Becoming the Dragon (The Dragon Inside Book 1)
A special thanks to NetGalley for sending a copy of Becoming the Dragon for review.
Andrei Kerimov, known to his friends and family as Andy, was an ordinary kid with extraordinary abilities. While on a middle school field trip, Andy is struck by lightning and gains the ability to destroy electronics just by being near them. Two years later, having learned to control his abilities, Andy stumbles onto his scientist father’s testing field where his father is in the middle of showing his sponsor the progress his team has made on their teleportation machine. Due to unfortunate timing, Andy is teleported not to another time period like he originally suspects, but to Ilanta. Ilanta is a magical world where dragons speak, elves coexist with humans, and strange crosses between elephants and giraffes are not out of the norm.
When Andy lands in this foreboding world, his luck turns again him from the very beginning. Andy is enslaved, tortured, and poisoned.. Close to death, he must rely on his two new friends, the fierce dragon Karegar and the intimidating herbalist Jagirra. With their help, he undergoes the only thing that can save his life. A transformation that has not been attempted in 3,000 years changes him into a dragon, wings and all. With the help of his newly adopted parents, he must learn the ways of the dragons and forget everything he thought he knew…
Becoming the Dragon is as creative as they come. With a colorful cast of characters and even more intriguing creatures to explore, each page is an exciting treat for the reader. The in-depth world building that Alex Sapegin has accomplished is truly remarkable. I was pleased to see how much detail he had put into his descriptions. It really gave me a clear look at Ilanta and all of its inhabitants.
I will say that the dialogue in this book was sometimes difficult to read through, especially when focused on the main character, Andy. We often got a look at his innermost thoughts when he enters Ilanta, and though he is supposed to be a teen boy, his thoughts were often more juvenile sounding than one would expect from a boy his age and at times, completely unbelievable.
There was quite a bit of beautiful detail throughout this book. Sometimes, though, there was a bit too much detail included in the text. What could have been shortened to two or three sentences of description was stretched into multiple paragraphs. The reader is left wondering about details that were never brought up again. What happened to Andy’s family? Will he ever actually use his special gifts brought upon by the lightning strike in Ilanta? One can only hope that the author will delve into these details in the following three books, but it would have been nice to be able to check in on his father to see what he was doing to get his son back.
Overall, Becoming the Dragon is a good first book in the series, with an excellent cast of characters. The author does a wonderful job creating a frightening, yet beautiful new world for us to explore. Ultimately, I look forward to seeing where Andy’s misfortunes will take him. How will he get home? How can he even think about becoming a normal kid again after living life as a fearsome creature? We will just have to delve into book two to find out!
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