Friday, October 17, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "How To Train Your Dragon" by Cressida Cowell

How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1)
How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell; Narrated by David Tennant
(How To Train Your Dragon #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Audible
Author Website

For Ages 10+ (Violence)
Middle Grade -- Fantasy

Little, Brown Books -- Published in 2004
Audiobook, 3 hours and 30 minutes
Read in October 2014
Purchased from Audible

THEMES
Dragons, Comedy

SUMMARY

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer" ... but it wasn't always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and becomes a hero!

FIRST LINE
"Long ago, on the wild and windy isle of Berk, a smallish Viking with a longish name stood up to his ankles in snow."

MY THOUGHTS
This was just adorable and so much fun!  I decided to give it a try after seeing it on sale at Audible and reading a fabulous review over at Quinn's Book Nook.  I am a huge fan of the movie though I did know that the book was very different.  It also doesn't hurt that one of my biggest celebrity crushes ever, David Tennant, is the narrator for the series.

The plot is pretty straightforward.  A young Viking named Hiccup travels with his fellow trainees to pick out a dragon that they will then train in order to become full members of their tribe, the Hairy Hooligans.  Unfortunately, Hiccup is not a normal Viking with his skinny frame and more cerebral personality.  Hiccup is also the son of the chief so the expectations are even higher for him.  Things get complicated during the expedition and Hiccup ends up with a dragon that is the opposite of obedient so he is forced to figure out a way to Toothless to listen enough for him to pass the initiation test.

The best part about this book was the characters.  Hiccup is the perfect hero for boys and girls to read about with his quiet and determined personality.  I think he would be very easy for them to relate to and root for.  I also loved the characterization of Toothless the dragon.  He is completely different than the movie version, but that was okay.  His antics kept me giggling and I especially loved it when he spoke Dragonese to Hiccup.  The other Vikings-in-Training are also entertaining...if not so well-developed as Hiccup.  I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Fishlegs (Hiccup's best friend) and Snoutlout (Hiccup's cousin and rival).  Readers get a little introduction to the other Vikings like Chief Stoik and Gobber the Belch though I'm hoping for more with them in later books.

David Tennant was just amazing as an audio book narrator.  It was great to hear his natural Scottish accent and I was impressed with the different voices he managed to create.  His Toothless was hilarious...as I mentioned above.  This audio book is fairly short and I was easily able to finish it within a few days of driving to and from work.  So I definitely recommend it for fans of creative and comedic fantasy especially for those with young children.

4 STARS


FAVORITE QUOTE
Wartihog put up his hand. "What happens if we can't read, sir?"
"No boasting, Wartihog!" boomed Gobber. "Get some idiot to read it for you."



BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. How To Train Your Dragon
1.5. How To Train Your Viking
2. How To Be A Pirate
3. How To Speak Dragonese
4. How To Cheat A Dragon's Curse
5. How To Twist a Dragon's Tale
6. A Hero's Guide To Deadly Dragons
7. How To Ride A Dragon's Storm
8. How To Break A Dragon's Heart
9. How To Steal A Dragon's Sword
10. How To Seize A Dragon's Jewel
11. How To Betray A Dragon's Hero

OTHER REVIEWS
Quinn's Book Nook (4 Stars)
Wondrous Reads (A-)


SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
The League of Princes series by Christopher Healy
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Eragon by Christopher Paolini

2 comments:

  1. YAY! I'm so, so, so glad you read and liked this Jennifer. And oh my gosh, if David Tennant was the best narrator ever with this, I don't know who is!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh now i definitely must get the audiobook version. I just got it in ebook version. I loved both the films and MY GOD DAVID TENNANT IS THE NARRATOR!!!! AWESOME now i'm totally buying the audio version.

    Great review.

    Aparajita @Le' Grand Codex

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