tad annoyed that neither of the first two books in this series actually have endings.

Now for the more complicated review.

I like Due’s writing style. It’s fun, witty, detailed, just a tinge sarcastic at times. I enjoyed the world. He’s obviously spent a lot of time crafting it and thought it out to the max (I can’t speak for scientific accuracy, though–there’s ZERO science in my background here, sorry!). So, two for two so far, right?

But now we get to the characters. I read this book in bits over a few weeks, and that was REALLY tough to do because the character list in this book is on serious steroids. There is a character list at the front of the book FOR A REASON. I had to keep flipping back to it because I’d forget who everyone was–which made for a really slow read. Other than this complication, I liked the characters that returned from the previous book. They have histories and are interesting and fun. I did feel, though, that there were a lot of…er, “inside jokes”…going on in the book. Conversations that the reader is left out of because you won’t find out why the characters are laughing (etc) till a later book. That sort of foreshadowing/play is great in pints, but it was served in gallons.

The story itself felt like it was dragging. It’s neat in that it tosses us back and forth between Lily’s and Jasper’s views as they alternate going to and from the Moon Realm. But while the descriptions were of great, imaginative settings and events, frequently they just went on too long. I didn’t find myself as interested as I was with the first book. And THEN I got to the end and realized this series is like a tv movie–that the “end” is really just a commercial break and the story continues in the next book without closing any of the plot in this one.

So, here’s the wrap. If you love middle-grade fantasy, enjoy plotted battles, and you’re good at keeping track of a slew of characters or can read The Dragondain in just a few sittings, then delve on! It’s a great world–maybe a bit TOO in depth, if such a thing is possible. My main issues were that I got bored a lot because I tripped over too much confusion (possibly my own fault for taking too many sittings to read it) and that this book didn’t leave me much more enlightened than when I left the first book. There’s a cool plot in here, but I don’t want it to take five books before I can get ANY kind of closure.

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