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The third of Ursula Vernon's illustrated-novel Dragonbreath series, which I have been reading out of order, and by far my favorite to date.

Danny Dragonbreath and his iguana friend Wendell are having a perfectly ordinary school lunch, or are attempting to, when Wendell's hotdog bites him. They take this in stride-- it is, after all, only fair-- until Wendell starts growing hair all over his body and becoming eerily hypnotized by the moon.

At which point the problem becomes what to do about hotdog-induced lycanthropy. Horror movies and folklore just don't cover this specific issue.

From there we get a fast-paced romp which is a loving homage to the classic werewolf movie and various other forms of horror, a story sufficiently silly that I cannot figure out how it could possibly scare anybody, and a never-ending source of great one-liners. (When Danny and Wendell are sneaking out of a house late at night, and Wendell is very carefully hiding behind bushes and creeping from tree to tree, Danny points out that there aren't any adults nearby, and they haven't seen any ninjas in this neighborhood for months, so get over it. This moment is so perfectly Ursula Vernon that it summarizes something for me, as does the bit in which calling the number on the package that the hotdogs came in actually produces useful information, even though there is no handy source of holy water mixed with mustard when they hear that that could be helpful.)

In short, this is even more deranged than the one with the ninja frogs, and it's silly and sweet and will make you smile. I am sad that the fourth one, with the bat monster, was so message-driven and hammerfisted, because the third is a good example of what this series can be when Vernon is doing her best with it. Hopefully it will get this good again; I know she's got like six more planned.

Date: 2011-07-09 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com
What does it say about me that (1) my main problem with the premise is that hot dogs do not have hair and (2) I had to come post that days later?

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