Secrets of the Dragon Tomb (Secrets of the Dragon Tomb, 1) by Patrick Samphire (Epub)

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Ebook Info

  • Published: 2017
  • Number of pages: 352 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 4.44 MB
  • Authors: Patrick Samphire

Description

Mars in 1816 is a world of high society, deadly danger, and strange clockwork machines. Pterodactyls glide through the sky, automatic servants hand out sandwiches at elegant garden parties, and in the north, the great dragon tombs hide marvels of Ancient Martian technology.

Twelve-year-old Edward Sullivan has always dreamed of becoming a spy like the ones he reads of in his favorite sci-fi magazine, Thrilling Martian Tales. Instead, he spends his days keeping his eccentric family from complete disaster . . . that is, until the villainous archaeologist Sir Titus Dane kidnaps Edward’s parents as part of a scheme to loot an undiscovered dragon tomb. Edward sets out on a perilous journey to save his parents and protect the dragon tombs in the process. Turns out spywork is a bit more challenging than he had imagined. . . .

Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire is a classic adventure story, full of fun, humor and heart with stunning illustrations by Jeremy Holmes throughout. The intergalactic fun and adventure continues in Book 2 of the Secrets of the Dragon Tomb series, The Emperor of Mars.

“Science fiction meets classic adventure tales in this quirky novel, and it’s a real treat to know that it’s the first in an intended series.” ―The Bulletin

User’s Reviews

Review A Utah Beehive Award NomineeAn Andre Norton Award Reading List Selection”Abundant humor, intricate worldbuilding details, and precisely timed slapstick and mayhem mesh as neatly as the gears and levers of the water abacus, producing a gorgeously articulated clockwork of a novel.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review”Engaging characters and an action-packed plot are bolstered by some meaningful observations onMartian colonialism…this will appeal to fans of zany adventure tales.” ―Booklist”Samphire is clearly having the time of his life with this yarn, leavening character types with emotional honesty . . . A bit Tom Swift-meets-early Heinlein, joyfully modernizing space pulp for a new audience.”―Kirkus Reviews”Science fiction meets classic adventure tales in this quirky novel, and it’s a real treat to know that it’s the first in an intended series.” ―The Bulletin”Spiced with exciting illustrations and plenty of humor . . . Short, action-filled chapters and a satisfying denouement will have readers clamoring for the next installment.” ―VOYA

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ LOVED this book. It’s got intrigue, adventure, and plenty of well timed humor. Samphire’s long career as an author shows in his skill with the language. At times the writing reminded me of T.H. White or Lewis Carroll–beautifully constructed sentences stating the absurd. Mars, in this timeline, has the ruins of the most advanced society in the solar system, and is slowly being colonized by the British, the Chinese, and the Native Americans. This story begins in British Mars, a colony of British ex-patriots trying to keep their refined lifestyle in a landscape of trees that try to knock each other over, bugs that build glass castles before pulling the house down, and pterodactyls always hungry for scraps.When a 12-year-old boy, the self appointed caregiver for his entire family, discovers that a drop-in guest isn’t quite what he seems, he decides to investigate. Along the way he accidentally pushes an Oxford don head first out of a second story window, learns a shocking truth about a close family friend, and fights off a menagerie of clockwork creatures bent on his destruction. He must endure all this to save his family, who have been taken captive by one of the criminal masterminds of the time.And there are dragons.

⭐ In the early nineteenth century, twelve-year-old Edward Sullivan lives in British Mars with his father, a famous inventor; his mother, a former socialite pining for her lost youth and fortune; and his sisters, including pugnacious 9-year-old Putty. When his older “cousin” Freddie (actually a family friend) crash-lands at the Sullivan home, Edward assumes he’s up to another of his harebrained schemes. Little does Edward realize that Freddie’s appearance is linked to a nefarious plot to steal his father’s technology and plunder the mysterious dragon tombs of Mars.That summary doesn’t come close to capturing the energy, zaniness, and fun of this debut novel. Full of action and surprises, SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB will appeal to young readers, boys and girls alike, who enjoy science fantasy, humor, and epic adventures. If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the book, it’s the steampunk elements (dirigible-like airships, steam-powered robots, etc.), which I personally feel have become over-used. But the book’s target audience will probably have less experience with this genre and thus may find the mix of industrial and space-age technology more endearing than I do. I got this book for my 12-year-old son, and I’m sure he’s going to love it!

