Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch
Series: The Bad Books #2
Read: February 26 – March 1, 2017
Format: ebook ARC
My Book Rating: 5 Stars
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: MG Fantasy
Reading Challenge(s): 2017 YA, TBR 2017, 2017 Beat The Backlist, Flights of Fantasy 2017
ABOUT THE BOOK
Some people have all the luck.
Unfortunately, Clay isn’t one of them: He’s the only camper at Earth Ranch without a magical talent. As if feeling totally useless isn’t enough, Clay has to figure out what to do about Brett, a castaway boy who has just washed ashore and is determined to keep his presence a secret. Even as Clay helps his new friend hide in the remote volcanic island’s wilderness, another fiery mystery begins to emerge, with all signs pointing to the impossible idea that dragons once roamed the island…and may still. Can Clay and his friends turn their luck around in time to uncover Price Island’s secrets–and save it from a scorching end?
Danger, adventure, mischief, mystery, old foes, new friends, and a delightfully elusive narrator make bestselling author Pseudonymous Bosch’s latest novel completely irresistible.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I acquired Bad Luck as a READ NOW from NetGalley. Back when I was devouring books one after the other and didn’t need to worry about my score because I was going through them so fast. Then my work situation changed and suddenly I wasn’t going through books so fast. Suddenly I had less time to read, and a pile of books from NetGalley that weren’t really catching my interest.
Shame on me. When I took on the #BeatTheBacklist challenge my goal was to clear out my NetGalley list. Looking at all the little thumbnail covers none of them jumped out at me. I knew I wanted something clean, so I held my breath and dove into this middle grade book.
And then I was kicking myself for not starting sooner. Upon closer inspection of the cover (darn you little thumbnail images that hide details!) there’s a DRAGON! That right there gives a book an automatic star. Probably. Okay, not really, but it certainly is a sign that I will probably enjoy the books contents.
So what’s this book about? Clay is a boy who attends Earth Ranch, a summer camp for misfits who happen to be magicians. Like, the kind of magicians with real magical powers. Earth Ranch also happens to be located on an island in the middle of nowhere. When Clay comes across a boy washed ashore, things get weird. Soon the island is swarming with men in search of the missing boy, but Clay and his friends are sure something else is going on.
This is a solid middle grade read that was enjoyable for this girl who has not been in middle school for… well, a very long time. There were bits of middle grade potty humor, but nothing too over the top, just enough to remind me “oh yeah, this is a middle grade book targeted at boys”. I loved the footnotes the author included, filled with humor. I loved the dragon. I loved the excerpts from the book about taming a dragon scattered through the novel. Though it was nothing too complex, I loved the plot.
This is a book I’ll be giving my 10-year-old daughter to read and, just maybe, purchasing the rest of the books.
Don’t overlook this series. I can’t speak for the first book, as I haven’t read it, but now that I’ve read this one I plan to!
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A sunburned boy pointed at him. “Hey, penguin, wrong cruise—North Pole is the other way.”
“You mean South Pole,” Brett replied automatically. “No penguins in the north. Just… elves.”
And next time, try a higher SPF, he thought. Lobster.
…But at Earth Ranch the campers tended to confuse crime with magic. Both things, after all, involved the breaking of laws—the one the laws of the land, the other the laws of nature.
Clay knelt by the boy’s side and put his hand on the boys cheek. It was cold and clammy. But was it dead clammy? Or just clammy?
Always remember, dear apprentice Dragon Tamer, that you are not and never will be a tamer of dragons. A dragon is not a lion in a circus. A dragon cannot be trained any more than it can be caged. It is foolish to think so—and almost certain death if you try.
Although dragons are infinitely smarter than people, they are also simpler. Push a dragon and it will push back. Treat a dragon gently and it will treat you gently. Try to kill a dragon and it will try to kill you.
No, it will kill you.
This is not justice. Nor is it unjust. It just is.
“There is no need to shout, puny human creature.”
On the other hand, part of being a scientist, as she understood it, was accepting empirical evidence when it was presented to you. You didn’t simply deny the existence of a thing because it didn’t fit your theory of the universe; the existence of the thing meant that your theory of the universe was flawed. And a dragon—a real dragon—what an amazing discovery that would be!
(From the footnotes)
According to DC Comics and some Greek pottery, Themyscira was the home of the Amazons, the all-female warrior tribe of ancient Greece. Not to be confused with The Amazon River, which derives its name from the same source. Nor with the giant, bookselling website, which, though seemingly invincible, may yet someday fall prey to a vengeful tribe of warrior women out to reclaim their rightful name.