Caramel reviews Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao

Caramel has been reviewing book after book of the Wings of Fire series. Today he takes a break from the dragons and talks about a book about gaming: Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao, published in 2021. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao.
Caramel reviews Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao.

Sprinkles: So Caramel this book just appeared one day in your paws.

Caramel: Yes, I got it from my classroom library.

S: That is cool, that you have a classroom library and that there are books there that you find interesting.

C: Yep. I often find books there that I like to read.

S: Okay, so why did you pick up this one?

C: Because it looked interesting.

S: And did it turn out to be interesting?

C: Yes, why else would I be reviewing it?

S: Well, that is good. Tell us about it then.

C: This book is about Reyna Cheng, who is a Chinese-American gamer.

S: What does that mean?

C: She plays virtual reality video games.

S: What kinds of games?

C: The one she is playing is called Dayhold and she is very good at it.

S: Does Dayhold exist? Did you ever play it?

C: No, this is supposed to be in the future, it is 2064 or 2067 or something like that, and the video game is in virtual reality. And she is competing against other people as well as some artificial intelligence players. And people who are very good at gaming are like celebrities and there is a lot of money in gaming. So Reyna is not just playing, she wants to become a professional gamer.

S: I see. So she is young though, right?

C: Yes, she is twelve and just finished sixth grade. But most of the other people in the game don’t know who she is and she wants to keep it that way.

S: Why?

C: Because most gamers are boys or men and Reyna knows from experience that as a girl gamer, she will not be treated well.

S: Oh, that’s so not fair!

C: You’re right, and she is so much better than the other players.

S: Well, even if she weren’t, it would be better if people did not mistreat her just because she is a girl.

C: I agree.

Caramel is reading Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao.
Caramel is reading Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao.

C: She is very good though. She beats one of the best players and he was cheating and she still beat him.

S: Wait, I am worried you might be going into spoiler territory.

C: Possibly. but there is a lot more that happens in the book. So there is a troll for example who wants to dox her. And doxing we looked that up, it means that people make your identity public despite your wishes to remain anonymous. And a troll is “a person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content” according to a dictionary.

S: Oh that can be very dangerous!

C: Yes she could be in real danger, but she tries to save herself and the book is about that too.

S: I see. Does it also describe the game itself?

C: Yes a little. It seems interesting; you fight people with swords, spears and so on.

S: You did finish the book rather quickly. Was it an easy read for you?

C: Not always. I did not know about doxing and so I had to figure that out. By asking you, my very trustable source. But the book is written in Reyna’s voice and in first person, so that was good, it made it easier to read.

S: I see. If you were to try and find three words to describe the book, what would they be?

C: Descriptive, because there are a lot of descriptions of the game, funny sometimes, and exciting because I wanted to know what would happen to Reyna so I kept reading. It is attention-snatching, it kept my attention.

S: I can see that! Would you recommend the book to other bunnies like yourself?

C: Yup. Some boys think girls can’t be good gamers, so maybe it would be good for them to read this book. Because Reyna is a very good gamer but also it is not nice to mistreat people just because they are a girl.

S: Thank you Caramel, I totally agree. So let us wrap up this review then. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao and recommends it to all other little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao and recommends it to all other little bunnies.

Caramel reviews The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland

Today Caramel reviews the twelfth book of Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series: The Hive Queen. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions. 

Before reading this review you might wish to check out Caramel’s reviews of the graphic novel versions of the first five books (The Dragonet Prophecy,  The Lost Heir,  The Hidden KingdomThe Dark Secret, and The Brightest Night), as well as his review of the very first book (The Dragonet Prophecy, the sixth book (Moon Rising), the seventh (Winter Turning), the eighth (Escaping Peril), the ninth (Talons of Power), the tenth (Darkness of Dragons), and the eleventh (The Lost Continent).

Caramel reviews The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, here we are, ready to talk about the twelfth book! Why don’t you start by telling our readers a bit about it?

