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Here, There Be Dragons (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica #1)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  6,536 ratings  ·  707 reviews
The Imaginarium Geographica

"What is it?" John asked.

The little man blinked and arched an eyebrow.

"It is the world, my boy," he said. "All the world, in ink and blood, vellum and parchment, leather and hide. It is the world, and it is yours to save or lose."


An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the fir
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Paperback, First Simon Pulse Edition, 326 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Simon Pulse (first published September 26th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne
Can I give above a 5-star? Because if I could, I would. This book was fantastic! It has a twist at the end, and once you read it, you go "Omigosh, are you serious? How did I not pick up on that?!" and suddenly you love this book all the more. The idea of a sort of parallel universe has been done before, but Owen has done an excellent job with originality. Read it, you will love it, I'm positive!
Jonathan
Well I've decided: having read far too many reviews of this that simply pointed out the flat characterisation and the unoriginal nature of this book that it needs a bit of a lift from yours truly. So here is my attempt.

Now as I mentioned before (once upon a time) I love fairytales, mythology and legends. That is why I appreciated the magical sparkle of this book. Some might state that this book is unoriginal and flat however I personally found it to contain an original premise and interesting en
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Mike (the Paladin)
Library edition...to the head of the line it goes!

This book started out well and I was immediately interested. The characters are interesting and the story begins to roll along laying out the basic idea and the overriding theme. Unfortunately it's not long before the book bogs down...I suppose overwhelmed by it's own "wonder".

I know that some love this (these) books. I can even see why, I know there are readers who will be totally enamored by the very things that finally caused the book to fall
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Mith
Even before I begin to write this review, I know right away that no matter what I say, I'll never be able to do this book justice. I'll try, though.

First, a little background :

"An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica -- an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and
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Lauren
James A. Owen took the words "What If", and created a wonderful series and how! He said what if the some of the world's greatest authors and playwrights such as William Shakespeare, Jules Vern, James Barrie, H.G. Wells, J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams came up with their stories and plays not purely from imagination, but from very real events. Well he did just that in what is one of the hands-down best fantasy series out there. From the first page i was utterly captivated, John Jac ...more
Jaq Greenspon
There's a quote by C.S. Lewis which says “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” I like this quote. I like this quote a lot. What it says to me is that just because you're writing for a child doesn't mean you have to "dumb" the story down or condescend to your readers.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what James A. Owen does here. Now, that isn't to say if you have a 12 year old who is interested in fantasy and you want to get them
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Luqman Hakim
Pertama kali tertarik sama buku ini, tentu saja... karena di sini ada naga!
dan naga dalam cover buku ini "beda" dengan naga2 yang pernah saya lihat sepanjang hidup saya memainkan game, nonton film, maupun komik2 yang pernah memunculkan naga sebelum2nya...

ya.. "beda"

bahkan sempat merasa sedikit aneh dengan gambar naga ini, alih2 memiliki moncong seperti buaya aligator *begitulah rata2 naga yang nempel d benak saya*

http://www.playkon.com/uploads/2009/0...



ini naga yang ada d benak saya dari game Dragon Age

Dengan moncong yang seperti paruh, naga d
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Jamie
Here, There Be Dragons focuses on a group of travelers that start off in London and take a voyage to a place called the Archipelago of Dreams. A 'world' of different islands, races and people. There are three from out world as we know it. John, Jack and Charles. They are told by a man named Bert (another primary character) that they are to be Caretakers of a map called the Imaginarium Geographica.
Also in this story is Aven, Bert's daughter and ship captain, and Bug, a youth they meet at their f
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George
Took a wonderful premise, and made a complete mess of it by making shallow characters, shirking on detail, and leaving it as took much of four piece puzzle plot.

