Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials #1) by N. D. Wilson

The Dragon's Tooth by N. D. Wilson (Ashtown Burials #1)
Pages:  496
Release Date:  August 23rd, 2011
Date Read:  2011, September 6th-14th
Received: Own
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  12+

Summary -
The Archer Motel is a place where waffles are made every day and the dried up pool outside is full of rubber tires.  It is the place where Cyrus Lawrence Smith lives, with his sister Antigone and his brother Daniel, and an elderly woman named Mrs. Eldridge.  It's nothing special, until a strange man calls.  He knows Cyrus' full name and is vehemently requesting a certain room - a room that happens to belong to Cyrus.  But it's not the Motel he's after.  It's Cyrus and Antigone that he wants, and this might just be the most terrifying and fascinating thing that has ever happened to them.  Cyrus and his siblings are thrown into a whirlwind of adventures and dangers bigger than anything they could have imagined...

My thoughts -
Ummm... Favorite?  Ever?  In the whole world?  Equal to Wilson's other books?  The only book equal to Wilson's other books because only Wilson can match Wilson?  Yes.  To all of it.  Say yes to this book.  Say yes to Wilson.  YES!  You thought I loved all those other books?  Wilson squashes it all with his pure amazingness.

Now.  Moving on.  When I was in the process of slowly picking my way through this book (I had no intention of reading fast because then it would be over...), there were quite a few times when I would just stop and stare at the book.  Or more frequently, I'd jump up and start pacing, murmuring things like an idiot, saying, "Red, flying vipers.  White wings.  Genius.  Red.  Vipers.  Flying."  And then I'd turn to my family and say, "Do you even understand?!"  I was a bit of a mess, lemme tell you.  A shocked, amazed, and totally engrossed mess.

Before I head to the next thing I must say something about his writing.  It is so his own style, the way he words and places his sentences.  I'm pretty sure that if I opened a random book in the store without seeing the cover or any names, and read a few sentences, and it was him, that I could guess - he's that unique, that irreplaceable.  There are few who equal his skill in writing, in my opinion.

In any case...

Character notes -
I would write out every character and go through the list of why they're all amazing and how evil one is compared to the other, or how great and noble, and how perfectly imperfectly human they all are, and how you don't really find characters this developed in the industry very often, and it is a delicious treat to have a copy of this book on my shelf, just for the characters alone, not to mention everything else.

I would do that, and it would bore you all to pieces.

So let me use one specific example - without ruining anything for you as the reader.  As my sister and I read this book together (well, she finished it way before me), we were constantly talking about the book and how amazing it is and totally going fangirly all over our dear sweet copies (we had to buy one for each - no way we're sharing these books!!).  In our discussion one day, one of the aspects of the book caught us by surprise.  One of the characters, a lead role, is a bit on the serious side, kind of hardened because life has not treated this character too well; sometimes this character may seem a bit "holier than thou".  Not in an I-don't-want-to-read-about-this-snob kind of way, but in a very human way.  However, slowly, over the course of the book, something happens: this character morphs and changes into a softer, more refined character - and all without us knowing it's happening!!  By the end of the book my sister and I were both shocked, saying that the change in this character was so smooth and perfect that it was like a slow drip, each one right after the next, until you have a full pool below.

That is the extent of the character development in this book - no telling, only showing.  And that's how it should be.  But Wilson has mastered it.  Well done!

And as for the bad guy - holy poop I've NEVER read about a bad guy like this.  NEVER.  He's like serial-killer-thinks-he's-a-saint type villain, and I loved it.  I loved every chilling aspect that he brought to this book.  What the heck.

Story notes -
How can I even wait?  This story is not over - and obviously, as a hook (though I'd be hooked no matter what) it ends at a very crucial part in the story, which made me gape at the page for about ten minutes.

I know, I'm dramatic.  Moving on.

From the first pages there are creepy moments, fires, explosions, rather quirky characters, undying men, car chases and bullets, secret passageways, new societies, strange inventions, exploring, mysteries, etc, etc.  The list goes on.  And this is only 200 pages into the story - I swear.  It's packed.  It's a roller-coaster, always exhilarating, never stopping.  It has perfect pacing, just enough to keep you drawn in for the whole 500 pages, and it still allows you the leisure of choosing how long you want to take to read it.  I chose ten days, my sister chose about five.  Take your pick - you won't be sorry either way.  I mean, who has the ability to write a book that has it all - and still makes it so that you can personalize the pace (a pace that's still fast, no matter how long you take)?

Only Wilson, DUH.

Apart from being extremely intense and crazy and amazing, this story is really emotional.  Cyrus and Antigone are exceptional characters, not only for their ability to be human, but also because they and their story creates intense emotion.  Wilson's other books are all very emotional in a sense, but not "I want to cry" emotional.  But The Dragon's Tooth had me shedding a few tears in some of the crucial scenes.  Very sweet and sad.

Oh, and one last thing - it has X-Men like qualities.  Crazy cool, huh?  Don't ask - just go read.

Summing it up -
Why would I even dare try to write a single word to compact this book?  Such a great feat is impossible.  There is no containing this story.  You must feast upon it.  That is the only way to understand why I love Wilson's books so much.  But, granted, there will be those who dislike this book.  So while I hope you will all find Wilson's books as incredibly beautiful as I do, you might not.  All one can do is hope - and recommend - and push a little bit.  Okay, okay, I'll stop with the book-pushing.

Recommended 12+  for some very intense scenes.

Read my other reviews!



  1. haha you sound like a hot mess of fangirly obsession. Which is to say, you sound exactly like me when I think of the River of Time series. :) Isn't that the BEST feeling ever? I really, really hope I get that with The Dragon's Tooth because you make it sound FANTASTIC!! Like one of those books where you look at the massive page count and think "ONLY 500 pages?! Give me more!"

  2. Awesome review! I can tell that this is going to be a great read and great series! New follower!

    Tia @ Falling For Books

  3. Wow! New book for me. Thanks for the review, excuse me while I dash off to add to my wishlist.