Jo's Reviews > Dragonfly

Dragonfly by Frederic S. Durbin
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's review
Aug 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: child-y-a, fantasy, horror, magic, books-amanda-should-read, 2010, favorites
Read from August 23 to 27, 2010

read. this. book.
Dark and dreamy. Solid and engrossing. It sunk it's claws into me.

Dragonfly disobeys when she is told to stay. She follows Mothkin down the laundry chute (because 'they' would be expecting the basement door) to the terribly busy, well populated, perpetually dark Harvest Moon. She is soon separated from the only being (she thinks) who will protect her. A young werewolf befriends her and for a time she is content to stay with him in Languor House. Time passes easily and dreamily; she almost forgets why she came to Harvest Moon in the first place or why she should care. Don't worry, Sam Hain, the supreme villain in this book reminds her in a spectacular fashion. How Dragonfly and her friends (of whom there are few, but truly powerfull) pull back together to confront Sam Hain and his townspeople is quite a haunting journey.

I agree with some other reviewers here, I don't know why I had never heard of this book before the cover accidently caught my eye at a used book store. It can easily be compared to works by Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Lois Lowry, and Suzanne Collins. Or the cinematic worlds of Tim Burton (think The Corpse Bride, Coraline) and Jim Henson (think Labyrinth).

The test of a good book for me: does it create a world that I lose myself in, that is not superficial, that is fleshed out and heavy? All those minute details that some reviewers complained about - I loved them.


Perhaps because they both came to me about the same time, I will forever connect this Dragonfly with Florence and the Machine's new album, Lungs. But,it is eerie how the music seemed to move in time with the book. Florence's ethereal and yet rock solid vocals with the drums and the harp (yes, harp). It somehow matched the tone of Dragonfly. But I haven't mentioned the actual lyrics yet. You who have read this book, tell me I'm crazy for seeing and hearing a thread connecting the two.

-Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) --self-explanatory
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl frozen in the headlights
It seems I've made the final sacrifice...
I must become a lion hearted girl ready for a fight
Before I make the final sacrifice

-Howl --Sylva and the werewolves
If only you could see the beast you've made of me
I held it in but now it seems you set it running free
Screaming in the dark, I hunt when we're apart...
You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl, howl

-A Kiss With A Fist --people of Harvest Moon's love of violence
You hit me once, I hit you back
You gave a kick, I gave a slap
You smashed a plate over my head
Then I set fire to our bed...
A kick in the teeth is good for some
A kiss with a fist is better than none

-Between Two Lungs ---Sam Hain and the children
And my running feet could fly
Each breath screaming, we are all too young to die
Between two lungs it was released
The breath that passed from you to me

-Cosmic Love --the darkness of Harvest Moon
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart

-Blinding --Dragonfly and Sylva in Languor House
Seems that I have been held, in some dreaming state
A tourist in the waking world, never quite awake
No kiss, no gentle word could wake me from this slumber
Until I realize that it was you who held me under...
No more dreaming of the dead as if death itself was undone
No more calling like a crow for a boy, for a body in the garden
No more dreaming like a girl so in love

And if I was desparate (which I'm not, only exceptionally strange...) I suppose I could tie in the song 'My Boy Builds Coffins' to the fact that Dragonfly's uncle is a mortician.
I rest my case.

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