Jennifer's Reviews > Dragonhaven

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley
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's review
May 18, 09

bookshelves: robin-mckinley, dragons, 2009-favorites
Read in May, 2009

I really liked this. It's set in the US, in a fictional future (not too distant) where a new species of dragon has been discovered in central Australia - the new species is the real thing, fire-breathing, 80 feet long, etc. A history of this species' interaction with humans has caused them to become endangered (shocker huh?). The narrator and protagonist is a 14 year old son of 2 scientists who direct the only American dragon sanctuary. The dragons are dying out and the sanctuary is teetering on the brink of losing funding, etc, when he happens upon a dying mother dragon and her not yet born babies and his whole world (and indeed the whole world) changes...

The story is really amazing and has interesting echoes of science, family, and other meaningful themes. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book for me was the voice of the narrator. In the only other McKinley book I have read where she used the 1st person (I think), Sunshine, the narrative was at times disjointed, as if the narrator's perspective was slightly warped. The first person is used more effectively here, and Jake's personality comes through very strongly. He's sarcastic, cynical, fiercely intelligent, and well, a 14 year old boy. I love him! He's hilarious, especially when he starts in on the "woo-woo" stuff.

Definitely recommend this one if you have enjoyed other McKinley books. And hey, it has dragons, so what's not to love?

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