Some people think opening a book is a simple thing. It's not. Most people don't realise that you can get truly lost in a book.
Dragon’s Green is either a middle grade book or a children’s book for adults, I can’t quite decide. The language is beautiful but also feels very much like a children’s story yet there’s references to The Master and Margarita and the like. Perhaps Scarlett’s intention is for it to be read to children by their parents and they can get secret little adult references.
There’s a lot about books and reading, it’s definitely a book for bookish people. Effie starts out on her adventure because she wants to save her late grandfather’s books. He had a collection of Last Editions which were promptly sold after his death, despite Effie knowing he would want her to have them. She discovers the power of books, also the legacy of her family and she finds out that it is indeed possible to get lost in a book.
We don’t learn much about Effie’s mother, who disappeared shortly after the Worldquake, assumed dead. The Worldquake reset the clock on technology to circa 1992, which is a time before the internet and mobile phones really took over our lives. The perfect excuse to exclude these things from the magical world where books are still revered.
All books have tremendous power. And power is magic.
Effie always assumed her grandfather knew magic, asking him to teach her, but he never confirmed it. Instead he taught her magical thinking skills (analytical thinking to you or me). When he dies, she’s left with magical objects which seem to be the perfect fit for her new-found friends. Soon she learns of the Otherworld, M-currency and how magic really is real.
Anyway, it was loads of fun and really rather sweet. In all the scenarios that a book for older readers would turn characters against each other, they just lend a hand and say sorry. One characters would easily be cast as the bully but turns out he’s an OK kid who’s not had the best life so far. He ends up one of the group rather than pit against them.
It's the first book in a new series and I would definitely read the next one. And yes, there is a dragon in it.
Dragon's Green is published by Canongate and is available now in hardback (with a glow-in-the-dark cover) and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.