Monday, June 29, 2009

Disappointing, to say the least

Title: The Dragon Princess
Author: E.D. Baker
Format: Harcover
Pages: 224
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Series #: 6 of 6
Date Started: June 27, 2009
Date Finished: June 27, 2009

Rating: C

Description (from B&N): Meet Millie, the charming but somewhat cursed daughter of Princess Emma and Prince Eadric. Why cursed? You see, every time Millie gets mad (and she gets mad a little too often) she turns into a dragon. And not a cute little pink dragon either. She is a full-on, green-scaled, huge-winged, fire-breathing dragon. Enough to scare the petticoats off her own friends, family…and of course, potential suitors who come to see about her hand in marriage.

It’s embarrassing…even maddening, that this has to happen, but no one seems to have any answers for her…until she hears about a witch in the far reaches of the Frozen North, a witch guarded by a frightening brigade of polar bears, bears who have no interest in helping a princess in distress...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All I can say about this book is that it was a big disappointment. I've loved most of the books in this series, even when Baker's choppy writing style bugged me. But this book annoyed me for completely different reasons.

  1. The story was boring... it got exciting at some points, but for the most part, there wasn't a lot of action. The story just didn't seem to flow and to move. It just kind of jumped from one point to another without any transitions. And the characters weren't as easy to connect with as Emma and Eadric had been, especially since they didn't seem to connect with each other. They just weren't developed at all. The author kept repeating physical traits in order to make the characters more real, but it only annoyed me. I must have read the same description of Millie's friend Zoe over and over again. And her cousin had even less description, if that's even possible. It was also boring because for the most part, it lacked the humor and the fun that made the other books so enjoyable.
  2. It felt like half the book was just recapping everything that happened in the last 5 books. I understand that it's important for your readers to remember what happened in a previous story in order for some things to make sense. That doesn't mean you have to practically retell the other 5 books throughout the 6th book. A big problem that series writers have is that they can't write their books so that one could stand on its own if someone accidentally read the series out of order. I love Chris Paolini and Cornelia Funke because they just throw a quick summary of the earlier books in the beginning of their later books so if you need a reminder or if you've never read the other books, you can still understand most of what's happening without having to endure recap after recap. And the recaps wouldn't have been so bad if Baker hadn't used the same two plot devices over and over again to include them.
  3. The book was a lot shorter than it should have been. When you consider how much of the story was made up of recapping the past, Millie's story should have been longer to make up for it. And to end the story before she makes it back home and has to face her parents and grandparents was even more maddening.
  4. Personal issue: I miss Emma & Eadric. They were such great characters, and I wish I could have read about their adventures with the sea monsters, instead of their daughter's rather uninteresting adventure to control her temper.
Only two redeeming qualities for this book-- Audun, the frost dragon, and the Blue Witch. They pretty much saved this book. Otherwise, I wouldn't read this book again unless I was rereading the series. C

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