Read The Black Dragon by Julian Sedgwick Online

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East meets West; past meets present; criminal minds meet skilled artists - welcome to the Mysterium, a circus with dark and thrilling secrets at its heart. Twelve-year-old Danny Woo is half-Chinese, half-British. His parents are performers in the Mysterium. Following their death in a mysterious fire, Danny is sent to live with his aunt Laura, an investigative journalist. WEast meets West; past meets present; criminal minds meet skilled artists - welcome to the Mysterium, a circus with dark and thrilling secrets at its heart. Twelve-year-old Danny Woo is half-Chinese, half-British. His parents are performers in the Mysterium. Following their death in a mysterious fire, Danny is sent to live with his aunt Laura, an investigative journalist. When Danny's school is closed after an explosion, he joins Laura on a trip to Hong Kong. She is researching the Triad gangs; he is trying to understand more about his cultural background. But Laura disappears, and Danny is plunged into a dangerous quest to find her - which opens the door on the past he could never have imagined, and which leads him to question everything he has ever known about his past....

Title : The Black Dragon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781444913705
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Black Dragon Reviews

  • Steffi
    2018-11-14 14:40

    Eigentlich lese ich spannende Mystery-Thriller, auch aus dem Jugendbereich, sehr gerne. Das Setting in Hong-Kong sowie der Klappentext genau das versprochen.Leider konnte mich die Geschichte von Beginn an nur bedingt überzeugen. Ich habe mich sehr schwer getan in die Geschichte reinzufinden und das ist mir bis zum Ende leider auch nicht gelungen.Das Setting mit den Triaden, was zu Beginn wirklich interessant klang, war hier leider so gar nicht meins. Mein Interesse an der Handlung hielt sich in Grenzen und auch Spannung kam bei mir keine auf.Die Charaktere sind mir fremd geblieben und vieles ging mir zu durcheinander und ich konnte mich nicht wirklich auf die Personen einlassen.Der Schreibstil war zwar flüssig zu lesen, aber die Handlung konnte mich nicht so wirklich überzeugen, daher werde ich die Reihe nicht weiterverfolgen.

