“Dragons Walk Among Us” by Dan Rice

“Dragons Walk Among Us” by Dan Rice 639 1024 Reader Views Kids

Dragons Walk Among Us  

Dan Rice
Wild Rose Press (2021)
ISBN:  978-1509236558
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (05/2024)

“Dragons Walk Among Us” by Dan Rice is the first book in the Allison Lee Chronicles.  Allison Lee is a high school student who feels like she does not belong anywhere.  She is bullied not only for her small stature but for the shape of her eyes and the color of her skin.  When she is targeted by a mysterious attacker and wakes up in the hospital completely blind, she thinks her life cannot possibly be worse.  After all, how can she be a photographer without sight? Then, one of her doctors suggests that she undergo a high-risk procedure that could restore her sight.  It works.  Her triumph is fleeting as she makes a frightening discovery with her new eyes: dragons exist, and they are hiding in plain sight.

“Dragons Walk Among Us” is a unique YA Fantasy read.  The portrayal of dragons in fantasy is a fascinating study in diversity and creativity. The author’s interpretation adds a twist to the traditional portrayals, infusing these legendary beings with intergalactic knowledge, skill, and vulnerability. By existing across the multiverse and battling the shape-shifting Skaags, these dragons are not only symbols of ancient power but also participants in a grand, interdimensional battle. This supplements the lore of dragons, offering readers a fresh take on these revered creatures.

Allison’s journey in “Dragons Walk Among Us” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Her newfound ability to see dragons, a secret kept from the eyes of ordinary people, thrusts her into a world of wonder and danger. Despite the voices that seek to undermine her, Allison’s determination to embrace her unique gift and confront her adversaries is a powerful narrative of self-discovery and empowerment. Her story encourages us to find strength in our differences and to stand tall against the challenges we face.

Overall, “Dragons Walk Among Us” is a creatively crafted and well-executed book.  I did feel some disconnect in the first half of the book from Allison.  The rapid passage of time at the beginning did not allow for a deeper connection with her character, which later contrasted with the detailed unfolding of events during the rising action. I also had some trouble with some of the logistics of the book. 

The most distracting thing being that I kept wondering how the dragons were dragging Allison and her friends all over the West Coast for days without somehow being seen or overly worried about being sought by the police.  These are high school students. While the dragons are highly clever, intelligent beings, I found it hard to believe that they would have magically come up with a reason for all the parents why their children had suddenly disappeared and could not come home.  It jeopardized the credibility of the story to me a little and was always at the back of my mind even during moments of action and suspense. 

For those reasons, the book did not quite hit the 5-star mark in my opinion.  Still, Dan Rice’s “Dragons Walk Among Us” is a highly intuitive YA Fantasy novel that values the importance of fighting against prejudice, first-glance judgments of others, and knowing our own self-worth and value, among many other things.  It will market best to teens and young adult readers who enjoy Sci-fi-geared fantasy books.  Allison Lee and author Dan Rice have a bright future ahead with this, the first book in this series.

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