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The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kingsley

The Dragon's Eye

by Kaza Kingsley

Other authors: Melvyn Grant (Illustrator)

Series: Erec Rex (1)

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2351349,137 (3.82)6

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I tend to give every book I enjoyed a four star rating and am stingy with the five stars, saving them for my very favorite series. This book is really more of a 4.5 for me, in part because it was so much better than the cover (and some Audible reviews) had led me to expect.

I absolutely adore the young adult fantasy worlds of Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and Septimus Heap, as well as those created by Diana Wynne Jones, but many of the "just like ..." books I've read fall short of evoking a similar kind of charming and whimsical world that is nonetheless distinctly original to the series.

The first book in the Erec Rex series surprised me by being charming and whimsical right off the bat -- and the author isn't even British! (Although the publishers wisely decided on a British narrator for the audiobook version.) I'm sure critics can find parallels between the world of Erec Rex and other popular young adult fantasy worlds, and sure some aspects of the "hero's journey" are familiar. But that's less of a case of "ripping off" Harry Potter than it is a case of tapping into fantasy and epic paradigms that existed long before JK Rowling took pen to napkin.

I was thoroughly charmed and immediately bought the next book in the series. I wasn't able to find the audio version through my Scribd subscription, but here's hoping they add it soon! ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
Too bad. There is some fun and original material, but it's buried in all the borrowing from Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Dec 21, 2014 |
2.5 stars
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

When Erec Rex??s adoptive mother disappears into a tunnel under a New York City sidewalk, 12-year-old Erec and his new friend Bethany go looking for her. Below the city streets they find a new world full of magic and enter a contest which, if they win, will make them king and queen of Alypium.

The Dragonƒ??s Eye, the first book in Kaza Kingsleyƒ??s EREC REX series, is a fun, fast-paced childrenƒ??s adventure featuring a magical world thatƒ??s hidden from modern society but can be accessed through a magical version of Grand Central station. When they get there, Erec and Bethany meet tricksy ghosts, make potions, learn a new sport, and get their own pets. They live in a castle, which is a welcome change from the closet Erec is used to sleeping in.

The magical competition involves growing gills and swimming below a lake inhabited by a sea monster to meet the race of water sprites who live there. Another task involves a hazardous maze and another requires them to steal something from a dragon. Bethany, who happens to be a math genius, gets plenty of chances to impress people with her brilliance as they complete these tasks. Although sheƒ??s only 13, she can talk intelligently about calculus and linear algebra and even uses the correct jargon, despite having no formal education. During all this, the kids must, of course, avoid the traps laid by the mean rich boy and his cronies who are eager to see them fail. There are a few adults who seem evil, too.

A big surprise to Erec (but probably not to the reader) is that his name is famous in Alypium. All this time his adoptive mother, who had magically changed his appearance, had been trying to hide him in the world of the ƒ??Losersƒ? above, but his name gave him away when he entered their world. I couldnƒ??t help but wonder, if she was so worried about him being found, why she didnƒ??t change his name, too. Oh, well.

I know what youƒ??re thinking: ƒ??This is HARRY POTTER.ƒ? But youƒ??re wrong. This is not HARRY POTTER. And thatƒ??s its problem. Some of the story is cute, but itƒ??s never very clever, and nearly every part of the plot has a parallel to HARRY POTTER, even down to the soul-sucking Dementors (which are called "Destroyers" in Kingsley's work). Itƒ??s full of heavy foreshadowing and all of the adults are stupid. Despite the supposed danger, we never really worry about the characters.

The Dragonƒ??s Eye is clearly meant to appeal to youngsters who havenƒ??t yet read HARRY POTTER, or maybe are too young for how dark HARRY POTTER can get, and thatƒ??s fine. However, itƒ??s hard to admire a work thatƒ??s so derivative but lacks the qualities that make the imitated work so brilliant. I think that most discerning readers who love Rowlingƒ??s series will be disappointed in The Dragonƒ??s Eye. And if it didnƒ??t want to be compared to HARRY POTTER, it shouldnƒ??t have copied it.

I read the audio version which was produced by Simon & Schuster Audio and narrated by Simon Jones. Mr. Jones was a terrific reader. If you're going to read The Dragon's Eye, I recommend this version.

Originally posted at Fantasy Literature. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
This is a very fun book! There is mystery, magic, danger, adventure, friendship, and family. It is geared slightly more towards younger readers; however, I found this a rather enjoyable read with the promise of fun future adventures. ( )
  catya77 | Jul 23, 2013 |
I've made it almost to the end and I don't really care if I finish it or not. It's such a copy of Harry Potter, it's ridiculous.

I mean, an orphan (whose eyes are commented on by various characters) raised in the non-magical world who goes back to the magical world via the subway and participates in a multi-part contest (one part is an underwater contest where all the contestants can swim and breathe underwater and another part is a maze with deadly mythical creatures in it), while living in a castle with his brainy female friend (who has a pet cat that is more than what she seems to be) who sneaks around the castle with him using their invisibility caps and avoids a Snape-esque character and a Draco-esque character bent on getting them kicked out?

I'm sure I'm forgetting other similar aspects, but that's enough for me. I wish this book had a bit more originality to it because it has the potential to be really good. ( )
  clarasayre | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kaza Kingsleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grant, MelvynIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0978655567, Hardcover)

Enter Alypium, a hidden world within our own where our old knowledge of magic is kept and strange and fantastical creatures abound. It is a beautiful and mystical place, but things are caving in. The king is hypnotized and his castle turned on its side. The very Substance that holds things together has gone awry, and whispers tell of evil plans to destroy everything. Twelve year old Erec Rex has been yanked out of the world as we know it and thrown unwillingly into this mess. As he learns how to get by in this strange world he also discovers some truths about himself ... and must learn the power of trust and love in order to save his mother, and all of Alypium. In this stunning tale packed with action, humor, a colorful cast of characters, and a riveting plot, debut author Kaza Kingsley brings us into a world of danger and excitement. For Erec, it is a world that is eerily familiar and inevitably intertwined with his future. To the reader, it is a fantastic escape that shall be taken again and again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:36 -0400)

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Twelve-year-old Erec Rex stumbles upon a world where magic has not been forgotten, and must survive the ultimate test in order to save the magical kingdom he was born to rule.

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