Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dragonbreath: The Frozen Menace by Ursula Vernon

It's the last Dragonbreath. Sniff. Wiping away a tear...

Danny wakes up one morning feeling cold. Not just normal cold, but weird cold. Unfortunately, his mom is out of town and his dad isn't so good on the "diagnosing weird cold feelings" front. Fortunately, his friends Wendell and Christiana suggest calling his great-grandfather who lives in mythical Japan. One bus ride later, Danny finds out that his fire has gone out! The only way to relight it is to eat a phoenix shell (but not the baby phoenix of course, because that would be Not Cool) and the only way to find one of those is to go on a quest to the Farthest North.

Ursula Vernon's trademark humor shines through in this last adventure. There's a deeply satisfying ending, which is not in the least saccharine or didactic but leaves the reader with the feeling that her characters will live on, even if we no longer hear about their adventures. Danny's enthusiasm is undimmed, even when he's feeling the worst. Wendell continues to overcome his cynicism and anxiety to come through for his friends, old and new. Christiana has abandoned none of her scientific curiosity and devotion to logic, but she's learned to roll with Danny's weird world and just examine the science behind it later.

Verdict: It's been a long, funny, and thoroughly enjoyable journey. Buy an extra copy of the first Dragonbreath book to celebrate and don't forget to continue to promote the series even though it's over and Vernon is moving on to another exciting and unique offering!

ISBN: 9780803739864; Published 2016 by Dial; Purchased for the library

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