Fresh from recovering the Dragon’s Eye, apprentice dragonologists Daniel and Beatrice Cook eagerly await the hatching of the dragon’s egg in their care. But just as the shell begins to crack, their mentor, Dr. Ernest Drake, is called off to India to look for their missing parents and tend to the gravely ill naga dragons they’ve left behind. Meanwhile, the siblings receive a tip that the secret to curing dragons may lie in an age-old Dragon Diary, if only they could decipher it! Dragon lovers will soar breathlessly along with the plucky pair as (dragon baby in tow) they fly away on the furtive Dragon Express, traversing the globe on one dragon after another while struggling to solve the mystery of the Dragon Diary — before it’s too late (goodreads.com).
In The Dragon Diary we follow our favorite characters, Daniel, Beatrice, and Dr. Drake, on another exciting adventure. Daniel and Beatrice are excited at the beginning of the book as they wait patiently for the egg (received in first book) to hatch. It eventually does and I was very interested in this part of the story because everything about taking care of a new dragon was explained.
Later on, the children learn that their parents were kidnapped while attempting to make their way back home. Also, many dragons are becoming ill and dying and it is up to the children to find out the cure in an old Dragon Diary.
The premise of this book was a lot more interesting than the previous one and much more entertaining. On their travels the children encounter many more dragons than we have previously seen and I enjoyed all the accompanying illustrations. I think this was the most exciting part of the book!
The pacing of the book is perfect and there are plenty of details relating to the places the characters go and the various dragons that they meet. I really enjoyed all the descriptions in this book and felt that they really added to the story. Also, there was a great mix of information, escaping, and battles, and none of it was over the top. There was always something going on that kept me engaged in the story. It never moved too fast or too slow.
The characters in this series are fairly well developed and interesting. Beatrice and Daniel try out new things and learn a lot throughout the book. I guess they were developed a bit throughout the story, but I would like to get to know them more personally.
My favorite characters in this book were all the different dragons that Beatrice and Daniel meet on their travels. All the dragons have distinct personalities and were all interesting. I think one of my favorite dragons in this book was the hydra because they could never seem to agree on anything and even though they shared a body, each head had its own name and personality. There are lots of other dragons that I enjoyed, especially the one that hatches out the egg, but I think you should discover them for yourself. It really is the best part of the book!
The villain in this book was one we have met previously for a short time, Alexandra Gorynytchka. She is back in this novel attempting to control all the dragons and the ones she can’t she will just kill. I don’t really like that the villain is just purely evil, but I suppose that is expected in a children’s novel. At least we find out a bit about her as the story progresses.
The writing was just as good in this one as in the first book. I don’t have any complains about it and love that the text is accompanied by a few illustrations. It really adds something to the story.
I enjoyed this book just a bit more because it was more exciting and the plot more interesting. If you enjoyed the previous novel than you should definitely read this one! It is completely appropriate for children 8 and older, and even adults will enjoy the story.
My rating: 4/5 stars!
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A review by The Reading Hedgehog
*photo provided by goodreads.com