Caramel reviews How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Caramel has been reviewing the books in Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series (2001-2015) one by one. He last reviewed the tenth book in the series: How to Seize A Dragon’s Heart. Just recently he obtained copies of the last two books in the series and is getting ready to review them for the book bunnies blog. But in the meantime, he wanted to talk about a little book that Cressida Cowell wrote (or apparently, translated from the Dragonese) in 2006: How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel reviews How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.

Sprinkles: Okay, Caramel, so we just read this book together, and I think at 74 pages, this is the shortest book from Cowell about Hiccup and Toothless, no?

Caramel: Yup, at least the shortest I’ve read.

S: True, there might be other books, possibly for younger folks, that might be shorter. But this is definitely shorter than the ten books you read from the How To Train Your Dragon series, right?

C: Yes. And it is not quite a part of the series really.

S: So tell our readers what this book is then.

C: This is a story told by Toothless. All the ten books I read from the series are told from Hiccup’s point of view. But this time, Toothless is telling us a story.

S: Yes, and it is a pretty neat story I thought.

C: Yes. In this story, Hiccup and Fishlegs are still pretty young and so is Toothless. The young Vikings are in a hunting competition, and they are supposed to have their dragons hunt fish for them.

S: And then what happens?

C: Toothless eats a ton of glow-worms, those are nanodragons that the hunting dragons like to eat. And don’t worry, they are not being cannibals. Nanodragons are a different species, very small and apparently delicious according to Toothless. So Toothless says it is like humans eating chicken, not like humans eating each other.

S: I see.

C: Toothless is too full to hunt but then the glow-worms in his tummy light up and help them catch lots of fish. And then …

S: Wait, don’t give away all of the details!

C: Okay, I won’t. I will stop here. I will just say that the rest of the adventure involves a DarkBreather, a horrible terrible sea monster with a huge mouth.

S: Okay, I think that is a good clue to share with our readers, just enough to whet their appetites.

C: But I do have to say DarkBreathers are scary and they drink BLOOD

S: Wow! Okay, I think we should not scare our readers too much!

C: Oh, they should not worry. It is not a scary story really, but really fun to read.

S: So quite a typical story from the How to Train Your Dragon world, right?

C: Yes, but a new one, it was not one that we had read earlier from Hiccup’s view.

Caramel is reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel is reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.

S: Okay, so then let us think about the book more generally. What three words would you use to describe it?

C: Funny, adventurous, and interesting characters.

S: Well, we knew the characters from the other books already, no?

C: Yes, but hearing about them from Toothless is fun.

S: I see. And the dragons are still much smaller than the ones in the movies and the animated series, right? They are small, like big hunting birds?

C: Yes. Some are the size of an eagle or a hawk. The books are very different.

S: But I do know you like those series a lot too.

C: Yes. And I really really like one of the songs from them. Can we put a video of “This is Berk” here?

S: I think we can. Let me see. For some reason I am not able to embed the video (even though we can embed other YouTube videos to our posts), but here is a link for folks to listen if they want to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNPIih4X7SA And this is the link we have used more often: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWr0hSKLcXY Unfortunately, both have some ads at the beginning.

C: No worries. I love this music!

S: I know. Maybe you think about flying on your own dragon?

C: Sometimes.

S: A little bunny on a dragon might not be too safe.

C: Meh, nothing is safe in this world.

S: A pretty insightful statement from a little bunny, but as your mommy bunny, I am not sure I like that sentiment coming from you.

C: Aw come on. You know I am always careful!

S: I know. I know you would definitely be careful if you were flying a dragon!

C: I wish! But can we at least put a trailer of one of the movies?

S: Okay, let us try.

The trailer for How to Train Your Dragon (2010) from YouTube.

C: The movies are really fun too but I also really like the books.

S: I know! Okay, I think this is a good time to wrap up our review. I know our readers will be looking forward to your reviews of the last two books from the series.

C: Yes, they are coming! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell, and is looking forward to finishing up the original series soon.
Caramel loved reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell, and is looking forward to finishing up the original series soon.