  • Fred
    2018-11-19 16:31

    The reason I read this book is because I got the chance to be present at an author talk by Julian Sedgwick, as well as being able to speak to him 1-1. We had some really interesting conversation and the speech was absolutely fantastic: I loved listening to him and just, in general, I loved the occasion. It was a lovely event and, during the event, I purchased this book. To date, Julian has written two trilogies: the Mysterium trilogy and the Ghosts of Shanghai trilogy. The Black Dragon is the first book in his debut trilogy, the Mysterium, so not only is this the first in a trilogy, it is his debut!Before I tell you anything about my /5 rating and reactions, I would like to first talk about how this book has been packaged. This is a YA book and anyone who knows me well is aware that I try to avoid YA as much as possible within my reading life. Additionally, whilst the front cover is very beautiful and intricate (and contains within it a lot of hidden plot-points!), it depicts a very action-based scene which typically appeals to children or young teenagers. This is also backed up by the sentence on the front of the book which reads: "Danny's next big trick is survival…" Again, a very cliff-hanger-esq. sentence designed to 'grab by the throat' in the way children's books tend to do. Another example of this is on the back of the book: the final sentence on the blurb is: "But can he rescue his kidnapped aunt and make an impossible escape?" A rhetorical question; a type of question which is found much more often on children's adventure stories rather in general fiction.Publishers spend a lot of effort designing the book so it appeals to a reader who they believe will enjoy the book. I think that the publishers have made it very clear that they don't think this book is for me! Nevertheless, I wanted to pick it up because I had seen Julian Sedgwick, in the flesh, talk very fluently about the premise of the book and how relevant it is to his own life and I found all that really interesting! However, because this genre was completely unfamiliar, I wanted to start at the beginning of the beginning which is why I chose the first book in the first trilogy he ever had published.I'm sad to say that I didn't adore this book: I had a lot of difficulty rating it! When I first finished it, I gave it two stars. Having thought about it more, it is probably closer to around 2.5 stars - the rating was difficult to assign. This is one of those books when, whilst reading it, I was quite enjoying it but never more than quite and by the time I got to the fourth quarter, I was reading it for the sake of finishing it. (Quick note: I usually NEVER hold back at all when writing negative reviews. However, because I have met Julian personally, I will openly admit that I am slightly nervous about it. He did tell me, when selling it to me, that there is a lot of stuff in here that he would instantly change and is perfectly aware that there are flaws so that makes me feel slightly better about it!) This book follows a young boy named Danny Woo. He is born and raised in a circus called the Mysterium (hence the title of the trilogy!) and we find out, very early on, that his parents (who are very successful illusionists) have died because a fire broke out in the circus. Mysterious circumstances surround this fire: it has never been outrightly proved whether or not the fire was inadvertent or deliberate. So, the book opens and we meet Danny in a boarding school where he has been sent due to his parents' deaths. An explosion happens in the school and Danny is sent to be taken care of by his aunt Laura. Laura is a detective and she takes Danny to Hong Kong where she is on a mission that we eventually find out has something to do with a criminal organisation called 'The Black Dragon'.When they arrive, Laura is kidnapped when they are eating a restaurant and the story continues from there. Despite the fact that I didn't love this book as much as I would have hoped so as not to make it awkward, I did find the story quite interesting. For example, Danny is very interested in sleight of hand and hypnosis and there are many situations throughout this book in which he uses those skills to advance the plot. Every single event in which that happens links back to something that either relates to his parents or that his father taught him. As I've said, his father was a very successful illusionist and performed in the Mysterium circus trailer. Danny has absolutely no idea how the fire broke out; he is not convinced that it was an accident. So whilst he is very suspicious of it and is constantly having to face this emotional reality this parents are gone, he uses what his parents taught him in order to get himself out of certain situations which maintains the presence of the parents within the story whilst we are finding out what happens to them.This creates quite an interesting juxtaposition between Danny trying to hunt down Laura whilst finding out what this whole criminal organisation is about and also looking back on the ghosts of his past and how they affect his behaviour during this current