Review: TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATE by Adrienne Kress

Thanks to Nikole at Scholastic for sending me this great new book to review!

Timothy Freshwater is a smart, cynical eleven year old who is almost too smart for his own good. After being expelled from the last school in town that would accept him, Timothy’s father brings him to work where Timothy meets the big boss, CEO Evans Bore and the company mail clerk, Mr. Shen. When timothy’s father leaves on a business trip, Timothy is left with a reclusive neighbour, Sir Bazalgette, a well-respected and famous architect. These three people, Evans Bore, Mr. Shen and Sir Bazalgette, then lead Timothy on the wildest, most unexpected adventure of his young life.

I read this book in three days and enjoyed every minute. It has all the ingredients of a rollicking good fantasy adventure story filled with bigger than life people, heroic heroes, colourful villains and non-stop action. The story flows from one madcap adventure to another as Timothy and his friends escape from their foes.

I’m happy to report that Timothy is not your typical ‘good boy’ character. I think that would be too boring. As mentioned before, he has a cynical side to him and his favourite word to any adult that tries to be condescending is ‘whatever’. There is plenty to like about his character, though, and that makes this story special.

Though Timothy and The Dragon’s Gate is a YA novel, adults can enjoy it as well. As a matter of fact, this book is littered with all sorts of clever and unexpected bits of humour that would appeal to many adults. From page 225:

Captain Magnanimous smiled and they all followed him down into the hold of the Valiant, where, in this case, the cells were completely filled with cutthroat pirates.
“And little old ladies?” whispered Timothy to Alex.
“Don’t get me started on them,” replied Alex, glaring at a group of five little old ladies in a separate cage who, in turn, glared right back at her.

This is a great ‘can’t put it down’ book for kids. And for those adults who loved the Harry Potter books – you'll love this one too!


bermudaonion on November 5, 2009 at 1:40 PM said...

Oh my, this does sound like a lot of fun! Do you know if it will be a series?

Myckyee on November 5, 2009 at 3:49 PM said...

Hi Kathy - I'm not sure if it will turn into a series but there is a companion book called Alex and the Ironic Gentleman which sounds like it'll be just as good as this one.

Adrienne on November 5, 2009 at 4:57 PM said...

Hey Myckyee!

Thanks so much for the wonderful review of "Timothy", I really appreciate it.

I thought I'd make a little comment to clarify the series situation with my books.

Technically "Timothy" is the second book in the series, "Alex and the Ironic Gentleman" is first.

The way it works, and let's see if I can explain this clearly, lol, is that both adventures (of Alex and Timothy) are happening at the same time. Then half way through "Timothy" he comes across Alex at the end of her adventure. Basically when Timothy and Alex meet up, it's the day after Alex's adventure (and book) have finished.

So you can read "Timothy" first as a standalone, or you can read "Alex" first and then "Timothy". You won't miss much in reading "Timothy" first, just a few in jokes (for example those old ladies you quoted are rather significant in "Alex").

Anyway, I hope that all makes sense.

Btw, "Alex and the Ironic Gentleman" is about a 10 and a half year old girl names Alex who has to rescue her grade six teacher from pirates. Like with Timothy she has many adventures along the way (it's also currently available in paperback).

So . . . yeah. Hope that clarifies things. I know, kind of complicated, sorry about that.

And thanks again so much for the awesome review, I really appreciate it!

all best,

Cindy on November 5, 2009 at 8:33 PM said...

Donna this looks really good. I like the cover. Great review :)

Staci on November 5, 2009 at 8:36 PM said...

This book sounds like a riot!! I'm really surprised that it didn't show up on my Scholastic Bookfair!!

Myckyee on November 5, 2009 at 11:16 PM said...

Hi Adrienne - thanks so much for visiting my blog! I loved your book! It was so much fun. I didn't have a problem at all with reading Timothy as a standalone (or I should say, before Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, since I want to read that one now). I hope you're planning on another in this series!

Cindy - thank you!

Hi Staci - now that's the right word I should have used to describe this book - it was a 'riot'! I'm surprised too that it wasn't at your Scholastic bookfair.

Laura Fabiani on November 6, 2009 at 9:44 AM said...

I love books that are just as much fun for the adult to read so that it makes reading with your kid all the more fun. Thanks for the review!

Adrienne on November 6, 2009 at 12:22 PM said...

myckyee - that's truly wonderful to hear, you have no idea what that means to me! I am also thrilled that all my insisting to others that one can read "Timothy" first is actually true, lol. It's hard, being the author of both, to truly know if "Timothy" reads well as a standalone, considering how much inside information I have. It's fab to know that it does!

Thanks to the rest of the comments here as well for their enthusiasm, it's really lovely of you all.


Linda Ellen on November 14, 2009 at 9:10 PM said...

Great review. lol, I don't like being told "wtv". Once I'm done with the books Nikole sent me, maybe I'll ask for this one. =)


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