This third in the series is again best for upper MG. Its an exciting tale of different worlds of ancient Mexico, the far reaches of the universe, and present day southern California. The storytelling is fast paced and expertly told. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as the battle between the dragons and ancients take place.
Publishers and the blogging world are always screaming for diversity and here we have it with our Latino hero, Diego, along with his friends and family. One of those friends is an Irish boy who plays a pivotal role in the story. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity you bring, everyone can enjoy the story and culture presented in this series.
The question I always get with a series is… “Can I jump in now without reading the first two books?” I’d say yes, only because of the references to what happened in the previous adventures and revealing again how Diego began his journey by winning a dragon statue. Of course by doing so you’ll miss out on the full telling of this tale, but regardless, join in for the excitement.
With about 20 pages to the end of Book Three, a sense of dread surrounded me. All these plot points were not going to get solved. Sure enough, we are left hanging at the end and will have to wait for the eventual release of Book Four: MAZES MONSTERS AND MYTHICAL HEROES. Dejected, I went to the Diego’s Dragon website and was rewarded with a several chapter teaser of this next book. Now at least I’ll be able to sleep at night.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2013 Pages: 289
FULL PLOT (From Amazon): An Evil Spirit, Haunted Weapons, and a Race to Save Diego’s Ancestors. Spanish conquistadors struggle against Poseidon’s oceans on their way to the Americas. The captain of the armada seeks gold for his queen, conversion for his church, and a release from an unholy alliance with a dark lord. The spirit travels within the confines of the Asesino de mar, the great galleon given to the captain with his commission. During the long months at sea it stokes a seething hatred for Diego and Magnifico, while patiently preparing its revenge. When the attack against the Mexica people begins in the year 1519, a shocking spell reaches through the centuries, affecting every one of their descendants. Diego, Racquel, and the Sol Dragones race back through time, hoping to stop the conquistadors before they begin their conquest. The battle at Tenochtitlan throws Magnifico’s forces against the conquerors of the New World. The weapons of the Spanish fleet, skillfully altered by the Dark Lord, threaten the mighty dragons of the sun in a ferocious struggle to save Diego’s people.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT DIEGO’S DRAGON (BOOK THREE): BATTLE AT TENOCHTITLAN by Kevin Gerard
- There is a lot going on here in different settings and worlds. Most of the time instead of devoting a full chapter to one setting, the author gives us brief scenes from each within a single chapter. This ramps the tension meter to the highest as the action and story telling bounce back and forth. It was especially effective as the dragons battled the ancient forces.
- Time travel is used to the extreme here. What would happen if a dark force went to a time 500 years ago and wiped out your ancestors, basically destroying a present day culture? Friends and family would disappear and an effective plot is the result.
- Full page illustrations by Benito Gallego occur four or five times inside the book and they are spectacular. Excellent depictions of Diego, his dragon Magnifico, and the ancient explorers.
- Friendship is used well both in present day and as the action drifts backward in time. Not only human friends, but the building relationship between Diego and Magnifico has grown immensely since the first book.
- Leave them screaming for more is exactly what you want to achieve with a series. It worked here for sure. I can’t wait to see what happens with Satadon, the so called Dark Lord. He’s one nasty dude!
Casillas never broke eye contact with Diego. “You said he, son. Tell me who you’re talking about. Who might come back?
“Should we be afraid of Magnifico?” asked Casillas.
Diego never blinked. “You should be afraid of a lot more than that.”
“Are you in trouble, son?”
Diego broke eye contact and looked at the sky. “We’re all in trouble.”
See Kevin’s visit to an elementary school after getting a letter from a fifth grade teacher.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.