The only positive point, is Trummler, the badger, who had more character in his left footpaw than the entire rest of the cast. Otherwise, amazing disappointment, though the art is sorta good. Do Not Buy. Check from the library at the most...if even that.
Teri
Well I wasnt expecting to give this a 5 star rating when I was 1\3 or even 1\2 way through the book. I was thinking maybe a 4ish..
It does start out a little hard to feel engaged.
The characters are also a little hard to connect with.
But by the end I was very fascinated with the characters\plot\history\mythology and how the writer has built and intertwined all these elements into one world. how this one place could be the whole base of not only our various gods and mythical ledgends but the very p
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nessie tavariel
Let me explain this book for you. No, there is too much—let me sum up: Three young Oxford chaps who have never met before, John, Jack, and Charles, are brought together on a dark and stormy night (not even kidding) by the death of Professor Sigurdsson—the Caretaker of the Imaginarium Geographica, the atlas of every mythological and legendary land. Then a mysterious man of diminutive stature and looking something like "what might result if you shredded an illustrated edition of the works of Jacob ...more
Ryan Mishap
Three Oxford men find themselves visiting a murdered professor in 1917 London. There, a strange little man compels them to run from the beasts what did the murder. they board a dragonship and sail to the waters where everything that exists in fable , myth, and legend has a real counterpart. They three must guard a book of maps and language that could be put to foul use by the Winter King.
I like fantasy books that base themselves on folklore and hint or flat out say (in this case) that folklore
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Susan
I loved how this book began.....a murder, a mystery, strange creatures and a magical journey.

I was all set for a great read....but then....I became really disconcerted to discover that the story reminded me of two other very famous books!
Surely, I thought, no author would be that obvious.....then the penny began to drop, and what unfolded was a very clever and original story peopled by some memorable characters......and Dragons!

I knew there was something special going on, but the ending was stil
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Christine Norris
Personally I think those that ranked this low just didn't 'get it'. Yes, he used a ton of source material, but he wove it together into such an original, rich tapestry of an entirely new world. I mean, the Arthur legend side-by-side with Captain Nemo? Who would have thought it?

The surprise ending is just the icing on the cake to his easy to read, well-written novel that flows across the imagination like the sea that surrounds the Archipelago of Dreams.

I have also read the sequel, which did NOT
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Harshita
May 28, 2012 Harshita rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fiction lovers
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
It is so difficult to review a book which has already been reviewed many times on goodreads and other social sites but still let me try. I guess
I'll start with the editor's review.

"An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica -- an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fabl
...more
Patty Cryan
Oct 01, 2007 Patty Cryan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of literary fiction
Title/Author : Here, There Be Dragons - Volume One of the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, written and illustrated by James A. Owen

Publisher/Publication Date: Simon and Schuster, October 2006

ISBN: 1416912274

Price: $17.95

Core audience: ages 12 and up

Strengths: descriptive language, imaginative setting, strong characters, literary allusions

Review: This is THE book that I would have felt was personally written for me when I was a teenaged bookworm. The author is known for his work on grap
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BJ Rose
This was pure fun from beginning to end - and the end includes a very nice touch for fantasy-lovers. Come aboard a dragon-ship and visit the Archipelago of Dreams, as you travel with the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, which is an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myths and legends and fairy tales. Maybe along the way you'll find out what really happened to Noah's Ark! And of course, there are dark forces, led by the Winter King, who want the Geographica and the power t ...more
Gabriel
Here, There be Dragons was, honestly, a blast to read! Looking at the book as a whole, I think it's a really fun, *OMIGOSH* type of book, especially if you're a young reader who enjoys The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings *wink* and other fantasy tales in between!

I loved how the plot stayed consistent, changing itself only when a big revelation forced it to. This novel has a steady pace of action, adventure, fantasy, mystery, childish puppy love... This, a middle grade book, even has
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Dennis Matthews
Really broadened my horizons! Not a typical read for me - but am amazing story with a really powerful "reveal" at the end. Loved the intermingling of fantasy with real-life events and historically significant parallels. Illustrations for each chapter are amazing in detail and a lovely way to "see" what's about to happen.
Angie Libert
I had a hard time really connecting to the characters, which why the book only has 3 stars. But I really appreciate the moral of the story and the smartness of the story. It also has some excellent quotes:

"It is the world, my boy. All the world, in ink and blood, vellum and parchment, leather and hide. It is the world, and it is yours to save or lose."

"But the only things that unites us all, the only Grail that can strengthen us by drawing the disparities closer, is the Imaginarium Geographica."
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Shiloah
What a powerful story. We read as a family and had a deep and profound discussion at the end.
Anggia Retno
Here There be Dragons, halfway through the book I just keep asking “Where’s the dragon??” Hello, the title is Here There be Dragons not Here There be Imaginarium Geographica or Here There be Archipelago. The only one dragon in mentioned in this book is Samaranth the oldest dragon that give advice for the protagonist.