Caramel: The Hive Queen is about Cricket, the HiveWing. We met her already in The Lost Continent, but in this book, she is the central character. And other dragonets we met in that book come up too, like Blue and Queen Wasp. She is the mean queen of the HiveWing who controls their minds and voices sometimes when she wants to. But not Cricket’s. Somehow she is immune to the queen’s powers. So she, that is, Cricket, runs away and hides, because she is afraid they will discover that she is somehow different.

S: That sounds scary. Like every other dragonet around her goes into a trance and says the same things and Cricket is there all alone, the only one not influenced.

C: Yes, exactly.

S: Do we learn eventually why she is immune to Queen Wasp’s powers?

C: Yes, we do. And in this book, but I’m not telling. You always tell me not to give too many spoilers.

S: That’a fair. What can you tell us about the events of the book then?

C: Blue is a flamesilk, and I told you about those earlier in my review of The Lost Continent. They are special SilkWong, whose silk is red and glows and sometimes can burn things. And there is Luna, who we also saw in Darkness of Dragons. And there is Sundew, who is a LeafWing.

S: You told me before that LeafWing did not probably exist anymore.

C: Yes, everyone thought they were extinct, but somehow they survived in the Poison Jungle. And that is the name of the thirteenth book so I am really curious to read that one. And some of the LeafWing have leafspeak. They can make trees grow, and so on, kind of like Isabella in Encanto. But Isabella can create flowers and stuff from nothing, but the LeadWing can only help plants that already exist. Or they can hurt the plants.

S: Hmm, I’d assume that in a place called the Poison Jungle, there might be plants you might want to not want to help.

C: Well, they live in there for protection. So I think actually they like the poisonous plants there because the plants protect them from the outside.

S: Oh, that definitely makes sense.

C: And let me tell you also that the LeafWing have themselves split into two tribes. Sundew is from the side that is called the PoisonWing. The other side is called the SapWings. They both call themselves LeafWings though. The other names are only used by the enemy tribe.

S: Hmm, so the LeafWings are hiding and in an ongoing conflict.

C: Well, they are not really fighting each other but don’t seem to like one another.

S: So what happens to Cricket, Blue, and Sundew in this book?

C: They hide in Jewel Hive. Hives are places the SilkWing make for the HiveWing to live in. SilkWing do all the work and the HiveWing get all the benefits. It’s not a good situation. But anyways they hide there and try to understand why Cricket is different before they can be discovered and Cricket gets into trouble.

S: Okay, that sounds like a lot.

C: Yep.

Caramel is reading The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

S: Okay, I think you have told us enough things about the plot. Can you tell me how it felt to be reading more about this new continent? Do you miss the characters from the first ten books?

C: Yes. But I think we will see at least some of them in the thirteenth book.

S: But in this book, we are always on the new continent Pantala, right?

C: Yes, except in the prologue and the epilogue, because in those, we see Moonwatcher, and Turtle, and Tsunami. Because Luna is telling them about the tribes in Pantala and asking them to help.

S: I see. So it is highly likely that in the next few books, all characters will come together in Pantala.

C: Well, not really. Actually I think some of the tribes from Pantala will try and escape to Pyrrhia. Still it is going to be very exciting to see them meet each other!

S: I can see your excitement Caramel. And I totally get your enthusiastic anticipation, it must be hard to wait to see how all these characters will interact when they get together.

C: Yes, I just can’t wait!

S: Okay, at least you can read the next book right after we wrap up this review.

C: Yep. So can we wrap it up now?

S: Sure. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, and is eager to dive into the next book in the series.
Caramel loved reading The Hive Queen (Book Twelve of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, and is eager to dive into the next book in the series.

Caramel reviews Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland

Today Caramel reviews the tenth book of Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series: Darkness of Dragons. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions. 

Before reading this review you might wish to check out Caramel’s reviews of the graphic novel versions of the first five books (The Dragonet Prophecy,  The Lost Heir,  The Hidden KingdomThe Dark Secret, and The Brightest Night), as well as his review of the very first book (The Dragonet Prophecy, the sixth book (Moon Rising), the seventh (Winter Turning), the eighth (Escaping Peril), and the ninth (Talons of Power).