storyline, which creates a rather more emotional side to the story alongside the espionage. So I'm not going to deny that this story is executed well and has threads within it which create links and patterns within the plot. It was certainly an interesting read, regardless of my enjoyment.However, one of the things that I KNEW I would find negative about this book (and I knew I wouldn't like this before I even started reading it!) was the pacing. I knew, not only from somewhat predicting it from the cover but also from Julian telling me face-to-face, that this book was going to be incredibly fast-paced. Now…Anyone who knows me well is very aware that fast-paced books are something that, generally, does not go down well with me. Relentless pace usually serves to distance me from the characters and become less and less invested in the plot according to how far-fetched it gets and I usually find that if a book is very fast-paced and the plot is what is generally focused on, the character development gets left behind.Sadly, I found this present in this book too. This book is very fast and it starts speeding very early on. (For example, the school explosion happens at Page 6 and is long forgotten by about Page 12!)For me, that's a criticism. Whilst I am perfectly aware that some authors choose to focus on character and some choose to focus on plot, I am one of those snobbish readers who likes to completely understand and connect to every single one of the characters and obviously, I couldn't do that in this book. Perhaps it's partly down to the book's length: this book is NOT long! It's just under 350 pages and it has quite large font. The only way in which Julian Sedgwick would have been able to have all the plot in there, slow it down and develop his characters would have been to make the book ridiculously long and I am very aware that that was not a solution.Due to personal preference, I would have preferred the book to have been much, much slower and for me to actually get to know Danny a bit more. In complete honesty, apart from knowing what Danny is good at doing and the fact that he has suffered a bereavement, I don't know much about him. At any point in which there was a bit of emotional change within him, I enjoyed it and for me, that was the main focus! For me, the point I was focusing on wasn't "who kidnapped Laura and when will we catch the criminals", it was more about how Danny changed and how his personality adapted to this situation. Having said all that, there was very little of that within this book and the vast, vast majority was very plot-focused, to the point where it got quite tiring. Not only did this book completely lose me (in terms of me actually understanding what on earth was going on!) but it also somewhat lost my interest towards the end because I was thinking: "I haven't been able to follow this story; I know Danny's going to survive because there is another book with him on the cover and I am completely lost!" This got so excessive that, by the time I got to those final few chapters, I did somewhat want it to be over. Not because I wasn't interested but just because I wanted the action to stop! It was merely because so many of the characters had been rushing around during loads of action sequences up to this point that I just wanted to sigh and enjoy a bit of slower plot and I don't feel like I got that. As I am writing this review, I am aware that because I don't enjoy action, because I don't enjoy relentlessly fast books, I wasn't going to love this. I am also fairly convinced that lots of people do enjoy plot-focused stories and don't give a jot about the characters and that is fair enough! Everyone has different reading tastes and as well as the readership, some authors enjoy writing different things. That's completely fine but what I am trying to articulate is that this does not comply with my reading tastes and in order to for me to enjoy it properly, I would change quite a lot about it. Therefore, this is a really interesting book to discuss because I can see exactly why some people love it and this isn't a way of criticising Julian Sedgwick's ability as a writer. He can completely write (that box is absolutely ticked: not badly written in the slightest, the opposite!) and he does a brilliant job to appeal to a certain type of reader (so it's not a bad book by any means!) but I am not part of that camp due to my tastes and how much I like to connect to all the characters.By some way of summary, not a perfect book for me to read. The prime things I would change about it are plot pacing and character development - those are things which primarily bothered me! Again, as I have said about a million times, different people enjoy different things and by appealing to a specific group, Julian Sedgwick has successfully earned his credit as an author but in terms of me being the reviewer and me articulating my personal reactions, there are things in it that I would change. A 2.5 stars from me, not my favourite book in the world but not a remotely bad book either!Please let me know if you have read this book or if you agree or disagree: I will see you in my next review!!

