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Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley: 12/03/14
Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley by Jeff Weigel is about a girl doing her best to protect a clutch of dragons. Alanna lives in a valley where dragons are feared, dangerous creatures. They are hunted to protect the people but what if they aren't the vicious monsters the knights will have everyone believe?
Alanna stumbles upon a nest of dragon hatchlings. Believing them to be orphaned, she decides to do what she can to keep them safe, including making a dragon costume so they won't imprint on her. Unfortunately, her disguise is so good that she is mistaken for a dragon hatchling herself.
Much like How to Train Your Dragon 2, Alanna's adventures opens her world up to a different one where dragons are intelligent, social, caring creatures. She is introduced to an explorer who cares for the dragons in the same way she does.
Dragon Girl is a collection of fantasy and steampunk. There are knights and dirigibles. The explorer's dirigible is well thought out and by far my favorite part of the book. I would to experience more adventures upon it.
Unfortunately, the major characters all seem to take turns holding the idiot ball. While I realize the book is aimed at children, it's still lazy plotting to rely on characters being suddenly unable to figure out some basic things just to move the story along.