I recieved a free copy of this novel to review and had high hopes, but half way through I realized that I just wasn't getting into this story. Admittedly, this story is written for a young audience and I have no doubt that young readers, particularly those who enjoy charming dragons, would like this book. However, having said that, I love young adult fiction and books for young readers. Novels that have drawn me into the story by the first pages or first chapters and had me totally captivated and wanting more. One Realm Beyond is just not one of those books. Other reviews have mentioned not being able to get into this story until about half way through. I would have to say that, at the half way point, I'm still not there yet.
Now, don't get me wrong, Donita K Paul is a wonder with her prose. It's the story that isn't doing it for me. I've found nothing worth caring about on Cantor's quest. In fact, Cantor has been a major problem for me. I don't like this guy. He's whiny. I like Bridger much better...an endearing dragon, even if he is a bit of an oaf. He's charming in my opinion. I'd much rather have had him in a story as the main character than Cantor. At half way through the book, after Bridger has more than proven his worth (IMHO) and his faithfulness (especially given the kind of treatment he's recieved in return) Cantor's is still this incessantly ungrateful whiner.
I had to give up because I so disliked the hero in this novel. I know he's going to grow into it and all...believe me I know...but if I can't enjoy reading about him by the halfway point then I'm not going to continue reading his story.
May I give a humble example? Artemis Fowl is a boy genius and a super criminal. He's not the hero we want him to be at the beginning or even by the next few novels, but he's very interesting to read about. And you can see a process, and he's so interesting as an antihero that you enjoy reading through the process. And there's a whole lot happening along the way that's thrilling to read. I found none of these characteristics in our hero: Cantor. I found nothing very thrilling to keep me plodding along. I like Bridger...give him a novel without Cantor. He's charming, endearing. Everything I'm sure Donita intended. But Cantor?...Not feeling it.
By the way I've read other stuff by Donita and enjoyed the experience, which was why I wanted to review this new series starter. Unfortunately, this one just isn't my cup of tea. :(