  • Joshua L.
    2018-11-16 17:21

    This book is a great mystery as Danny Woo delves deep into the past of his dead parents who were circus actors. At the same time his Aunt gets caught by a group of terrorist. One of his old friends from the circus to help him out and find his aunt. As he learns more about his family and the gang, more questions start to form in his head. Why did they kidnap his Aunt? And how is his family involved with the gang? Read this book to learn about his desperate chase after his Aunt and the amazing tricks he does to do it.

  • Manja
    2018-12-08 21:26

    Kurzbeschreibung:Abenteuer mit Sprengkraft!Geboren und aufgewachsen in der geheimnisvollen Zirkuswelt des MYSTERIUM kennt sich Danny mit Kartentricks, Hypnose und Entfesslungsnummern aus. Das Leben ist ein Zaubertrick.Doch als seine chinesische Mutter und sein britischer Vater bei einem rätselhaften Brand in ihrem Zirkuswagen ums Leben kommen, bricht für Danny eine Welt zusammen. Er zieht zu seiner Tante Laura, aber auch dort kommt er nicht zur Ruhe. Nachdem eine Explosion seine Schule erschüttert, nimmt die Journalistin Laura ihren Neffen auf eine Recherchereise über die Triaden nach Hongkong mit. Und dort geschieht das Unfassbare. Laura verschwindet spurlos und Danny steht vor der Herausforderung seines Lebens.Hat das Leben im Zirkus ihn auf dieses Abenteuer vorbereitet? Und sollte es im Mysterium eine Welt gegeben haben, von deren Existenz er nicht einmal etwas ahnte?(Quelle: Aladin Verlag)Meine Meinung:Bis vor 2 Jahren lief das Leben des heute 12-jährigen Danny noch ganz normal ab. Er lebte im Mysterium, dem Zirkus seiner Eltern und reiste mit ihnen um die Welt. Doch dann machte ein Brand alles zunichte und nahm ihm zudem seine Eltern. Nun lebt Danny bei seiner Tante Laura, einer vielbeschäftigten Frau.Als es eines Tages in der Schule, die Danny besucht, eine Explosion gibt beginnen die Ferien bereits früher. Danny begleitet Laura nach Hongkong, der Geburtsstadt seiner Mutter.Doch kaum angekommen in Hongkong hat Danny immer das Gefühl beobachtet zu werden Laura und Zamora, der sich in Hongkong um sie kümmert, zerstreuen Dannys Bedenken allerdings. Dann aber wird Laura plötzlich entführt. Zwar nimmt die Polizei die Ermittlungen auf, doch Danny traut ihnen nicht. Gemeinsam mit Zamora sucht er auf eigene Faust nach seiner Tante.Eine aufregende aber auch gefährliche Suche beginnt …Der Fantasyroman „Mysterium. Der schwarze Drache“ stammt vom Autor Julian Sedgwick. Es ist der Auftakt einer Trilogie und das Debütwerk des Autors. Der Klappentext und das recht mysteriös gestaltete Cover haben mich hier sehr angesprochen und so war ich neugierig auf den Inhalt des Buches.Danny ist 12 Jahre alt und ein eigentlich ganz sympathischer Junge. Seine Eltern hat er bei einem Brand verloren und seitdem lebt er bei seiner Tanta Laura, einer vielbeschäftigten Frau. Mit ihr fliegt er nach Hongkong. Danny hat so einige Zaubertricks drauf, die ich persönlich ziemlich cool fand. Im Verlauf der Handlung macht er eine Entwicklung durch, wird reifer, was ich angesichts des Alters sehr bemerkenswert empfand.Neben Danny gibt es noch einige andere Charaktere, wie beispielsweise Tanta Laura, vom Beruf ist sie Journalistin, oder auch Major Zamora, ein kleiner und durchaus liebenswerter Mann, der sich Danny und Laura annimmt in Hongkong. Auch sie sind wirklich sehr gut dargestellt und wirken einzigartig.Und es gibt auch Böse, hier eine Mafiagruppe namens „Schwarzer Drache“.Der Schreibstil des Autors ist sehr einfach gehalten und gut zu verstehen. Aufgrund seiner Ausdrucksweise kann man das Buch durchaus auch schon für Kinder in Betracht ziehen.Geschildert wird das Geschehen aus verschiedenen Perspektiven, wofür der Autor de personale Erzählweise nutzt. Man ist quasi immer da wo etwas passiert.Die Handlung war mir zu Beginn etwas eigensinnig. Genau kann ich gar nicht sagen woran es gelegen hat aber ich hatte zu Beginn doch meine Probleme dran zu bleiben. Das hat sich aber glücklicherweise gegeben, es sprang der Funke über und die Handlung wurde spannend und wirklich abwechslungsreich.Das Ende ist gut so wie es ist. Es wirkt stimmig und soweit auch abgeschlossen. Die Leseprobe zu Teil 2 „Der Palast der Erinnerungen“ macht neugierig auf mehr und ich bin schon auch gespannt wie es wohl weiteregehen wird.Fazit:Zusammenfassend gesagt ist „Mysterium. Der schwarze Drache“ von Julian Sedgwick ein doch guter Auftakt der Trilogie.Gut gestaltete Charaktere, der leicht zu lesende Stil und eine Handlung, die nach einem eigensinnigen Anfang für mich doch nicht interessant und fesselnd wurde haben mir hier spannende Lesestunden beschert.Durchaus lesenswert!

