Here, There Be Dragons by James Owen
Series: Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult
Read in: December 2010
Add to: Goodreads
"What is it?" John asked.
The little man blinked and arched an eyebrow.
"It is the world, my boy," he said. "All the world, in ink and blood, vellum and parchment, leather and hide. It is the world, and it is yours to save or lose."
An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica -- an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale. These lands, Bert claims, can be traveled to in his ship the Indigo Dragon, one of only seven vessels that is able to cross the Frontier between worlds into the Archipelago of Dreams.
Pursued by strange and terrifying creatures, the companions flee London aboard the Dragonship. Traveling to the very realm of the imagination itself, they must learn to overcome their fears and trust in one another if they are to defeat the dark forces that threaten the destiny of two worlds.
An extraordinary journey of myth, magic, and mystery, Here, There Be Dragons introduces James A. Owen as a formidable new talent.
The story is one of great adventure when three men, John, Jack, and Charles find themselves being chased by half-human/ half-beast like creatures upon meeting a strange man. They soon find themselves on a dragon ship that takes them to an entirely different world that is at war just like their country of England. These men soon find themselves having to face down the evil Winter King when they know nothing of this world. Through many trials and tribulations the men have made a great many friends along the way that include humans, badgers, centuars, goblins, and elves. They must all come together for a big battle in order to save the lands from the evil Winter King and his shadow army.
Overall, I thought the characters were great and I came to like this magical other world that the men had traveled to. The story is one of growing up and realizing who you are even in the face of terrible events there is always light. Light/Dark and Good/Evil come together in this story that reminds people to fight for what they believe in, and to never give up hope. Do not be turned off from this book because it includes pictures at the start of each chapter. This book although great for the middle grade/early high school crowd is also valuable to everyone else. Plus the pictures are beautiful and the author creates them all himself. Do not pass up this great adventure, trust me you will be happy you went along for the ride.