⭐ Humor-filled adventure!Secrets of the Dragon Tomb is a thrilling middle grade adventure! Samphire created a world and characters unlike any I’ve read before. Set in a unique world (Regency-era British Mars!) it has something for everyone: clockwork creatures, dinosaurs, dragons, airships–a wonderful steampunk/sci-fi mash up infused with witty humor and delightful, fresh characters.This story reminded me a bit of an “Indiana Jones” adventure, but with kids as the heroes. Each chapter reveals new surprises (and laughs), spies, map-chasing, inventions, and villains–all supporting cleverly interwoven themes. I highly recommend it!

⭐ This is a super fun Victorian historical fiction, sci-fi, adventure mash-up. Like Jules Verne meets Monty Python for kids..in space…with dinosaurs. Seriously, doesn’t that sound like a romp? Well, it is. Plus, Patrick Samphire has a blistering sense of humor. Best recommendation I can give…I’m passing it on to my 10 year old son knowing I will get mad cool-mom props when he devours and loves it.

⭐ What’s not to like about a rip-roaring adventure set on a Regency/steampunk Mars? This book has plenty of action, delightful Jane Austen-meets- PG Woodhouse characters and lots of humour. I was reminded a little of the Incorrigeables series, a favorite of mine, so I was especially happy that the set-up for Book Two is perfect, promising a real treat for series lovers. The world-building was delightful. I really appreciated how Samphire drew upon history to create a believable backstory and set of attitudes for his Martian natives and British and Chinese colonists. Recommended for kids with a love of history, action and humor…oh and dragons!

⭐ This is a fun adventure I would recommemd ‘s to anyone who wants to let their young children read anything of substance

⭐ When his parents are kidnapped, it’s up to Freddie (and his idiot cousin (and his mad scientist younger sister (and his deeply sensible older sister))) to save the day. But nothing and no-one are what they seem.This is a rollicking adventure with an incredibly fun world. I cannot overstate the incredible funness of this world. Oh my goodness. Hunter-Stalker Tripods! Mummified long-dead dragons! Clockwork butlers! (I will remember you, butler.) Plants that want to eat you! Ships that SAIL THROUGH THE VOID OF SPACE USING DRAGON PATHS DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WAR. MARS. Spies, and cyphers, and secret tombs, and murders! And the characters are lots of fun and we learn not to take people at face value. Also Putty is paralyzed by a venomous snail and must be traversed through a carnivorous forest while unconscious.This book is also notable because it really manages to include all the fun of Thrilling Adventures-era boys adventures, while neatly side-stepping sexism, colonialism, racism, and even a decent amount of classism. The servants are clockwork, not oppressed human. England is hardly the greatest power in the known world(s). It isn’t even the greatest power on Mars, as three other countries (none of them European) have established dominions here. Even the shoddy way the Native Martians are treated is addressed, and they’re depicted as both valuable allies and dangerous foes. Plus everybody, no matter their gender, gets a moment of competence (with the possible exception of Mum, but there’s book two for that).This is really solid and really fun. I want so many more books in this world.

⭐ Edward Sullivan has always dreamed of being a spy. He relies on Thrilling Martian Tales to give him ideas. But, at twelve-years-old, he finds himself busy taking care of his inventor father and society-obsessed mother and dealing with his two older and one younger sister as their self-appointed guardian. When Cousin Freddie turns up, things start to get exciting.Mama is busy organizing a garden party to introduce the oldest daughter Jane to society and Papa is busy working on his latest invention – a water abacus – which can do many calculations much faster then doing them by hand. When an old suitor of Edward’s Mama shows up it is to use the abacus to break the code that hides a dragon tomb filled with all sorts of treasures. He kidnaps Papa, Mama, and Jane because he needs them to break the code. This leaves Freddie, Edward, Edward’s younger sister Putty and older sister Olivia to rescue them.The four have all sorts of adventures from airship crashes to desert treks to animal attacks and attacks by mechanicals as they try to get to Papa, Mama and Jane before the old suitor disposes of them. This book would make a great read-aloud because each chapter ends at a point that makes you really want to keep reading.The characters were interesting people with Freddie filling the role of the silly spy, pretending to be someone so clueless that he couldn’t possibly be dangerous. Edward is a typical 12-year-old who is in love with the glamour or being a spy but who doesn’t yet have the knowledge. His younger sister Putty is an eccentric who has all the knowledge and bravery that Edward lacks along with a distressing lack of self-preservation.The setting is Mars in 1816. The native Martians no longer have emperors and a great civilization but the dragon tombs contain great treasures from their past. Many adventurers are eager to uncover the next great dragon tomb filled with treasure. Some of the adventurers are eager to funnel the inventions to Napoleon who is rampaging through Europe back on Earth and who might be turning his eye on Mars after he finishes conquering England.This was a fun story that I will be eager to share with my middle grade students.

