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Dragon Run

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  996 ratings  ·  148 reviews
A boy goes on the run in this fast-paced fantasy debut.

Can a zero become a hero?

Testing Day is supposed to be a day of celebration for Al Pilgrommor. Born into a wealthy family, he expects to follow in his successful father's footsteps. Of course, that all depends on the rank number Al receives at the testing. The higher the rank he has tattooed onto his neck, the better h
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  996 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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Experiment BL626
Dragon Run was exciting and fun!

+ the plot

The first half was good. I liked how exposition was conveyed without tipping into info-dumping territory. Never once did the story feel slow going. In fact, there was always suspense which surprised and thrilled me.

Once the plot hit the half mark, it ran faster. There was CONSPIRACY. It appeared Al’s induction as a rank zero triggered converging schemes into motion. Hot damn!

When the plot reached last quarter mark, it ran furiously. Revelations struck, b
Wendi Wanders
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun read, a bit eastern/manga-ish in flavor/feel. Not seeped and not strongly so, just... the decoration? Interesting plot. Interesting world-building. Characters lack depth and dimension. I had fun reading it, but when I finished it I didn't really have much to ponder.
If there is a sequel I would read it, though.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not only does Dragon Run have a great cover, but it also was a great story.

Patrick Matthews has created a fun, exciting, action packed story that is full of relatable and realistic characters. Truly a book I’d recommend to anyone looking for a good read.

As mentioned Dragon Run is full of action. It has sword fights, daring escapes from killers, and fire breathing dragons. The story though is what really hooked me and kept me glued to the pages. Dragon Run is fast paced, explains itself, so reade
Ms. Yingling
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Al has high hopes for his Testing, but is assigned a zero, the lowest rank in his medeivalish community. A guard helps him escape because of a hat he has borrowed, and tells him that Cullers want to kill not only him, but his entire family. His friend Wisp's father, a former military man involved in a horrible dragon battle, knew that Al would be a zero and warned the family. Al heads to Brighton and teams up with Bird, an "earther", and the two are in the city when it is attacked by rockeaters. ...more
Shanshad Whelan
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fantasy, mg
(Review of an Advanced Reader Copy, so basing this on things that may change by the final print) Okay . . . so this lands at about a 3.5 for me. Which is pretty amazing considering I was ready not to be won over at all by a "dragon" book. A lot of the plot elements in here are not particularly new: a society living under dragon overlords are all ranked on their testing day--and that rank will define their place in the world. Al is a young man who expects and hopes to get a high rank number . . . ...more
Jen Marqt
First time book author, Patrick Matthews, has created a wonderful, believable, couldn't-put-it-down story. My only 'complaint' is that I wanted more explanation about everything! But for the average intermediate student it is just right. Characters were real and other races that inhabit this world are creative and multi-dimensional. I really, really hope there will be a sequel. The two small bits of girl-interested-in-unsuspecting-boy are easily read over and so boys, as well as girls, will be p ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good story for readers Grades 4 and up and adults who enjoy a light simple fantasy that isn't just bashing swords. The dragons are invincible, bad, and and must be overcome. Young Al must face and overcome them and the evil world they have created. Al is constantly hunted by their evil allies and must fight and run to survive. How he does is a story on courage, doing what is right, and relying on friends and the bravery of others.