Then I thought maybe "Here There be Dragons” in this book just a phrase, you know a phrase that used to mark unexplored or dangerous territories. (you can googling for the exact mea
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Truly
"Wendigo!”
” Pasukan pemburu dari musuh kita,” dengus Bert
”.... untuk menjadi Wendigo sejati, daging yang pertama mereka makan
harus berasal dari tubuh sahabat atau orang yang mereka
cintai....”
”Wendigo gemar memakan korban mereka hidup-hidup."

Tiga orang pria dipersatukan oleh nasib. John, Charles dan Jack, dengan cara yang unik, masing-masing memiliki koneksi dengan Professor Sigurdsson yang belum lama ditemukan meninggal. Saat sedang sibuk mendiskusikan sebab musabab meninggalkan sang profeso
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Lillian Yu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
I admit that reading the reviews here after I read the book gave me a little more perspective on my own reaction. That the author came from a graphic novel background seems obvious to me now (as I kept wishing for more description) but if he's used to working with a visual medium, I'm not surprised that the description is lacking.

Unlike others, who seem to have hated the allusions to other fantasy works, I thought it was very cleverly done and that everything tied in together well at the end. I
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Sara
I am a passionate CS Lewis fan. I expected that that would either be an advantage or a massive detractor from this book. I read many of the reviews and decided that I had no choice but to buy a used copy and see what all of the fuss was about. I am so glad that I did, my only regret is that I did not buy a pristine and brand new hardbound copy for my personal library. I love the classics - works that are never done telling you all that they have to say and I am reasonably well read as a result o ...more
Kyle Rines
My one re-read book. This is a very underrated book in my opinion and I wish it was more mainstream. It is a fantasy book that starts the series call the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen. It is one of my all time favorite books because of how Owen ties in many different pieces of literature and aspects of adventure/fantasy.

The book is about the journey of three Oxford mates who find themselves intertwined in a murder of a dear colleague and before they know it they bec
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Liz
Although this book was a little slow getting going (at least, I think an MS reader would find it that way), I loved all the literary allusions, and especially thought the surprise on the last page was very fun. So if you don't mind spoilers, go ahead and read on!

John, Jack and Charles have received a message urging them to meet with Professor Stellan Sigurdsson right away--but they arrive to find the old man is dead. As they leave his house after talking to the police (and stop for the night at
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kingshearte
Note that review covers this book as well as The Search for the Red Dragon.

These books were fun. It's hard to resist anything with the literary tie-ins that this series has, and although they don't have much depth, they are fun, swashbuckling adventures, with some literary references thrown in for kicks.

I do have to wonder, though, how many of those references will actually be picked up by the target demographic (it's a teen book). And I don't mean that in a disparaging way (nor should I fail to
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Emily
Holy cow, I loved this book. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because the dialogue and exposition in the first chapter or two were a bit awkward and forced. Even then, though, I couldn't help loving it because the concept is just so cool. A man named John discovers he's the new Caretaker of the Imaginarium Geographica - an atlas of imaginary worlds, all gathered in a place called the Archipelago of Dreams. He and his new friends, Jack and Charles, embark on a quest to save the Archipela ...more
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What's The Name o...: Living ships, world being erased off map [s] 5 43 Feb 03, 2013 10:34PM  
Cartographer of Lost places 7 92 May 28, 2012 09:26AM  
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“Our weaknesses are always evident, both to ourselves and others. But our strengths are hidden until we choose to reveal them--and that is when we are truly tested. When all that we have within is exposed, and we may no longer blame our inadequacies for our failure, but must instead depend upon our strengths to succeed ... that is when the measure of a man is taken, my boy.” 52 likes
“Simple,' Tummeler replied.' Blueberries is one of the great forces o'good in the world.'

How do you figure that?' said Charles.

Well,' said Tummeler, 'have you ever seen a troll, or a Wendigo, or,' he shuddered, 'a Shadow-Born ever eating a blueberry pie?'

No,' Charles admitted.

There y'go,' said Tummeler. It's cause they can't stand the goodness in it.'

Can't argue with you there,' said Charles.

Foods is good and evil, just like people, or badgers, or even scowlers.'

Evil food?' said Charles.

Parsnips,' said Tummeler, 'Them's as evil as they come.”
51 likes
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