  • Landin
    2018-12-01 18:39

    I thought it was good

  • Anka
    2018-11-20 15:42

    Danny ist ein sehr pfiffiger und cleverer Protagonist, der für seine 12 Jahre ganz schön viel auf dem Kasten hat. Er stammt aus einer Zirkusfamilie, lebt aber seit einiger Zeit in einem Internat, da seine Eltern bei einem Brand ums Leben gekommen sind. Alle sagen, es war ein Unfall, doch Danny spürt, dass ihm seine ehemaligen Zirkusfreunde etwas verheimlichen. Die Schulferien verbringt Danny mit seiner Tante, der Journalistin Laura und seinem Zirkusfreund Major Zamora in Hongkong, wo Laura jobbedingt über die chinesische Mafia recherchiert. Als Laura jedoch plötzlich vor Dannys Augen in ein dunkles Auto gezerrt und entführt wird, muss er selbst die Zügel in die Hand nehmen. Zusammen mit Major Zamora legt er sich mit einem übermächtigen Gegner an und findet immer mehr zu seinem Zirkus-Ich zurück. Hypnose, Entfesselungstricks und Geschick gegen düstere, skrupellose Typen mit Pistolen, Messern und Macht. Ob Danny seine Tante retten und dem Geheimnis um den Tod seiner Eltern auf die Spur kommen kann?Viel Action, eine brenzliche Situation nach der anderen, clevere Ermittlungsarbeit, echte Freundschaft und ein Hauch Magie & Zauberei - alles Zutaten, die dieses Leseabenteuer beinhaltet. Für ältere Leser (ab 16 Jahren), die sicherlich mehr Fakten und Situationen kritischer hinterfragen, könnte "Mysterium" vielleicht zu kindlich und einfach gestrickt sein, jüngere Leser werden aber definitiv mit hochroten Wangen und pochendem Herzen in diese Seiten eintauchen können. Die kurzen Kapitel (jeweils ca. 3-10 Seiten stark) ermöglichen kleine Lesepausen, wenn die Augen müde werden bzw. animieren aber auch dazu, trotz akuter Müdigkeit "nur noch 1 Kapitel" lesen zu wollen (und dann werden es doch zwei oder drei, weil die Geschichte so spannend ist! - kennen wir das nicht alle?).Mir hat besonders das Setting gefallen. Selten lese ich Geschichten, die in Asien spielen und so sog ich die Beschreibungen der belebten, bunten und lauten Stadt Hongkong mit großer Neugierde auf. Ebenso toll fand ich die Szenen, in denen Danny sein Zirkus-Ich zeigt und mit Hypnose und dem richtigen Gespür für seine Mitmenschen auch den größten Ganoven überlisten kann. Auch die tolle, ansprechende Aufmachung des Buches muss ich einfach hervorheben. Das sehr moderne, detailreiche Coverbild (sogar fast mit 3D-Effekt!), das sich einmal ums komplette Buch zieht, die gezeichnete Karte der Stadt Hongkong auf der Innenseite und die Gliederung der Geschichte in drei Akte, jeweils eingeleitet durch ein Zitat, machen das Buch an sich schon zu einem Erlebnis und wahren Hingucker.Viel Action und wenig Zeit um zu verschnaufen - wer an Dannys Seite durch Hongkong jagen will, muss eine große Portion Mut, ein kluges Köpfchen sowie gute Kondition mitbringen. Ihr haltet euch nicht gern an langen Erklärungen und unnötigen Beschreibungen auf, sondern wollt lieber etwas erleben? Dann ist "Mysterium - Der schwarze Drache" genau das richtige Buch für euch!

  • Melanie
    2018-11-29 13:25

    Das Cover gefällt mir richtig gut. Es zeigt einen Jungen, der gerade dabei ist zu springen. Im Hintergrund kann man Häuser sehen - ich vermute die Häuser Hongkongs. Mysterium prangt wunderbar auffällig über dem Jungen und wie es sich gehört in Zirkusschrift.Schon auf den ersten Seiten wird es spannend in "Mysterium: Der schwarze Drache". An seiner Schule wird Danny erst von einem Jungen ein wenig aufgezogen, muss dann einen Zaubertrick vorstellen, weil er ja der komische Junge vom Zirkus ist, doch ernst nehmen tut das keiner so wirklich. Doch auf dem Weg zum Gebäude zurück, explodiert auf einmal etwas. Durch diese kleine Gemeinheit des Mitschülers, hat dieser ihnen mehr oder weniger das Leben gerettet. Sofort wird Danny von seiner Tante Laura abgeholt. Auf dem Heimweg schlägt sie vor, dass er mit ihr gemeinsam nach Hongkong reisen soll, damit er die Stadt seiner Mutter kennenlernen kann.Auf dem Weg nach Hongkong benimmt seine Tante sich merkwürdig. Zumindest empfindet er das so und geht alles durch, was nur mit ihr los sein könnte. Doch er wird aus dem ganzen nicht schlau.Im Flugzeug selber erfahren die Leser dann auch zum ersten Mal was mit seinen Eltern passiert ist und wer seine Eltern im Zirkus eigentlich waren, was sie dort gemacht haben.In Hongkong werden sie von einem alten Freund in Empfang genommen. Major Zamora ein kleiner, liebenswürdiger, breitschultriger Mann, der alles für Danny tun würde. Danny ist froh ihn zu sehen und ihn an seiner Seite zu haben. Sie kennen sich noch aus den Zirkuszeiten. Zamora und er machen sich gemeinsam mit Laura auf den Weg zum Hotel, doch sie geht nicht mit aufs Zimmer und so haben Zamora und Danny ein wenig Zeit sich zu unterhalten und Hongkong ein wenig zu kennenlernen.Als sie Abends dann in ein REstaurant gehen um zu essen, geschieht etwas. Tante Laura wird von Männer auf der Straße entführt und Danny, sowie Zamora sind machtlos, können absolut nichts tun und schnell merken sie auch, dass sie an einen korrupten Polizisten geraten sind.Die Suche nach Laura beginnt und Danny ist zwischendurch wirklich entmutigt, doch er tut alles, um sie zu finden, bis er und Zamora dann selber in die Finger des Schwarzen Drachen geraten.Mysterium ist ein wirklich tolles Kinderbuch. Spannung, Spaß und auch der ein oder andere Zaubertrick kommen vor. DIe Charaktere sind sehr schön dargestellt und ich hab sie alle sofort ins Herz geschlossen, besonders Major Zamora.Die Charaktere haben alle etwas herzliches an sich, ob nun Laura, die einfach immer unterwegs ist, immer irgendwas zu tun hat, Zamora, der hinter Danny steht und alles für ihn tun würde ODer eben Danny, die Hauptperson in dieser Geschichter, der sich auch von Gangstern der Mafia Gruppe "schwarzer Drache" nicht unterkriegen lässt.

