Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This week Marshmallow reviews a recent book by Yoon Ha Lee: Dragon Pearl.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books about mythology and space, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): 13-year-old Min learns that her brother, Jun, is accused of deserting the Space Force in search of the Dragon Pearl. Min knows that her brother would never leave the Space Force, the organization that he always wanted to be a part of ever since he was a little boy. Even if he knew where the Dragon Pearl was. (The Dragon Pearl is a legendary object that can transform a whole planet in a day. In this story world, dragons exist and they have “Terraforming powers”, but they take year to terraform a planet.) So Min decides that something must have gone wrong. To prove that her brother did not desert the Space Force she leaves her home planet, Jinju, and goes in search of her brother.

Min is eventually able to find the ship that her brother was on when he “deserted”. She also finds her brother, but it is not how she wanted or expected to find him.

Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that is a mix of Korean mythology, science fiction, and fantasy. There are fox spirits, dragons, and interesting theories about how machines run in the story universe. (Apparently, they run on an energy that is called “gi” that is like the blood of their machines and ships.) 

In the first page, we learn that Min is a “fox spirit”. In Korean mythology, a fox spirit is a magical being that has the ability to transform into anything they want to transform into. They are also able to “Charm” others which is to make others trust them or feel angry, sad, or happy and other feelings. So, basically they can “Charm” others to feel certain feelings. 

The School Library Journal praised the book with the following words, which summarize the book well:

Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamics and relatable characters. VERDICT: With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there’s a little something for everyone here.

The School Library Journal, https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=dragon-pearl

Reading Dragon Pearl may encourage you to learn more about Korean Mythology because we read about many interesting creatures. Min’s friends who are helping her find the Dragon Pearl so it does not fall into the wrong hands are, like her, magical creatures. (Hanuel is a dragon who can transform into a human but she is in human form most of the time. Sujin is a goblin.)

This book might be better for readers that are 10 and older because there are gamblers and guns. There are also ghosts in the story, which might scare some readers, too. It also might be a little confusing for younger readers but overall this is a very interesting and entertaining book.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.
Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.

Caramel is a little Star Wars fan even though he has only watched four of the movies (Episodes I and IV-VI) so far. He is very curious about the upcoming ninth installment of the franchise and so he was excited to get his paws on this book of stories from the movies. Below he shares his enthusiasm about this book as well as his excitement about the whole series. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.
Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Caramel: This book has a lot of stories from the Star Wars movies.

S: How many stories are there?

C: There are eleven stories.

S: Are they related to the Star Wars movies?

C: Yes. Each of the eleven stories is from one of the movies. So for example the first story is “Race to the Finish Line” and it is from The Phantom Menace.

S: And then the rest of it goes from there, right? The stories seem to be following the movies in chronological order. That means the stories follow the timeline of the movies. Is that correct?

C: No. Not quite. The book starts from Episode I and the movies started started with Episode IV.

S: Yes in that sense the book is not following the order of the movies, but if you ordered the movies in terms of the timeline of the events happening, then you would have Episode I first.

C: I guess that is true.

Caramel is reading The Last Adventure" from The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).
Caramel is reading The Last Adventure” from The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).

S: Ok, so tell me about one of the stories you like.

C: The first story is about Anakin Skywalker. He is trying to win a pod race.

S: What is a pod race?

C: It’s hard to explain, it’s kind of like a car race, except they are flying in the air. They are in pods connected to two jet engines. And they go really fast.

S: Anakin is a kid in this story, right? So are all the other racers kids like Anakin?

C: Nope. But he is a good pilot and he wins!

S: Oh, that is what happens in the movie The Phantom Menace, too. So it seems like the stories are from the movies. Is that correct?

C: Yes. But actually I don’t know. I haven’t watched all the movies yet.

S: That is true! We have so far only watched Episodes I, IV, V, and VI. And I bet you don’t remember Episodes IV, V, and VI too well, either. You were a very much younger bunny then.

C: Yes that is true. But maybe we will watch them all in order now that we have watched Episode I.

S: Yes, I think that will be neat. And then if we can finish all eight by December, then we might even catch the ninth episode in the theaters. Would you like that?

C: Yeah! That sounds awesome!

S: So till then we get to read the stories here. Can you tell me a bit more about the stories? Which movies are the stories from?

C: The first story is called “Race to the Finish Line” and is from The Phantom Menace. The second one is from Attack of the Clones and is called “Yoda and the Count”. The third story is “The Last Adventure” and is from Revenge of the Sith. The next story is “Escape From Darth Vader” and is from A New Hope.

S: That’s the fourth movie, the very first Star Wars movie ever made.

C: And the first one we watched. Ok, let me continue. The next story is “Destroy the Death Star!” and it is also from Episode IV. The next story is “The Battle of Hoth” and is from The Empire Strikes Back. The next two are from Return of the Jedi. And the last two are from The Force Awakens.

S: That is Episode VII. And we have not watched it yet. But there are no stories from Episode VIII then, right?

C: That’s correct.

S: So I guess the book was published before then and so we will just have to watch The Last Jedi ourselves… But tell me, do you like this book?

C: Yep. The stories are cool, they also have really good illustrations.

S: So they are not screenshots from the movies, are they?

C: No, they are drawn by some really good artists.

S: That’s neat Caramel. So I think this is a good place to end our review so you can continue flipping through the pages and reading these stories for the umpteenth time. Right?

C: This is only my fifth time I think, but yes, it is time to finish the review. And I can now say: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures! Oh and I will add: May the Force be with you!

Caramel loved 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press and wants to say: May the Force be with you!
Caramel loved 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press and wants to say: May the Force be with you!