Caramel reviews The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

Last year Caramel began to review the graphic novel versions of the Rick Riordan series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. You can check out his reviews of The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters. Today he finally shares with us his thoughts on the third book of the series: The Titan’s Curse. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

(You can read Marshmallow’s review of the original book here.)

Caramel reviews The Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel reviews The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you are back to Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

Caramel: Yeah.

S: So it has been a while since you read the last book. So tell us a bit about what the main story line is.

C: Percy Jackson is a demigod, that means his dad is one of the Olympian gods. His is Poseidon, the god of the sea. In these books, he is trying to help the other demigods beat monsters who are trying to bring down the Olympian gods and take over the world.

S: Okay, so this sets the stage for book 3. What happens in this book?

C: Percy and his friends try to save two young demigods, Bianca and Nico, but they are stopped by monsters. Turns out the school principal is a monster, a manticore.

S: Hmm, that reminded me of the book you reviewed way back where the school teacher was a robot.

C: Yes, except robots and manticores are different. Manticores are monsters and robots are robots. They can be friendly. And in the end, in that book, the teacher is probably not a robot. But here the principal is really a monster who is trying to deliver the two demigods to the General. And who the general is is a secret.

S: Alright. That sounds dangerous.

C: Yes. As usual Percy gets into a lot of troubles, small and large.

Caramel is reading The Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel is reading The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.

S: So was this book fun to read?

C: Yes.

S: You also read the original book. What did you think of the graphic novel in relation to that?

C: As always, the graphic novel is a bit different. But not too much. Let me do a scene-by-scene comparison…

S: Really?

C: No.

S: Okay, that sounds more like you.

C: I’ll still say that both books are fun to read.

S: What did you think of the illustrations in this version?

C: They are great!

S: To me they look a bit dark.

C: A lot is happening in the dark, at night, or inside caverns.

S: So I see, it makes sense for it to be dark.

C: Yep.

S: So what do you think of the version of Percy in the graphic novels? Does he look like the Percy you imagined him to be when you were first reading the books?

C: Not particularly.

S: How about the Percy in the movies?

C: Nope. My Percy is the one on the cover of the original books that Marshmallow reviewed.

S: It is interesting how the first images we build for characters stay with us. Right?

C: Yep.

S: But if you had seen the movie before the books, it might have been different. I bet when you read Harry Potter, you are seeing the movie Potter, no?

C: Yep. That is true.

S: I find that fascinating. Anyways, before we wrap up, tell me three words you’d use to describe the book.

C: Exciting, action-filled, very close to the original books.

S: Thanks. So what do you want to tell our readers as we finalize this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey, and is looking forward to reading the next books in the series in this format.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack

Last week Caramel reviewed Target Practice by Mike Maihack, the first book in the Cleopatra in Space series. Today he reviews the next book: The Thief and the Sword. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you are back to talk about another Cleopatra in Space book with us!

Caramel: Yes!

S: So tell us what happens in this book.

C: I can’r spoil.

S: Sure, but you can give us a couple clues about the general events that happen.

C: Okay. In The Thief and the Sword, Cleopatra is still in PYRAMID, Pharaoh Yasiro’s Research And Military Initiative of Defense. You need to boldface the initials of the words so readers can see that they make up the word PYRAMID.

S: Cool acronym! I like these kinds of acronyms; I remember you reviewed a book with a fun acronym before!

C: Yes, I reviewed N.E.R.D.S. and that too opened up, to mean “National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society”.

S: Well, I did not know the name of the institution Cleo was in before. So is this the special place Cleo is getting trained to save the galaxy?

C: Yes.

S: And who is Pharaoh Yasiro?

C: He is the person who saved a lot of the information they have to fight the bad people. And we never see him because I think he is dead, but we hear about Pharaoh Yosira, who is apparently Yasiro’s granddaughter.

S: Hmm, that is kind of complicated.

C: Yes, Yasiro and Yosira sound pretty similar but you get used to it.

S: I am sure I will.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.

S: So tell me more about the thief and the sword.

C: Cleo recovered the Sword of Kebechet in the first book. And apparently it is a mythical artifact. And the bad people want to get it. They actually do get it because there is a thief named Antony…

S: Hmm, that is a name historically connected to Cleopatra. Anyways who are these bad people?

