Wednesday, 19 June 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Space Dragons by Robin Bennett

Space Dragons

If Stan Pollux had known he would be spending his summer holidays in the outer reaches of our solar system, he would have put on different underpants.

But when he gets kidnapped by the Planet Dragon Mercury, most things suddenly seem small and insignificant. Stan finds himself in a universe of dragons who had once ruled the skies as gods: Mars, Venus, Saturn and even Uranus way out back. This is shaping up to be the best summer holiday in the history of the cosmos until Stan discovers his stupid sister is missing and that Pluto (AKA Hades) is trying to use her to destroy the Solar System. And it will be all Stan’s fault if he doesn’t get Poppy back.

So, all Stan has to do is learn how to fight like a hero in space armour, defeat the dragon god of the Underworld, Hades, rescue his sister and save the world. All before his parents realise she is missing.
Amazon UK      Amazon US 

Stan Pollux is a year seven pupil at Long Wittenham Primary School. Interested in space, he's a boy lucky enough to own a telescope. He also has a little sister called Poppy who likes taking his belongings. One day, whilst rummaging in his bedroom his sister knocks over the telescope. Stan soon finds out something isn't quite right with his treasured belonging as he peers into the eyepiece... 

Space and dragons are popular themes and together, the author has blended them into a well-crafted story which should resonate with many children. As someone who grew up with a younger sibling, six years younger than myself, I definitely identified with Stan's annoyance at his sister's snooping around his bedroom! Yet, the story promotes the joy of having a close family and I liked how Stan looked beyond his irritation and became the protective big brother. 

Targeted at children between eight and twelve years old, but I feel this novel has a slightly wider reach based on my own personal experience with my son. Myself, I particularly liked the humour injected within the story:
'It was the sort of summer's day that you only get once or twice a year in England.'
As well as the creative way the author blended two popular themes together with an added twist.
As readers view things differently, I know for a fact the things I laughed at are different from what my son has found funny so far.

As I write this review, my son (Ogmoe) is at the 60% point in the e-book version and is really enjoying it. He found the book difficult to get into at first because the introduction didn't pique his interest, but once Stan's adventures began around chapter three, his Kindle has become his new 'best friend' again. As a young reader, he has just finished year seven at school (Norway), so relates to Stan and his interests in astronomy and PC games… The space-related information and facts are nothing new to him, but with the inclusion of the dragons and mythological references, he's now absorbed within the narrative, laughing out loud and telling me he doesn't want any spoilers from me now that I've finished reading Space Dragons. After the shaky start, I'm pleased he's fully invested in finishing this adventure with the same enthusiasm he's had for his favourite books (Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter and the William Wenton series by Bobbie Peers)

Overall, a big thumbs up from our household and we look forward to more adventures featuring Stan and Poppy in the future? 

***review copy generously received courtesy of the publisher Monster Books***

Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children, adults, and everything in between. Listed in the Who’s Who of British Business Excellence at 29, his 2016 documentary "Fantastic Britain", about the British obsession with fantasy and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, and his first book for young adults, Picus the Thief, won the Writer's News Indie Published Book of the Year Award in 2012. Robin is also a director at Firefly Press

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