  • Corinne Drescher
    2018-12-01 16:33

    Het Mysterium van Julian Sedgwick (10+)Stap in een wereld vol mysterie met de trilogie Het Mysterium. Het Mysterium : De zwarte draak is het eerste deel. Hoofdpersoon is Danny Woo. Zijn ouders zijn omgekomen door een brand. Ze waren eigenaar van het circus Het Mysterium. Zijn vader was een geweldige boeienkoning en zijn moeder deed een trapeze-act. Danny leerde veel van zijn ouders, zoals sloten openmaken, hypnose en trucs met kaarten. Maar nu is hij 12 en zijn zijn ouders dood en zit op hij een kostschool. Hij worstelt met vragen, zoals: Is de brand niet aangestoken, wie heeft gezorgd voor de explosie in zijn school en hoe is het mogelijk dat het misging bij een act van zijn vader, waarbij hij bijna verdronk in een tank met water? Sabotage? Zijn vader maakte NOOIT fouten. Danny is een slimme gozer blijkt elke keer als je als leest waar hij aan denkt, maar ja als je 12 bent nemen volwassenen jou nog nog niet serieus. Daar baalt hij van.. En ik ook de hele tijd tijdens het verhaal. Ik wind me er zelfs over op.Zijn tante doet onderzoek naar de bende van de Zwarte Draak en neemt Danny mee naar Hong Kong, immers op zijn school was een explosie en de school is dicht. In Hong Kong zal hij ook weer zijn vriend Zamora zien. Zamora is een dwerg en deed de act met het kanon. Dan wordt zijn tante ontvoerd en wordt het superspannend. Achtervolgingen en ontsnapping over daken. Dan worden ze toch ook gepakt en komen ze terecht op een schip. Danny wordt in de boeien geslagen, in een koelkast gezet en in de zee gedumpt. Kan Danny zichzelf bevrijden? Ik kreeg het zelf erg benauwd bij die scene. Heftig boek dit voor jongens en meisjes, maar je moet wel beetje je aandacht bij het boek houden en dat is vaak lastig voor kids. Diverse flashbacks en redelijk veel personages. Ik ben benieuwd naar het 2e deel.

  • Sharon Tyler
    2018-11-25 18:37

    The Black Dragon is the first book in the The Mysterium series for middle grade readers by Julian Sedgwick. Twelve-year-old Danny Woo is half-Chinese, half-British. His parents are performers in the Mysterium. Following their death in a mysterious fire, Danny is sent to live with his aunt Laura, an investigative journalist. When Danny's school is closed after an explosion, he joins Laura on a trip to Hong Kong. She is researching the Triad gangs; he is trying to understand more about his cultural background. But Laura disappears, and Danny is plunged into a dangerous quest to find her - which opens the door on the past he could never have imagined, and which leads him to question everything he has ever known about his past.The Black Dragon is a book that offers mysteries during the present and the past. Danny is still questioning the death of his parents, and the explosion at his school that has him joining his aunt and a fellow circus member on the trip to Hong Kong. Nothing is what its seems and Danny is good at spotting the people and moments that seem a little off. Danny’s skills come in handy, as do his powers of observation. There is a great cast of secondary characters- but very few are who they claim to be and everyone is keeping something back. The adventure is dangerous and full of interesting clues and hints to the search for Laura, the triad organizations, and secrets about Danny’s father. Never a dull moment, and never an obvious solution or ally, keeps the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the read.The Black Dragon is a high paced and entertaining ready. There was never a point that I could predict what might be coming next. I think readers that seek high action, complex mysteries, and interesting characters will quickly become fans of the book, and in turn the series.