Caramel reviews Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: So this is Book Ten, the end of the second story arc, right?

Caramel: Yes, book ten, ending the Jade Mountain Prophecy arc …

Sprinkles: … yes, you recited that prophecy to us when you were reviewing Moon Rising.

C: Yes. But can I recite it again?

S: Sure.

C: Oka, here goes:

Beware the darkness of dragons,
Beware the stalker of dreams,
Beware the talons of power and fire,
Beware one who is not what she seems.

Something is coming to shake the earth,
Something is coming to scorch the ground.
Jade Mountain will fall beneath thunder and ice
Unless the lost city of night can be found.

S: Yes, I remember that! And the darkness of dragons is mentioned in the prophecy and is the title of this tenth book!

C: Yes, because you finally learn about the darkness of dragons completely. It’s all about Darkstalker. But the main hero is Quibli this time, and you might remember him as my favorite character of all of them.

S: You mentioned Darkstalker in the previous reviews. He was an evil dragon but most other dragons did not suspect him somehow.

C: Yes, because he enchanted everyone to like him. But remember Turtle from the ninth book (Talons of Power)? He was not enchanted because he hid himself. And he created these earrings that could remove all spells and make you immune to new spells from Darkstalker.

S: Wait, and somehow Quibli gets these earrings?

C: Well, Quibli asks Turtle and Turtle enchants his earrings. And then Quibli can see through Darkstalker’s evil plans. And Turtle had made a bowl that doubled things, so Quibli replicates his enchanted earrings and passes them on to others so they too know about Darkstalker’s evil plans.

S: Oh, so is that how they will overcome the evil dragon?

C: Well, not quite. They have to do more because Darkstalker is really powerful. But they do something great to defeat him: they —

S: Wait, stop there! I think you are getting too far into spoiler territory!

C: Okay, okay, I will not give away how they finish the whole series, but everyone knows they do, because with the eleventh book a new prophecy comes up.

S: That is true. And you already have read the eleventh book!

C: Yes. But actually one of the characters from that book, Luna, already shows up in this book, and so we begin to see that the next story will be about the lost continent.

S: I see.

Caramel is reading Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

S: So let us pull back a bit, and think about these two story arcs, the dragonet prophecy and the jade mountain prophecy.

C: I kind of wanted the order of the stories to match. Like the first book of the first prophecy was about Clay, who is a MudWing, so I thought it would be nice to have the sixth book be about another MudWing. Each of the first five books is about one of the dragon tribes. But the second five are not about the same five tribes. Winter is an IceWing, Moon is a NightWing, Peril is a SkyWing, Turtle is a SeaWing, and Quibli is a SandWing.

S: Wait, I’m confused. I thought there were only five tribes!

C: No, there are seven: MudWing (Clay from The Dragonet Prophecy), SeaWing (Tsunami from The Lost Heir and Turtle from Talons of Power), RainWing (Glory from The Hidden Kingdom), IceWing (Winter from Winter Turning), NightWing (Starflight from The Dark Secret and Moonwatcher from Moon Rising), SkyWing (Peril from Escaping Peril), SandWing (Suunny from The Brightest Night and Quibli from this tenth book).

S: Hmm, that is interesting. I can see how you might have expected some kind of pattern to emerge but also since there are seven races, it is hard to fit that into ten books only. Maybe by the fourteenth book we will have two of each?

C: No, because remember I already read the eleventh book? And that one was about Blue who is a SilkWing.

S: Oh, that is true! There will be new tribes from the new continent! Okay, maybe then we won’t get every tribe doubled up. Oh well. I think you are still very much enjoying the series so far.

C: Yes. And I am quite ready to dive into the next five books. I already reviewed The Lost Continent but I might like to read it again before starting the twelfth book.

S: Yes, that makes sense. Maybe knowing about the whole collection of ten will allow you to get even more out of the eleventh book this time. So let us wrap things up. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny book reviews!