⭐ “Secrets of the Dragon Tomb” came by me because of the unanimous 5-star ratings from many MG lit blogs I read. To be completely honest – I didn’t know what it was about until the second I had the book in my hands (library). I just thought the cover is already awesome enough, so combining it with rave reviews I must enjoy it at least to a certain extent. As I was about to put this book somewhere in the bottom of my reading pile I happened to read the blurb… British Mars it said, high society, clockwork machines… Wait! What?? No, I couldn’t wait on THAT, so I read it right away and the fact that the first book is already coming my way in mail, and second is being pre-ordered should tell you all you need to know. It’s such a fun ride! I’m a very character-driven person when it comes to fiction reading and I must immediately profess my love for Putty! This girl (and Patrick Samphire being the creator) elevates this novel to a whole other level! Don’t get me wrong, I liked Edward very much, but how many reluctant “dream-to-be-a-hero/spy” boys do we get as main heroes? There is a good bunch. But by bringing into the gang a few other siblings – awesome James Bond…errr…I mean Freddie, resourceful Olivia and ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWINGLY FANTASTIC Putty (that stole my heart from the moment it was mentioned that she was dressed in the mini-version of her Papa’s suit to be like him) the author made it superb instead of just your run-of-the mill adventure. Seriously, if none of the themes mentioned above interest you (how is it even possible??) read it just for Putty. Her desire to try a hand at being a criminal, being disappointed at not seeing a dead body (because she’s never seen one before, you know) and request for a biggest stick so she can show it to the villain will make this reading experience a jolly good one! Putty’s nine by the way, and she can kick your ass. If well-crafted set of characters isn’t enough, here you’ll also get unique world-building with dragon paths carrying ships from Earth to Mars; native Martian civilization being pushed on by colonies from Earth, and Emperor Napoleon as the “threat-to-the-whole-world” kind of figure. Fantastic machines created by Patrick Samphire make up for a serious part of the read, and although running on steam or clockwork they fit perfectly in the universe he built; the explanation for how they operate makes you accept it naturally – why wouldn’t it work that way?Add the Jane Austen-ish high society flavor to that story and an evil mustache-twirling archaeologist, and you’ve got yourself a great story that will bring daring adventure, dangerous captures and escapes, and great sense of humor (plus Putty!) together in one book. A total winner! There is nothing to discuss further here – this book is waiting, and you want it. You know you want it. I know you want it. Everyone knows. Just get it already and enjoy the fantastic journey through Mars. And be prepared for the wild beasts of the Martian wilderness!Happy Reading!

⭐ I got to read an arc of this book and it was a super fun, steampunk adventure!Secret of the Dragon Tomb is a story about Edward who wants more than anything to be a spy like the hero of his favorite magazine. Instead he’s stuck taking care of his family, which includes a precocious younger sister, two older sisters trying to fit into society, a mother who really only favors his oldest sister and a father who pays him hardly any mind. Throw in an idiot cousin and Edward is almost always overlooked.But when men kidnap his family in order to steal his father’s latest invention, Edward learns that maybe looks can be deceiving when it comes to his family, and that maybe spying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.I was immediately in love with the book within the first few pages. Samphire does such an excellent job of worldbuilding his mars, especially when it comes to creatures and creepy crawlies. I absolutely loved reading about all the different kinds of pests and bugs they have in British mars.All of the characters are so incredibly likeable. Whether it’s 9 year old Putty, brawling with adults like the best of them, his cousin who’s not quite the idiot he appears to be, or his older sister who’s maybe got more under her petticoats that he would have guessed, they all have moments where they shine brightly. And Edward’s heart and loyalty and strength carry the story forward in a fast paced adventure.I think this would appeal to fans of steampunk, of science fiction, of historical fiction, of adventure. There’s a bit of something for everyone.

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