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Fire Within by Chris D'lacey

Fire Within (original 2001; edition 2007)

by Chris D'lacey

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1,281396,134 (3.76)24
Title:Fire Within
Authors:Chris D'lacey
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2007), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Chris D'Lacey, Last Dragon Chronicles, SF, Fantasy

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The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey (2001)



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I was really disappointed by this novel. While everything about its cover and blurb scream dragon, they actually only form a tiny portion of the story and could really be removed from the plot with little problem. The actual focus of this tale is on a young man and a little girl's attempts to capture an injured squirrel. That's really all their is to it. While I wouldn't have minded so much if the story had been marketed in this way, I expected a little more from a book with a dragon on the cover.

The characterisation was also really off when it came to the adult characters. While Lucy was a believable eleven year old, David was supposed to be twenty and he behaved just like her. Liz was also wildly inconsistent - repeatedly getting angry with David for not believing that the clay dragons were real while simultaneously refusing to confirm that they were alive.

While I did find the climax intriguing (and hope that the dragon lore is further developed in Icefire) I felt that this exposition was far too late coming and just further emphasised the pacing issues with the story. Perhaps if this dragon development had been better spaced out throughout the story it would have been a little better but I was unfortunately left disappointed. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Dec 10, 2014 |
The Fire Within is a mysterios book that has held many secrets about the magic of the dragons. Witness the amazing, magical dragon help David on his magical adventure and writing his book. I really liked this book because you couldn't expect anything that would happen because it was always a mystery. Once i found out that this was a series, i was jumping and screaming like a little girl. ( )
  JSIS-Reviews | Jun 3, 2014 |
squirrels and dragons. Made me want a dragon statuette. I'm curious about the rest of the series. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
The book begins with David Rain a college student looking for a place to stay. He finds a house that will allow him to stay. The house was the Pennykettle’s. David didn’t know what the cost of living with them would be. The main characters in the book are Liz, the owner the Pennykettle house and Lucy her daughter, who is in middle school and is a descendant of a dragon. During David’s first day in the Pennykettle household Lucy was concerning him with a squirrel she saw get injured. She named the squirrel Conker. She saw him with one eye tightly closed as if it had been clawed out. She made David promise to help her catch the squirrel and bring it to safety. One day while Lucy was off at school David went to the library where he saw the Pennykettle’s neighbor, Mr. Bacon. Mr. Bacon was suspected to have clawed Conker’s eye out with his rake.
When David asked Mr. Bacon for a squirrel book, instead of telling him where the books on squirrels would be, he showed him the gardens where he could study them in person. While David was there he noticed that a squirrel needed both eyes to climb up a tree. This meant that Conker wouldn’t be able to climb; he would have just been running in circles not being able to protect himself or escape. When David was on his journey home from the library he saw that Mr. Bacon was making a trap. David tricked Mr. Bacon by telling him to put the trap up in a tree to catch Conker. Soon David made a trap of his own to catch Conker. The only problem was that he needed a box, but all of the boxes were in a room called the “Dragons Den” where Liz made her clay dragons. When David entered the room he didn’t find a kiln, or an oven to heat clay. This made him suspicious so he asked for his own dragon. While the dragon was being made he tried to sneak in on Liz while she was in the process. As he touched the knob it burned his hand.
David’s dragon was named Gadzooks. Gadzooks was a writing dragon since David was very good at writing stories, and it would help him while writing papers. David got really suspicious when he would think something and the Gadzooks would write it on a pen pad he was made with. Then David found Conker in the trap that he made . David soon took Conker to a lady name Sophie that was part of wild life rescue team. Later on David and Sophie s started dating as they talked more about Conker and his injuries. David found out that Conker’s eye had healed but he had a kidney failure. They let him roam the library gardens to live the time he had left with other squirrels. When Conker died David got really depressed and left without telling anyone. When David came back to the house he found out he was right. Liz and Lucy told him about the dragons. They told him that the dragons were real and that they made them with magic not fire. At the end of the story Gadzooks, David’s dragon, wrote a word on his note pad. The word was “Spikey” and it was underlined twice.
The book cleared everything up for me because I read the series of the books backwards. This told me everything I needed to know about the series. It was a well written book that I would encourage everyone to read even if they don’t like fantasy. This book has action for boys and drama for girls, so the author did a good job in making it something boys and girls would like. I would rate this book a five out of five stars, because I really like the series of books and the storyline all goes together. This is not the best book I have ever read but it was a very good book. The only thing I don’t like about the ending of the book is that it leaves you wanting more and questioning what “Spikey” means. ( )
  DonteR.B4 | Jan 9, 2014 |
David, a college student, rents a room at 42 Wayward Crescent, Scrubbley, MA. The other inhabitants of the house are Elizabeth Penikketle(Liz) and her daughter Lucy (11 years). They make dragons out of clay. However, David quickly finds out that something is wrong. Lucy is constantly looking for Conker, a squirrel with one eye. Liz makes a dragon for David, called Gadzooks. David uses Gadzooks as an inspiration for writing a story for Lucy, a story about Conker and Snigger, which actually turns out to be true...
I liked this book very much. I was a little frustrated that it wasn't very focused on dragons and most of the time wandered to squirrels. Nevertheless, it was fun to read. I think I liked it because I like dragons very much. All considered, I still can't wait to get my hands on the next book, Icefire. Those are my reasons for 4 stars. ( )
  JanW.B1 | Sep 8, 2013 |
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for Jay
who had the first Snigger
and will almost certainly have the last laugh
First words
"Well, here we are," Mrs Pennykettle said, pausing by the door of the room she had for rent.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439672449, Paperback)

Best-selling author, Chris d'Lacey, brings us a magical story about mysterious hand crafted clay dragons who have unusual powers.

When David moves in with Liz and Lucy, he discovers a collection of hand crafted, clay dragons that comes to life and has magical powers. David's personalized dragon, Gadzooks, can forecast the future, and inspires him to write a story which reveals the truth behind an unsolved mystery close to home. The story has an unhappy ending, and when David realizes the consequences of it he is angry. Then David finds Gadzooks crying and near death, and he discovers that these special dragons die when they are not loved. Soon David is forced to save his friend and unlock the powers of the fire within.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When college student David Rain rents a room in an unusual boardinghouse full of clay dragons, he has no idea that they, along with some lively squirrels, will help jumpstart his writing career.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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