C: The main bad guy is Xaius Octavian.

S: Wait! Octavian is also a Roman name, like Antony. That is interesting…

C: Yes, hmm, maybe I will need to read up on Egyptian and Roman history. Anyways Octavian leads an army made up of a race called the Xerx. In the animated show these are robots. But in the book they are just a different species of aliens I think.

S: Oh, yes, you ended up watching the show!

C: Yes, I watched a couple episodes. It is a lot of fun. But it is very different from the books. And I like them both. They are both a lot of fun.

S: So I am guessing your first word to describe the book would be “fun”?

C: Yes. And I would say, “colorful” and “lots of action”.

S: Well, that last one is a little bit more than a single word, but okay. I see what you mean. Maybe this is a good place to wrap the review up. Do you think you will be reading the next book?

C: Yes! I’m trying to get my paws on a copy. But till then, maybe we can watch another episode of the TV show?

S: Hmm, we will see. What do you want to tell our readers as we close this up?

C: You know what I am going to say!

S: I think so!

C: I’ll say it anyways. Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to getting his paws on the next book in the series.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to getting his paws on the next book in the series.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack

Recently Caramel discovered Cleopatra in Space, a series of graphic novels by Mike Maihack about the famed Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her futuristic adventures. Today he reviews the first book in the series: Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: This book is about Cleopatra who goes to the future.

S: Wait, the Cleopatra?

C: Yes the famous Egyptian queen. She is not a queen yet though. She is young, fifteen years old. And she touches a tablet, the Ata tablet, which transfers her to the future.

S: What kind of future? Cleopatra lived about two thousand years ago. Does she come to our time?

C: No, she goes into the far future. There are ray guns and stuff in this future.

S: Hmm, sounds science fiction-y…

C: Yes. It is quite science-fiction-y. She is supposed to save the galaxy, there is a prophesy, and she alone is supposed to save the galaxy. But it is not clear what she will need to do to save the galaxy in this first book. She will have to recover a sword, I think, but she also has to go to school in this future. In her own words, she says,

“Light years from my home planet, millennia in the future, and a supposed savior of the galaxy, and I still have to go to school?!”

Cleopatra

S: Hmm, she does not like school?

C: Yeah. She has to learn a lot of things, and she does not seem to like most of her classes. She is taking Algebra, Biology, Literature, Alien Languages, and Target Practice. But she likes Target Practice; it is her favorite class.

S: So what is she training to use in Target Practice?

C: She is learning to use the ray guns.

S: Hmm, so there are some galactic wars coming up in her future, I suppose.

C: I think so. But the war part has not started yet.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.

S: Hmm, so it seems like this book is just right up your alley. You like graphic novels, and the book is quite science fiction-y and …

C: And there are space ships! And I like space ships! Hers is shaped like a sphinx.

S: That sounds cool. So tell me three words you’d use to describe this book.

C: Colorful, exciting, historical.

S: So do you learn anything historical from the book?

C: Not much. But Cleopatra is from ancient history and it is fun to see her learn about the far future.

S: And the illustrations are pretty colorful, I agree. I saw that there is a TV series about these books. Did you know about that?

C: Not until now! Can we put in a trailer here?

S: Yes let us do that:

Cleopatra in Space | Official Trailer | Peacock.

C: This looks cool! But I think Akila does not look anything like she does in the book. In the book she looks like a normal person. In the TV series, she looks weird, with pink hair and weird eyes and blue skin.

S: Maybe they wanted to make her look more alien?

C: Yes, she is an alien but in the book she looks like a normal human.

S: Hmm, so I am thinking you don’t want to watch the show?

C: No I did not say that! Maybe we can watch an episode or two. Maybe even tonight?

S: Hmm, we will see about that. What about the book series? Apparently there are five more books about Cleopatra in space.

C: Well, I checked out the second book from my school library already. I will definitely read that one.

S: Sounds like a plan. If you like it, you might even review it for our blog.

C: Yep.

S: So this is probably a good time to wrap things up. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to reading and reviewing the next book in the series.
Caramel loved reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to reading and reviewing the next book in the series.