I’m gonna steal the description from Goodreads, because it’s said better than all the ones I was working on.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was a truly extraordinary Viking Hero. Warrior chieftain, awesome sword-fighter and amateur naturalist, he was known throughout Vikingdom as ‘The Dragon Whisperer’, on account of his amazing power over these terrifying beasts.
But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you’d ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast, not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport, and Certainly not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet…
You see the sticker over there that says to read the book before you watch the movie? Yeah. It’s a good idea. Because if you expect the same story on either hand, you will NOT get it. For one thing, this book has no girls. (Contra to the movie, where the main characters are Toothless, Astrid, Hiccup and Stoick.) For another, Hiccup’s relationship with his schoolmates is severely different. Also, the dragon-Viking dynamic is almost entirely opposite to the movie. That’s not to say either one is bad, they’re just really not at all the same story.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way. 😀 In the book, dragons are working animals, and training one is an integral part of a young Viking Hero’s education. Only Hiccup is USELESS at training dragons. He tries to TALK to his dragon instead of shouting at it, (mainly because he can’t yell loud enough to do any good,) his dragon is the size of a teacup anyways, and said dragon has a bad attitude problem. If he can’t turn things around, he’s gonna end up banished. Hmmm, I said I was going to steal the GoodReads description, and then I wrote my own. Well done, me. ANYHOW.
I did like this book quite a lot. And I especially liked the things in that I was not expecting. You see, I saw that this was an adventure book and that the MC was a bit of a nerd, and I said to myself “oh right, he’s going to be hated by everyone.” But no! He has a friend. Or a partner in being hated, but they have each other’s backs. And I thought that his dad was going to be a lolstupid oaf who NEVER UNDERSTANDS HIS KIDS. And while he didn’t understand, that wasn’t because he was stupid or uncaring, which is a a pre-conception I had about this sort of “prove yourself” book. Instead, it was because he was so well-meaning that things went pear-shaped.
Oh, also I CHORTLED over “This isn’t a democracy! What do you think this is, the Republic of ROME? We’re Vikings!”
And I gave it four stars out of five. A lot of fun. 😀