Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult/Children

Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief by David Owen

There are some versions of books targeting younger audiences that appeal to people of all ages. This is one of them.
Alex has been friends with Zoey for a long time. She knows of his tumultuous relationship with the water that borders their town. It has always seemed that the ocean has been wanting to kill Alex – he, therefore prefers to keep his distance. Anil is new in the mix, and Alex resents his presence. The balance of friendships, old and new, is brought out little by little as the situation around them morphs into something a lot more dangerous.
Their town has had a lot of pollution issues. Zoey is the most vocal of the lot when it comes to talking about everything that that entails. One evening as they notice a green light in the distance, Alex makes a new friend. It is an octopus that does not want to keep away. This is how he finds out that there is something afoot, and it is up to Alex to save the dragon(and essentially the world). As the title indicates, it is in the form of a heist.
The revelations are smooth, and the pacing is well done. There are different stages and some twists to the hurdles people encounter, but overall it was highly satisfying to see how everyone fits into the bigger picture. Some of the banter veers into childishness, but given that the characters are that particular age, it is more than appropriate.
There are some scenes that I can easily visualise as part of a tv series or movie. I cheered along even though I knew the obvious ending.
There is fantasy and magic involved in the central plot, but a lot of the action involves people putting brain and brawn together to come up with a viable solution. I think the children who do read this will definitely find something to like, and adults who are used to indulging in this genre will also enjoy their time with it.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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