FLORIDA–Obert Skye, best-selling author of the “Leven Thumps” series, has created another amazing dragon fantasy with “Pillage.”
Written in Skye’s easy-to-read style, it features a complicated and intriguing storyline about Beck Phillips, a neglected, misunderstood, trouble-making teenager.
He lives with his slightly crazy single mother and is used to abrupt moves from place to place; he wreaks havoc in each one.
When his mother suddenly dies, Beck is sent to live with his wealthy but strangely reclusive uncle in the small, mysterious outskirts of a town named Knightsbridge.
There, Beck struggles to make new friends, make a name for himself in school and come to terms with his newly discovered ability to make plants grow at will.
His uncle’s huge stone mansion holds another secret, though: a generations-old curse of dragons that only Beck can reawaken and end, a threat that could destroy Knightsbridge.
With the help of his friend Milo and a girl that Beck thinks of more as a crush than as a friend, he discovers that his growing powers also enable him to grow dragons. But once the deed is done, he must figure out how to destroy the very dragons he hatched.
Riddled with plot twists and unfolding conspiracies, “Pillage” shocks and interests readers until the last page.
Vague, one-page excerpts from “The Grim Knot,” Beck’s book of hand-recorded family history, are inserted before each chapter. They grab hold of the readers’ interest almost as much as the actual novel and build suspense in the story.
“Pillage’s” charm is that Skye creates scenes, characters and dialogue so realistically that even the most fanciful situations, such as hatching dragon eggs, are believable.
However, both the writing style and the fantastic plot would be better-suited for middle-school readers. It is definitely a fun, easy read for all ages, but not as challenging as the books high school students are used to.
Connie Deng attends Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and is a writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s TeenLink.(c) 2008, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.Visit the Sun-Sentinel on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/
(c) 2008, South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.