  • Lipsy
    2018-11-30 20:42

    I felt the same way about The Black Dragon on the whole as I felt about its protagonist, Danny. I liked him enough, and thought he was funny enough, but he just didn't give me enough to keep me interested. I felt like his past was more interesting than his present which probably isn't a good thing. Danny grew up in a travelling Circus, The Mysterium, where his Dad was an escapologist and his mum a high wire acrobat. Prior to the events in The Black Dragon Danny's dad dies in an under-water trick that he'd performed hundred times over, and shortly after their trailer is set on fire and his mum is killed too. Under the care of his aunt Laura, Danny is just settling into a more traditional life and trying to get through the boredom of high school when an explosion goes off and Laura whisks him away to Hong Kong. It's not long before Laura is kidnapped leaving Danny and Zamora, an Italian Dwarf - a friend from The Mysterium days - to find Laura and find out how all of these things are connected.As fun as this was, the whole way through I just wanted it to be about The Mysterium and didn't really care about finding Laura. By the looks of it, the next book in the series might do just that, so I'll definitely check it out when the time comes. I enjoyed the characters here, especially Zamora, and the fast pace of the adventure was welcome but it didn't have enough strings to its bow to really hook me. I do feel like this could improve in later books though.

  • Nici's Buchecke
    2018-11-11 13:39

    Als ich dieses Buch in der Hand hielt wusste ich noch nicht worauf ich mich einlasse. Klar hatte ich den Klappentext gelesen, aber so richtig wusste ich nicht was auf mich zukommen wird. Dieses Buch hat mich mit seinem Cover neugierig gemacht, das verdeckte Gesicht des Jungen weckte mein Interesse.Als ich zu lesen begann war es ein leichtes in die Handlung abzutauchen. Der Verlag gibt hier eine Leseempfehlung, die ich voll und ganz unterstütze. Jedoch ist es nicht nur ein Buch für die junge Generation. Die große Schrift und die flüssige Schreibweise, sowie die tolle Kapitelbeschriftung und Kapiteleinteilung machen es auch dem erwachsenen Leser schwer nicht weiterlesen zu wollen. Die Kapitelüberschriften weckten direkt meine Neugier für den nächsten Abschnitt. Man geht im wahrsten Sinne mit der Hauptfigur Danny Woo auf ein rasantes Abenteuer. Der kleine Freund und Begleiter von Danny Mr. Zamora ist mir direkt ans Herz gewachsen. Diese liebevollen Charaktere sind dem Autor wirklich gut gelungen, aber auch die finsteren Gestalten ließen mich direkt eine Abneigung spüren. Die Spannung wird durch neue Wendungen immer oben gehalten und man merkt nicht, wie die Zeit vergeht.Ich muss sagen rundherum ein gelunger Auftakt einer Trilogie und es macht definitiv große Lust auf den nächsten Teil.Ich kann dieses Buch wirklich jedem abenteuerlustigen Leser empfehlen, wenn er Lust auf eine rasante Reise durch Hong Kong verspürt.

  • Katy Noyes
    2018-11-14 13:27

    I recently met Julian Sedgwick, and felt terrible that I've read several by Marcus, but none by his (older!) brother. Completely different in genre and style, this is definitely going to appeal to an upper primary/lower secondary audience, particularly boys - circuses, escapes, chases, clues, gangs, mysteries.Danny Woo is an orphan, his parents were killed in a fire at the circus where they worked with their son a year ago. Danny is rather numb from the experience, and misses both his parents and Mysterium home at which they worked at escapology and hynopist acts.His aunt Laura takes him to Hong Kong after an explosion at his school, and he quickly suspects that not only was this not an accident, but criminals are after him. Laura is kidnapped, and his childhood friend Zamora (a dwarf from the Mysterium) teams up with Danny to find her and work out why the gangs are after him. Does it have anything to do with parents?The Hong Kong setting is refreshing, it is contemporary but other-wordly at the same time for western readers, Danny is a mature but still young hero that readers will identify with, his grief gradually coming out. Zamora makes a great sidekick - martial arts and strongman act coming in handy in the fights and chases. I wanted more from the Mysterium. We hear a lot about it, but only see snippets in Danny's memories. It seems too intriguing for us not to see more!A great start to an adventure/mystery series for 10-14 year olds.

