Thursday, July 26, 2012

SM Reine - 19 Dragons

The 19 Dragons

By SM Reine 

Kindle Edition Currently Unavailable

Product Description (from Amazon) 

Publication Date: July 7, 2011

There are nineteen provinces in the Land held aloft by nineteen pillars. Above the earth there is sky, and nobody knows what goes below except the Nineteen Dragons.

That is all you need to know, but that is not all there is to be known.

The Device has been stolen and the godlike Dragons have been rendered mortal. Someone is murdering them one by one, and each death brings the world closer to its end. Unless the the Device is somehow restored to its deceased owner, the Dragons are doomed to destruction-- and the human world will go with them.

THE 19 DRAGONS is a steampunk novella of approximately 80 pages. PLEASE NOTE: There are blank pages and unusual formatting as a method of storytelling. This is intentional.

About the Author (from Amazon)

SM Reine is an author of dark fantasy for teen and adult audiences. Her most widely known work is "Six Moon Summer," which has been hailed as "fresh and fast-paced" and "captivating." She lives in Nevada with her husband, the Helpful Baby, and too many black animals to count.

Hi everyone! My name is Sara, and I write urban fantasy and paranormal novels as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). It's a good day when those three things have nothing to do with each other. If you would like to know the instant my next book is available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! I send out free books a couple times a year and we have a WICKED cool secret handshake, but you'll have to sign up to learn it. ;) Check it out --
A few fun facts about me:
- The #1 song on the day I was born was "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, which means my life is a Rickroll.
- I have three black cats and one black dog, but it's not an obsession, I swear.
- I am a full time writer these days, which means I will never wear a pair of heels to the office again. Viva la sweatpants!

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Rachel

With the thousands of books that I have read in my lifetime, rarely does a book surprise me.  This is my first steampunk novel, and if more are as entertaining as this one, I think I’ve found a new genre to enjoy.  I’ve never read a book written in quite this style before, and as the storyline is highly plot dependent, it would not be fair to do a detailed plot for a review.  The plot development is part of the magic of the story – and that is what I found surprising.

I’ve always enjoyed dragon stories – although, I’m not a fan of turning the dragon into a human.  But with this book, it works.  Each of the dragons is tied to a providence.  Each chapter tells only the story of one dragon – although if a dragon has already been introduced, and crosses into the story, it is obvious.  If a dragon has not yet been introduced, then you will have no clue that the character that you are reading about is a dragon, and not all of the dragons are aware that they are indeed dragons either.  Sound complicated?  It is, and delightfully so!

This is definitely a story that is best read in a book with real paper and pages.  Because I kept finding myself flipping back and forth to cross check old details with new points of view.  At 80 pages, it took me far longer to read than I expected, simply because “flipping back” on a Kindle is rather difficult.

The book opens with the first dragon – an ancient fellow reading his newspaper and sharing pictures of his new great grandchild with anyone who will listen.  Suddenly a man in rags steals his cane – a cane that is of far more value than the worth of the jewels encrusted into it.  The man selling newspapers gives chase, and nearly catches the man, and fails.  With the death of the first dragon, one of the providences disappears from existence.   You will see this part of the story several more times as the dragons interact within the following chapters.  What is the purpose and the value of that cane?  Why is it so important?  What is happening to the providences?

The next dragon is introduced, and now you hear her background, and the story changes to her point of view.  The third chapter is from the 3rd dragon’s point of view, and so on.  Suddenly, dragons are being hunted and killed .. but by whom?  Who knows of the power of the cane other than the dragons?  As the mystery unfolds, it will keep you partly guessing, and anticipating what will happen next.

Each dragon is unique and has a different story to tell, from clock works, to youngsters playing in the mud, to grizzled card sharks to salty captains, and sweet loveable characters to evil deranged ones.   It takes several chapters before they start to twist together, but I found the effect to be magically amazing.

Some of the stories are slow and seem awkward.  Some are short, but not quite sweet.  Some seem very long and ramble along.  But by the end of the story, each unimportant detail has taken a new meaning in the grand scheme of things.

Note:   Easily enjoyable by most children who love thrilling “super hero” style books and movies.  Children 8 and up should enjoy the book – although there are some adult elements that parents may want to look at if they have a more sensitive child, or dislike strong language.  Some of the dragons use quite strong language.   I probably would not give this to any of my children until Jr. High.

Genre/Theme:   Steampunk, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Teen, Dragons, Future/Alternate world
Reading Level:  TEEN - upper elementary to middle school 
Profanity: MODERATE - mild words & a few stronger expletives  -  some of the dragons and characters are ruffian types, and their language is quite rough.  
Sexuality: SUBTLE - hinted, but not explicit – at least one of the dragons is dressed as a “madam”, she loves to gamble and drink.
Other: There is a lot of violence, and many violent deaths.  As each dragon dies – a whole section of the world dies with it. 

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