Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this specifically because it was penned by Yoon Ha Lee. I'm a completionist that way.
BUT, I'll be honest, I am not particularly fond of most YA. It tends to be cookie-cutter plots and characters that feel like dough. It's fine if you like fat and sweet things that aren't that good for you but still make you feel warm and fuzzy afterward. And sometimes not even that... sometimes there is just the gnawing guilt and the shame.
Not here, though! I really enjoyed it. Yoon Ha Lee proves he can write a cool young Young Adult novel. I'd say the prime age is 11-14. It's all tricksy with a familiar blend of fantasy elements, magic in the way of charms, illusions, and speaking with the dead... mixed with space-opera elements of the 1000 worlds, big ships, lasers, and high-tech security. The mashup is, by now, quite familiar to us. All that's left is a fun story told well. :)
Ghosts, more ghosts, spaceship captains with wonky motives, stowaways, impersonations, and the overriding desire to find her poor maligned brother drives this novel, and nicely so. It's a great little adventure.
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