Caramel loved reading Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland and is ready to dive right back into the Lost Continent story arc.
Caramel loved reading Darkness of Dragons (Book Ten of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland and is ready to dive right back into the Lost Continent story arc.

Caramel reviews Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy

Readers of the book bunnies blog are probably well aware that Caramel is a fan of everything dragon. Today he talks about a book he recently got his paws on that allowed him to build his own paper dragons! Below he talks to Sprinkles about Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy and the Scientists at Klutz Labs.

Caramel reviews Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy.
Caramel reviews Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, as usual, I will ask you to tell us a bit about this book.

Caramel: How about I read the introduction to you?

S: Okay go for it!

C: Here you go:

Dragons make terrible pets. For one thing, they can be a nasty fire hazard. For another, the airspace that a full-grown dragon needs for proper exercise is impossible to provide if you live within 120 miles of an airport. So this book provides the next best thing to a pet dragon: flying models of amazing dragons that you make from paper.

S: You are right Caramel, that does give us a pretty good explanation of what is in the book. So you get to make some paper dragons yourself using the pages of the book, right?

C: Yes, there are pages to make the Aoraki ice dragon, the Scarlet Patagonian Dragon, hatchlings of various mountain dragons, Cook’s Sea Dragon, and the Kalahari sun dragon, and the Huo Jien Thunder Dragon, which is a battle dragon. And finally there is a robo-dragon.

S: Wait, what is a battle dragon?

C: A dragon that is meant for battle. The book says they were domesticated more than two thousand years ago in China.

S: Um, I am not sure that is exactly true.

C: Yeah, I know they probably don’t exist. But when I am dreaming of having my own pet dragon and all I get instead is a paper flying thingie, I want to think of it as real.

S: I can understand that of course.

Caramel and his new friend Battle Dragon are reading about other battle dragons in Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy.
Caramel and his new friend Battle Dragon are reading about other battle dragons in Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy.

S: So which dragons did you end up making so far?

C: I made both of the mountain dragons, the sea dragon, the battle dragon, the sun dragon, and two of the baby hatchling dragons.

S: That is a lot of dragons! Do they fly?

C: Some of them fly much better than others. I probably did not make the others very well. But the robo-dragon flies really well. And the battle dragon also flies pretty well.

S: So which is your favorite among the dragons you made?

C: I like them all equally. You say that to me and Marshmallow all the time. It would not be nice if I picked favorites.

S: I see. So I won’t push you further in this direction then. Here is another question for you: you have been playing with these dragons for a few days now. Are they sturdy enough for your bunny paws to be played with that many days in a row?

C: Yes! I did give them a day off today, so they could rest. All the flying must tire their wings.

S: You are a thoughtful bunny!

C: What can I say except you’re welcome?

S: I recognize that phrase, and the melody you sang it with! It’s Maui from Moana.

C: Yes, you got me.

Caramel and his new friend Sea Dragon are reading about other sea dragons in Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy.
Caramel and his new friend Sea Dragon are reading about other sea dragons in Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy.

S: So would you recommend this book to other bunnies?

C: Oh, yes, of course. Especially if they want to have flying dragons! There are twelve of them you can make, and then there is some text about each type of dragon. Apparently people all around the world have stories about different types of dragons. They are not like the dragons I read in the Wings of Fire or How to Train Your Dragon series, but they are a bit more real, more like the stories of dragons you’d hear before those books.

S: And you like that too, right?

C: Yes, I like those series, but I like these dragons a lot, too. They are from all over the world, there are dragons from China, from New Zealand, from the Kalahari desert, all around. It’s so awesome! And they can fly! That is even cooler!

S: So I can see you still have a couple more dragons to build, and you are keen to play with the ones you already have built. So let us wrap up this review. What would you like to tell our readers?

C: Get yourself a copy of this book and build your own dragons! And of course, stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel and his new friend Battle Dragon enjoyed reading Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy and are now ready for some flying.
Caramel and his new friend Battle Dragon enjoyed reading Paper Flying Dragons by Pat Murphy and are now ready for some flying.