Here, There Be Dragons: Quick, enjoyable, with Easter Eggs

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review James A Owen Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica Here, There Be DragonsHere, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen

The first thing that comes to mind when I read Here, There Be Dragons is that it’s dual-layered. On one hand, it’s your typical young adult fantasy where the protagonists enter another realm and end up saving it (although James A. Owens breaks convention by having a much older demographic as its heroes). On the other hand, more knowledgeable readers will catch various literary and mythical allusions that the author sprinkled into the story.

This is very much a young adult book, especially since Owens dives into the action quickly and the narrative is sparse when it comes to descriptions and detail. It moves at a quick pace, the suspense is steady, and every chapter has an immediacy to it. Older readers will probably be tickled by Owens’s various references and the true identity of its main characters.

James A. Owens draws from fantasy conventions, whether it’s the destined hero or its European-centric mythology, and personally I’m exhausted by this type of fantasy, but Owens redeems the reading experience by the depth of characters — they are more than just cardboard cut-outs.

Overall, Here, There Be Dragons was quick and enjoyable and contains easter eggs for astute and well-read readers. The illustrations in the book are gorgeous and are a perfect fit for the black-and-white printing of this novel.

FanLit thanks Charles Tan from Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.

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CHARLES TAN, one of our guest reviewers, is the owner of the blogs Bibliophile Stalker and Comic Quest. He also edits Philippine Speculative Fiction. You can read his fiction in that publication and in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. Charles has conducted interviews for The Nebula Awards and The Shirley Jackson Awards, as well as for online magazines such as SF Crowsnest and SFScope. He is a regular contributor to sites like SFF Audio and Comics Village.

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