I recently reviewed Novik’s novel His Majesty’s Dragon on my book review blog. It is also posted below:
HMD is book one of the Temeaire series.My grade: 6/10.I read this book years ago. The things I can remember about it is: it had dragons and is an alternate history set during the Napoleonic wars where dragons act as airplanes for battle. I can’t really remember names or the breeds of dragons. Nor do I really care to look them up.The dragon-concept is kind of like Eragon, where the dragon imprints on the human of its choosing (that was an Eragon thing right?). But it’s also like Pirates of the Caribbean in the fact that there are ships and navy stuff goes on. It was an interesting concept.Buuuut.The novel was 1) too long, 2) too much like a romance novel (as my Fantasy Literature professor pointed out to me: at one point the main character gives the dragon a NECKLACE. And, he – the MC – is super monogamous with her…to the point he doesn’t have a girlfriend or real human relationship
because he’s so devoted to his Dragon), and 3) there were not enough human interactions, 4) the Dragon types were too complicated to keep up with, and 5) the book is part of an overdone genre – dragon and historical fantasy-wise.In a lot of ways it felt like it was TRYING to be the Pirates of the Caribbean of Dragon tales. It also felt like Novik ripped off some of the POTC ideas. There’s even a Mr. Gibbs character – WITH THE SAME NAME.Read it if you’re into that sort of thing (as in Dragons). But it won’t change your life. I think it would make an interesting movie though. I would watch it. And it’s better than any other dragon book I’ve read (I hate Christopher Paolini’s books, if that helps decipher my opinion).In reality, I think it would have made a better game than a book – participating in the scenes would have been better than reading them (it was a dense read at times).I only mention this because Novik actually used to be a game designer. Or, I could be wrong. But, if I’m right…I’m pretty sure she should stick to games, sorry.Another interesting thing is that all – or most – of the books in the series were copyrighted AT THE SAME TIME. That probably means she wrote them all before publishing the first one. Which means she either is 1) a really prolific writer or 2) it took a long-ass time to sell this first book, allowing her to work on the others as well. Not sure what that means, but…I recommend watching How to Train Your Dragon. Dragons don’t get better than that.
I’m not really proud of this review. But meh. Here it is.