SYNOPSIS: ‘The story centers on 13-year old Ben, a normal eighth-grader by day who one night awakens a fantastical dream world called Meridia, where snow burns, the sun disappears and reappears without warning, and magic is addictive. But this mysterious realm is disappearing, being eaten by a phenomenon called the Fading. Joined by Avery, Marcus, and three dog-like dragonwoofs, Ben journeys across monster-infested oceans and sun-scorched mountains to retrieve the sphinx’s head, the key to saving the world and every astonishing creature that inhabits it. But not everyone wants them to succeed. Soon, they find themselves pursued by the Sovereign and his generals, whose armies will stop at nothing to perpetuate the Fading and its consumption of the land.’
MY THOUGHTS: I’ll readily admit that YA anything (especially Fantasy) is not my genre of choice. I’ve never been able to follow along in a surreal plot. However, I dove right into ‘Dragonwoofs’ and, I also must admit, I was pretty well captivated.
A.J. Massey has done a spectacular job with character development and creating a fantasy world like no other. Taking the stereotypical underdogs-done-wrong, Massey makes them into heroic fighters who are to be admired and readers will truly connect with. On a humorous note, humans are referred to as ‘weeds’. Many parents of teens may agree with that name! The scenery and even the weather are supporting characters, adding to the ‘magic’ of the plot.
As our brave teens struggle in the timeless battle of good versus evil, readers find a message of friendship with unlikely friends, heroism in the face of incredible danger, and a good workout for one’s imagination. If Mr. Massey’s book can catch the attention of a 40-something blogger, then he will surely be a hit with the YA set. Well-written and a welcome escape from reality, I give it 4 stars.
*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher
**I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
About A.J. Massey:
A.J. Massey writes thrilling fantasy novels for young teens and adults. His first book, Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps, blends shared dream worlds with middle school, and was influenced by his favorite childhood movies of the 80s, Labyrinth and The Neverending Story.
Massey studied at the University of Hawaii where he earned his business degree. He was also a former infantry medic in the U.S. Army, and worked as a project manager at several companies, including The Boeing Company and DirecTV. He now works as a Program Manager at a major video game company. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Katie, and pet dragonwoofs, Abby and Peanut.