It's difficult to find a quality book in the wide open intern
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i love how in the sunken city some thing rubbed against his leg and he freaked out it was such a funny twist and the suspsense in it was amazing i read it because it was awesome i love it please make a second book.
Desmond White
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
It's hard enough to fail a test in real-life, but now I have to read about it in my escapist fantasy literature?
Feb 23, 2017 added it
It is surprising long. It is an AMAZING adventure story with so much action and an extremely well developed plot. The magical world inside the book is also amazing. I couldn't stop reading it.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it liked it
The first 75% of this book was so completely pointless, it almost made me want to stop reading it. Okay okay, we got it in the first chapter that zeros are bad and that the Cullers are going to kill not only Al, but his entire family as well.
But this book took its damned sweet time in actually getting to the point after the initial set-up. Most of the book after Al was ranked was just him running around and... um... not dying? Yeah, okay. I don't really want to read a book about that.
But once th
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-books
This was definitely not one of those books that I was sad to finish reading. In fact, I skimmed the last 70 pages or so, and really, I still got what I needed from the story. This isn't a bad book, but it is underdeveloped. It focuses a lot on plot and setting, with very little character development or background. I just didn't care about the main character - Al. The setting is really intriguing - fantastical kingdom ruled by dragons where everyone is ranked from 0-7 at the age of twelve. But th ...more
Tamara Richman
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Oh so close to excellent, there were moments I thought you would cross over but... no. Still a quite acceptable dragon fantasy with enough originality to keep ones interest. The furred warriors (forget their name) were cool. I actually wanted more background on the dragons, magisters and cullers and less on Al's thoughts and feelings. Ah well, by all means hand it to your 3rd-6th grade dragon fans.
Fun and unpredictable-I liked this world a lot! The best thing you can do for booktalking this is give no description-I loved getting to be surprised because I had NO IDEA what the book jacket said. Easier said than done, I know, but the results are worth it.
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I know Pat Matthews as an inspired board game designer, so could not wait to read his book as well. It did not disappoint - read it in 2 sittings! Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good story to get lost in. :)
They got the better of the Dragons, and I'm glad it was easy for them. On the part of the Dragons, I thought they could be more cunning than that. It seems like a fish story, but fact is stranger than fiction.
Bill Tillman
A short time ago I went on a library treasure hunt. My goal Dragons! Dragon Run was one such book, I have read a kindle in the past. It still held me as each page came forward and the enjoyment was the same as the first time. From zero to hero with two close friend mixing it up.
Bill Tillman
Wonderful page turner, it keeps you interested from 1st page to the last. Very enjoyable MG type tale.
Mar 01, 2013 added it
Shelves: charliesshelf
My 10 year old sped through this book and really enjoyed it. I'll try to get him to write an actual review soon.
Stacy Goodworth
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was fun, fast paced, and enjoyable. Kids would love it. And it certainly was an interesting twist on the old story where a nobody is the only one who can change the world for the better.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
This is quite the fast-paced, action-packed fantasy. And it has everything from dragons to magical tattoos. Also pretty insightful about rank and social positioning within society.
Nikhita (The_readers_hive)
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fast-paced fantasy debut by the author is a book loved by everyone. If you want to get your teenager into reading or you want to enjoy some fantasy yourself, this book is perfect.

My little brother fell in love with it once he knew it was a twelve year old kid's story filled with mystery, dragons, magic, action and adventure.

Al Pilgrommor, all his life knew that dragons are masters of humanity. They are our creators, our teachers, and our protectors.
it begins on the day he and his friends are
Oct 23, 2018 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gina Schaarschmidt
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't regularly seek out dragon stories, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It has elements of a dystopian novel except that dragons are in charge.

Everyone who turns 12 is subjected to a test that filters them into a caste system. Al comes from one of the higher castes, but gets branded a ZERO. Many people didn't even know there was a caste lower than a One. He is then shot into survival mode. The society has "cullers," who seek out and cull zeros and their families for the good of th
Interesting premise. All 12 year olds get tested and rated. Your future depends on your rating. Al gets the worst rating of all- a zero- and he is now on the run b/c the 'herd' cullers want to eliminate all useless humans AND their immediate family. Dragons are the creators of the human race and they live to work for the dragons.

Now Al has to re-create a life for himself against all odds. With no job, not much money and nobody wanting to hire a zero and a death price on his head Al is down about
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Not bad, suffered from some lag in the middle and I would have liked to learn more about/interact more with the dragons and Magisters (dragons rule this world but only really make an appearance in the last quarter of the book! And Magisters are their right-hand men, so if we weren't getting dragons we should have at least gotten more Magister contact). It was a bit annoying to see the old 'kid with 3 months of sword lessons besting adult professionals with years of active experience' thing rear ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lasse Schmidt
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexei Katsuyama
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D.L. Price
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dragon Run was very well written. It had a unique story with a fast pace adventure. I never wanted to put the book down. Being that said, the title totally threw me off. It's obvious that Dragon Run was to catch dragon enthusiasts readers. But be warned - you will be disappointed. Dragons are mentioned throughout the book, but not the main characters until the last chapters. I expected more dragon action just because of the title. Dragon fans will be let down by the lack of dragon characters in ...more
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