Anne and Her Friends Continue Their Adventure in ‘The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (And Why They Keep Biting Me)’

Title: The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (And Why They Keep Biting Me)
Series: The Adventurer’s Guide #2
Author:
 Wade Albert White
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Review Spoilers:  Low
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Rating:
If you’re not familiar with Wade Albert White’s The Adventurer’s Guide series then you’re missing out. The first book, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, was released last fall and introduced readers to Anne, her best friend Penelope, and their magically-inclined (but also disinclined) party member, Hiro. Assisted by Anne’s titular Adventurer’s Guide, the group went on one of the most complicated, world-ending quests you could ever imagine – and they managed to not only survive but complete it within a matter of days.

Basically, they’re kind of a big deal.

The series is full of humor and, while it contains elements of fantasy and science fiction, it’s hard to really peg it down to just one genre — and those elements are often turned on their head or called out for being as stereotypical as they may seem. There are dragons and magic and robots and computers in even measure throughout.

In fact, much of the plot and story seem to take their cue from video games. After all, there are all kinds of ‘cards’ that can be used to kick off plot twists, people are designated as ‘official antagonists’ in quests, and many of Anne’s quests end up with her coming into contact with ‘computers.’

There’s a sense of absolute zaniness in the world building, characters, and plot points and White sees his characters through it all with a unique brand of humor. He’s brought all these crazy scenarios and genres together to create an entertaining series that is sure to excite middle grade readers. 

In The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me?), Anne and the others find themselves unwittingly going on yet another dangerous quest that places the fate of the world in their terribly young and inexperienced hands. When a young thief forces them to activate an illegal dragon slayer quest the others find themselves wrapped up in a conflict not just between humans and dragons but between the dragons themselves.

Oh, and if you liked the riddles from the last book you’re in luck because there are even more in this book. One of the best parts of The Adventurer’s Guide series is how White expertly writes these riddles and then completely turns them on their head.

In the first book I caught most of the twists and turns of phrase but this one had me guessing right along with the characters. I’ve never been great at riddles so I’m not ashamed to say that there were plenty in this book that I didn’t get until they were explained to me. And it’s really cool to see how solving riddles – and quickly – can be used as a plot point!

All in all, The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons is the perfect follow up the first book.

In The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes we saw our party members focused primarily on completing their crazy Level 13 quest in a rather short period of time. We got to know our primary characters but I felt like they jetted around their world a bit too quickly, throwing in worldbuilding as quickly as possible in what places they could without distracting from the main story and main quest.

In this book, we get to explore more of the world, the tiers, the Hierarchy that runs things, and more! We learn more about dragons, meet new characters (like the thief, Valerian), and how this very eclectic world actually works. 

Granted, Anne’s origins and history remain a mystery — just a mystery with some new clues!

I’m not usually the kind of reader who enjoys these kind of haphazard, often humor driven middle grade fantasies, but I’ve really enjoyed The Adventurer’s Guide series. Admittedly the humor can be more juvenile than I’d like, but White’s writing is so clever that it never bothers me the way it has in some other, similar stories.

I certainly think it’s a series that’s much more geared towards it’s target audience than older readers, but if you can look past that you’ll find a very smart, genre-bending story that you’re likely to enjoy. If nothing else, it’s great for the middle grade readers in your life!

The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me) is a great, middle grade adventure that readers are going to love. Wade Albert White continues his genre-bending series with the same kind of humor and clever writing I’ve come to expect. If you haven’t checked out the first book in the series, you should! And then hurry to pick up this one before the next chapter in the adventure arrives.