ARC REVIEW: Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past – by Paul Cude

Title: Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past
Author: Paul Cude

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
First published: October 19th 2011
Finished reading: September 29th 2017
Pages: 486
DNF at 49% (238 pages)

“The valuable lesson you should have learned, was that evil comes in many guises, not always visible to everyone.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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It’s easy to say I have a weak spot for any story involving dragons as they are my favorite of mythical creatures. This story had me at the title, because how could I resist a new fantasy series where dragons play such a big role? I was really looking forward to start reading Bentwhistle The Dragon, and even though it took me longer than planned to actually pick it up my initial excitement was still there. That’s why it’s such a shock I had to make the hard decision to DNF this story. Because let’s face it: that almost never happens… But honestly, I’ve tried. Really tried. I’m not saying the writing is bad and it truly shows just how much time is put into the detailed and extensive descriptions and worldbuilding in general. This attention to detail is what stands out in this story and I can always appreciate when this much time is dedicated to creating a believable and well developed fantasy world. BUT. The thing is, the pace is supersuperSUPER slow and I just couldn’t get myself to keep interest. I don’t mind a slower pace if I get detailed descriptions in return, but I think in the case of Bentwhistle The Dragon it was kind of a description overdose. One superlong and extensive description after the other kind of had the reverse effect on me and instead of finding myself intrigued by a story about my favorite mythical creature, I was actually rather bored by it all. Because I have to be honest and say that nothing much really happens during the first half of the story especially considering it has over 200 pages. I definitely would have expected a lot more action or at least some suspense… I don’t think the age group would be happy with so many descriptions or the lack of action either, and I felt the tone was off for a YA story (too ‘formal’?). All in all Bentwhistle The Dragon definitely wasn’t for me, and unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to keep reading all those extensive descriptions hoping something exciting would happen in the second half. Especially since I found the mystery and ‘dangerous’ situation not suspenseful at all and to be honest rather lacking for what is labeled as a fantasy adventure story… I’m sad to see this dragon story on my very short list of DNF reads.

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Dragons have walked among humans for a long time, and nobody seems to be aware of them… Because the dragons are disguised as humans and live among them, infiltrating the human world in key positions to guide and protect them. They can change forms at will, although dragons are always careful to not reveal their secrets. But something is off, and it might be up to three young dragons to put a stop to it before it’s too late… Will they be able to?

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I had really high hopes for Bentwhistle The Dragon, and that’s why it makes me extra sad I had to make the though decision to DNF it. This almost never happens, but I struggled so much with the endless descriptions and superslow pace that I just couldn’t get myself to read the second part as well. I was really surprised by the lack of action as well, especially since it’s labeled as a fantasy adventure story… The worldbuilding is excellent and extensive, but in this case it might have been too much detail and the balance between plot/action and description was lost. Such a shame! I really wanted to enjoy this one.


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WWW Wednesdays #157 – October 4th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m still reading The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman, and I’m still not all that far into it. I normally would have finished it by now, but I’ve been distracted by a new hobby during the last few days. I discovered I absolute love to crochet! I wanted to try a few patterns out of the Snuggle And Play Crochet book I finished last week even though I had no knowledge of the crochet techniques… And it turns out it was easier to learn than I thought! (Or at least the basics haha.) Meet Mr. Red Fox a.k.a. the reason I’ve been slacking on my reading during the last few days. He still needs some arms but I ran out of red yarn. xD I actually made a granny blanket for the zebra I will be making soon as well, but decided to make Mr. Fox first since he seemed to be easier haha.

I haven’t continued with IT by Stephen King yet, but I’m planning to do so soon. I haven’t been reading much during the last couple of days in the first place, so that’s probably why as well.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (3/5 stars) REVIEW
I really wanted to love Heartless and I was sure I was going to after reading the first couple of chapters. The writing is wonderful and take you right to the magical world these famous characters live in. I just loved Cath and her baking; I’m craving to start baking something myself right now (and eating it afterwards of course!). Everything was going great until the love triangle, which positively ruined Heartless for me. After the introduction of this romance trope, the main focus was on this relation and I felt kind of betrayed. Oh well, most people seem to love this story, so I guess this will be yet another unpopular opinion to add to the mix… If you dislike love triangles as much as I do, consider yourself warned though.

2. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 08/10
I know I wasn’t convinced by the first book of this series, but I loved book two and this third book is just as good as the previous one. I literally finished Murder Game in less than a day and found myself on the edge of my seat the whole time! Fast-paced, well written, suspenseful… An excellent serial killer thriller!

