I didn’t realize how much I missed the Fablehaven universe until I picked up this book! (Keep this in mind.)
I’ll admit, I finished the original Fablehaven series several years ago and did not have time to reread it before reading Dragonwatch, so of course I didn’t remember everything from way back then. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about! (i.e. There was a great amount of backstory in the
first 100 pages or so entire book.)
Just so you know, I’m about to get very real in this review.
But I’m also going to give the book nearly 3.75 stars just for being in my life.
The original series was completed in 2010! So here we are, seven years later, but the characters have aged like one month.
Following the events in Keys to the Demon Prison, Kendra, Seth, and the rest of their family are back at Fablehaven for the summer. But after a few weeks of seemingly nothing going on with the world around them, Kendra and Seth begin to hear rumors of growing war between the Dragon King and basically everyone else. Are the rumors true?
In hope to save themselves from the oncoming battle, Kendra and Seth are elected to become the impossible: they must take on the task of being the youngest dragon sanctuary caretakers in history. The catch? They also must do this alongside their main enemy, Celebrant the Dragon King, who is looking for a fight.
All this, and their cousins are staying at Fablehaven for the summer.
Before I begin to speak my thoughts, I’d like you to know that the original Fablehaven series is so good. If you haven’t read that yet, I do not want this review to discourage you from reading it!
(Also, that synopsis probably made no sense to you if you haven’t read Fablehaven.)
MY RATING: 3.75 Stars (out of 5)
IF I WERE A KID: 4 Stars
EMOJIS? 4 dragons, for sure 🐉🐉🐉🐉
I originally bought this book the second it came out, but after I read the first chapter, I was not happy with it, and I gave up real fast. (Obviously that’s not what I did this time, so I’m learning 🙂 )
After I was a few chapters in, I was so ready for more adventures in the Fablehaven world, you would not believe how fast my mood changed.
And dragons? Who doesn’t love dragons?
Although I was almost sure that everything had been touched in the original series, it looks like there’s a lot more to go! I have no idea what could possibly happen next after this book, so there’s a good sign!
Around page 150, I realized that I was more or less a fourth of the way in and not that much had happened… The beginning was a lot of catching up, “remember when this specific event in our past happened and we met so-and-so?”, and even discussions about magical-world politics.
Then… when I reached the halfway point, I realized that the whole time there were two main questions being asked: it was either, “Can Kendra and Seth actually take care or Wymroost?” or “Why the heck are Kendra and Seth in charge of Wymroost?” My answers to these questions are, “Of course not (have you met Seth??)” and “I have no clue, but probably to move along this series”.
I realize now that a lot of the things I loved from the original series were missing, but maybe that’s what happens when you make a sequel series. There is just not enough room to include everything in a non-“previously on” kind of way!
The ending was okay. It may have been a little anticlimactic, but you know what? I think that’s how a lot of first-book-in-a-series books are these days. (I started reading Dragonwatch #2 and the pace is starting to pick up.)
Overall, I liked that the main characters, Kendra and Seth, had not changed much compared to how other parts of the original series were portrayed. I still laughed at their interactions, their sibling love continued, and there was still a “SETH, NO!” moment before the ending. Yay for consistency!
One of the only reasons I decided to pick this book back up was because I received an ARC for the 2nd book (Wrath of the Dragon King) from NetGalley 🙂 which I will be reviewing soon.
Lastly, I’d like to say it saddens me that I was not able to give this book more than 3.75 stars! To me, this means that either Dragonwatch is not that great of a sequel compared to my expectations, or I’m growing up and have been deceiving myself in portraying the Fablehaven universe as one of the most complex series I read as a kid.
In the end, though, I’m so glad reading this new series reminded me of when I read Fablehaven for the first time! I was scared it would not live up to the original series, but as far as sequel series go, I think it was okay.
I hope the next book is better!
Have you read the Fablehaven series or Dragonwatch? Let me know in the comments!
🎃 Stay spooky for the rest of October, everyone! 🎃