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Secrets of the Dragon Tomb Paperback – 10 Jan 2017
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A Utah Beehive Award Nominee
An Andre Norton Award Reading List Selection
"Abundant humor, intricate worldbuilding details, and precisely timed slapstick and mayhem mesh as neatly as the gears and levers of the water abacus, producing a gorgeously articulated clockwork of a novel." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Engaging characters and an action-packed plot are bolstered by some meaningful observations on
Martian colonialism...this will appeal to fans of zany adventure tales." --Booklist
"Samphire is clearly having the time of his life with this yarn, leavening character types with emotional honesty . . . A bit Tom Swift-meets-early Heinlein, joyfully modernizing space pulp for a new audience."--Kirkus Reviews
"Science fiction meets classic adventure tales in this quirky novel, and it's a real treat to know that it's the first in an intended series." --The Bulletin
"Spiced with exciting illustrations and plenty of humor . . . Short, action-filled chapters and a satisfying denouement will have readers clamoring for the next installment." --VOYA
About the Author
Patrick Samphire grew up in England and Zambia. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Essex and attended the Clarion Writers Workshop in Seattle. He lives in Wales with his family. Secrets of the Dragon Tomb was his debut novel.
Jeremy Holmes is the creative mind behind Mutt Ink, a graphic design studio, and the illustrator of many children's books. His first book, There Was an Old Lady, was awarded Bologna Razzi's Opera Prima award at the 2010 Bologna Book Fair. He lives in Pennsylvania.
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The characters are likeable and relatable, the plot moves quickly, it's thrilling but not scary, and all in all just a wonderful read.
I often don't like sci-fi as a science student because it tends to use physics-y sounding buzzwords in incorrect contexts which gets under my skin, but 1) Samphire studied physics so he doesn't do this, and 2) it's totally fantasy rather than realist sci-fi so it's totally detatched from what I'm studying with new terms and concepts that are actually unique and interesting!
Definitely recommend to anyone!!!!!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
When a 12-year-old boy, the self appointed caregiver for his entire family, discovers that a drop-in guest isn't quite what he seems, he decides to investigate. Along the way he accidentally pushes an Oxford don head first out of a second story window, learns a shocking truth about a close family friend, and fights off a menagerie of clockwork creatures bent on his destruction. He must endure all this to save his family, who have been taken captive by one of the criminal masterminds of the time.
And there are dragons.
That summary doesn't come close to capturing the energy, zaniness, and fun of this debut novel. Full of action and surprises, SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB will appeal to young readers, boys and girls alike, who enjoy science fantasy, humor, and epic adventures. If there's one thing I didn't like about the book, it's the steampunk elements (dirigible-like airships, steam-powered robots, etc.), which I personally feel have become over-used. But the book's target audience will probably have less experience with this genre and thus may find the mix of industrial and space-age technology more endearing than I do. I got this book for my 12-year-old son, and I'm sure he's going to love it!
Secrets of the Dragon Tomb is a thrilling middle grade adventure! Samphire created a world and characters unlike any I've read before. Set in a unique world (Regency-era British Mars!) it has something for everyone: clockwork creatures, dinosaurs, dragons, airships--a wonderful steampunk/sci-fi mash up infused with witty humor and delightful, fresh characters.
This story reminded me a bit of an "Indiana Jones" adventure, but with kids as the heroes. Each chapter reveals new surprises (and laughs), spies, map-chasing, inventions, and villains--all supporting cleverly interwoven themes. I highly recommend it!