3. Bentwhistle The Dragon by Paul Cude (2/5 stars; DNF at 49%) REVIEW 06/10
Honestly, I’ve tried. I’m not saying the writing is bad and it truly shows just how much time is put into the detailed and extensive descriptions and worldbuilding. The thing is, the pace is supersuperslow and I just can’t get myself to keep interest. One superlong and extensive description after the other kind of had the reverse effect on me and instead of finding myself intrigued by another story about my favorite mythical creature, I was rather bored by it all. I don’t think the age group would be happy with so many descriptions and the lack of action either… All in all definitely not for me, and unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to torture myself any further with more extensive descriptions (especially since I found the mystery and ‘dangerous’ situation not all that suspenseful to be honest).

4. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank (4,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I must have read this classic a dozen of times before and I don’t think I can add anything new to all the reviews that have been written about it before… I had my first experience with her diary during high school, where we read the book in Dutch and went to visit the place where she was hiding with her family in Amsterdam. This diary is such a powerful story and really shows what it was like for Jews in hiding during the war… Very intriguing read everyone should read at some point in their lives.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m picking up The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland next even though the publish date is still relatively far away… I absolutely loved her previous thrillers and can’t wait to start her newest.  Another ARC I need to pick up soon is Halfway by Lokesh/Anubhav Sharma. And after so many glowing reviews, I’m also reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This novel has all the signs of becoming my next 5 star read! My newest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


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WWW Wednesdays #156 – September 27th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently close to finishing Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past by Paul Cude, a YA fantasy read with dragons. The pace is quite slow, but there is no doubt that the worldbuilding is extensive with a lot of attention to details and descriptions. I’m also about to start Heartless by Marissa Meyer, a story I’ve been wanting to read for months… I’m really looking forward to that one. IT by Stephen King I decided to put temporarily on hold until October so I can finish some other books first… Plus, it’s probably the perfect Halloween read for next month in the first place right? 😉

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/09
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up my copy of Flowers For Algernon, but I’m more than happy with what I found. The writing is simply brilliant, as both the progress reports and the prose itself give the perfect insight of what happens to Charlie during the experiment. The way others react to Charlie during different stages of the experiment is both intriguing and unfortunately very accurate as well. Hopefully an eye opener! Flowers For Algernon is able to provoke strong emotions and is utterly heartbreaking in the end.

2. Snuggle And Play Crochet by Carolina Guzman Benitez (4,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
These patterns are absolutely adorable! I will be looking forward creating at least a few of these as gifts for a few of my friends who have either young children or are about to be parents… I’m having a feeling the loveys will be a huge success, although the plush animals are adorable as well. I’m still a crochet newbie, so I could really appreciate the helpful explanations of the different stitches and how to put the different parts together!

3. Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/09
This psychological thriller is mostly a character-driven story and the pace was a lot slower than expected. I struggled a little in the beginning, both because of the pace and my lack of connection to the characters, but the second half of the story more than made up for it. I loved the countdown idea and how slowly more of the present day event is revealed… And the final part is more than shocking! The story will make you think a lot of things and suspect a lot of people, but I can garantuee you won’t guess the final truth about what really happened.

4. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (3/5 stars) REVIEW 01/10
I’ve only just finished this one so I need a little time to think… It’s a character-driven story set in 1914 on a lifeboat, where the characters have to survive after their cruiseship sinks on the way to New York. The pace is quite slow and I’m not a fan of the characters, but the historical setting is quite well done and it shows in the way the characters interact as well. Nothing much happens during the story though. I’m still on the fence about this one to be honest.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m picking up Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell next even though the publish date is still relatively far away… I’m dying to find out how the series continues.  Another ARC I need to pick up soon is Halfway by Lokesh/Anubhav Sharma. I also want to read I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh; I’ve had that one on my TBR for way too long now. My newest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, a historical fiction read which I have been wanting to read for ages so I’m really happy this title popped up.


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Teaser Tuesdays #158 – September 26th: Bentwhistle The Dragon

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve been meaning to pick up this ARC for ages now… I always love dragon stories so I’ve been looking forward to this one. Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past by Paul Cude is the first book of a YA fantasy series. I’m still not that far into the story, so there isn’t much to say yet… Other than that the pace seems to be quite slow, probably partly due to the extensive descriptions of the dragons and their world. I’m looking forward to see what the rest of the story will bring though.

My teaser (12%):

“Reality flooded back as the walkway he was on started to widen and fill up with dragons of all shapes and sizes. Focused firmly on not bumping into any of them, he marvelled at the surrounding area, wondering just what the humans on the surface would make of the secret world just beneath their feet.”

What are you reading right now?


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