Review of The Dragon Round, by Stephen S. Power

The Dragon RoundI was granted an e-copy of The Dragon Round, by Stephen S. Power, from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He follows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. When a monstrous dragon attacks the Comber, his surviving crew, vengeful and battle-worn, decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance:” a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the shirts on their backs to survive.

Marooned and fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion discover that the island they’ve landed on isn’t quite as deserted as they originally thought. They find a rare baby dragon that, if trained, just might be their ticket off the island. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, he begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his life will never be the same again. In order for justice to be served, he’ll have to take it for himself.

Nope, this one was not for me. Or rather the second half wasn’t. If it had continued in the same vein as the first half I probably would have liked it. But there is a definite difference between the first and second half and I found the second half excessively long and boring. About a billion characters were introduced out of nowhere, while the original two were basically dropped. One never reemerged until the last couple pages for no purpose but as a set up for a sequel. So there was no satisfying closure between them and the reader.

Even as unhappy as I was with the latter half of the book, I still would have called the book ok (just not to my liking). Then it reached the end and I was most displeased. I mean, the tagline of the book is he only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge. I don’t feel like he got either and the futility of it all left me feeling like I’d wasted my time reading it.

Add to that the fact that major, life altering events happened with so little fan fair that I occasionally had to read them twice just to be sure I should at least assume they held importance. And the fact that the mutiny happened so early in the book that I didn’t yet know or care enough for it to make sense in context of the characters and the town leaders were such Ebenezer Scrooge caricatures that I found them unbelievable. There were a lot of detractors here for me.

I did appreciate that the relationship between the Poth and Jeryon remained platonic and I thought the dragon had a lot of personality—as did the crabs, oddly enough. (Yeah, there are killer crabs, BTW.) But I’m just glad to finally be done with the book. At one point I thought it might go on forever.

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