  • Liz Friend
    2018-12-07 17:38

    The story: When Danny's aunt is abducted in Hong Kong, it's up to Danny to find her. Little does he realize that hunting for a kidnapper will open up dark secrets in his own past, including the deaths of his circus-performer parents in a fire a year ago. Danny must use his own "magic" skills and his ability to think a problem through in order to figure out what's going on and who he can trust--and he'd better do it fast before the Black Dragon hunts him down and consumes him, too.NYP: Carolrhoda Books, March 1, (Kirkus Reviews). June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; Violence PG-13; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; Magic and the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (being orphaned; kidnapping; organized crime) PG; overall rating PG.Liz's comments: This is a fast-moving thriller with an unusual setting and more than a little information about magicians and escape artists. Danny learns to trust his own instincts, but also that he'll need to trust those around him. Because the mystery of what his father was up to (working with Interpol and Inspector Ricard as a sort of expert specialist, but still unknown as to what or why) remains unexplained, there's clearly a set-up for at least book 2.

  • Tyler Kass
    2018-12-07 14:20

    Black dragon by Julian Sedgwick was a very good book. It was the first book in the serious and it was a very good book. Very exciting and adventures. First it started off with him at his school in a fight with some kids. Then a bomb went off while he was walking to class. His aunt comes to pick him up and then they go to Hong Kong. Then he meets his dwarf friend while his aunt was doing a story on some guys. In the end he figures out they wanted him dead because he was going to be a lethal threat. To the 49. Which was a huge crime group who threatened every place.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action and adventure. It was super good!

  • Ellie
    2018-12-06 19:34

    A real action packed adventure story! I loved the characters, and thought the circus-related aspects that were scattered throughout made it stand apart from other books. The plot was interesting, though the ending seemed very rushed to me. I also felt that not enough was explained; I understand there will be sequels, but too much was left open-ended. However, it was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing where the series goes.

  • Bao包子
    2018-11-19 17:48

    I'm not entirely familiar with Cantonese but the linguistics here doesn't feel awkward at all. Quite realistic in fact, with some stumbles, but it works. The story, however, is set up for a trilogy. I had hope for some kind of closure but it's mostly a wild goose chase with little result. The up side is being able to read about Danny's tricks, which was what I expected from a book circling around circus. ;)

  • Shane
    2018-11-28 20:28

    I liked the middle and end of the book, but the beginning was so boring. I knew the beginning is usually boring so I decided to keep pushing through it. Once I got in like 50 pages in it started to get interesting, it was just a straight line to a fun book. I would've gave it a five if it weren't for the bad beginning.

  • Zoe
    2018-12-09 21:24

    Collision of all the exoticism of circus life with triads in Hong Kong, a boy trying to find out what really happened to his parents, loads of excitement and with a satisfying take on how to get the most out of life. I really want to read volume 2 now!

  • Patrick Rijnders
    2018-11-24 16:32

    Yes! More please! Great adventurous plot and fun characters. Like the setting too, you don't see a place like Hong Kong in books enough. First part of a trilogy and I'm very interested to read parts two and three.

  • Jack Wheeler
    2018-12-07 14:27

    I think that this book will keep you hooked and is a very interesting, amazing book!

  • B.r. Tracey
    2018-11-11 16:43

    simplistic chapter headings, improved towards the end of the book. It didn't seem to have a definite conclusion. Maybe Julian Sedgwick intends to run another story from the end of the book.

  • Kim Gontarz
    2018-12-10 19:46

    Danny needs to save his Aunt and find out what happened to his parents all while not loosing his own life.

  • Alison
    2018-11-30 14:23

    OK, but definitely felt like an introduction to a series.

  • Yu Lam
    2018-11-13 19:36

    Especially cool 'cause it's set in Hong Kong, my home town! Great to see that Hong Kong is being exposed and appreciated more and more! Looking forward to the next adventure in this series!

  • Azza
    2018-12-05 21:39

    I really liked it.

  • Tricia
    2018-12-07 13:43

    Good adventure with mysterious, and scary elements, thriller style. Great for top Primary readers

  • Kirsten König
    2018-11-30 18:50

    Loved it! Young escape artist who lost both his parents travels with his aunt after an explosion at school: kidnapping, great escapes and mysterious characters.

  • Abbie
    2018-12-07 17:32

    Read my review at Bookish Adventures.