That being said, I ended up struggling with this one. I think there are great ideas in it, but they're buried under a whole lot of action scenes that didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. Everything felt extremely rushed <i>except</i> the action. I had a hard time connecting to characters because I didn't get a chance to get to know them. It felt a lot like what we were doing was reading a novel about fight scenes-- which is great, if that's your thing, because there's tons of action in this book! I was just not really sure exactly what we were ever fighting for except for the sake of fighting. I found the plot pretty tough to follow-- mainly, I suppose, because I'm still not exactly sure what the plot was at all. We viewed the story from the eyes of Steve, a teenager who has been thrust into a world that must be reclaimed for humanity. We battle all sorts of creatures, strange hybrids borne of biological warfare, and giant dragons and wyverns and monsters galore. But I'm still not exactly sure what we were meant to be doing other than fighting those guys for no reason except that they got int he way of some mission that I never quite understood.
Wyvern Diary is the kind of book that could be extraordinary. Like I said, the ideas in it are really great at their bare bones, I think they just need to be fleshed out a little more. The creativity that went into creating all the different creatures is phenomenal and shouldn't be negated. The issue I found, however, is that the emotional content should be expanded on and the action sorta cut down and limited, just so the reader will have a chance to actually care about the outcome. I think what Dahraan du Toit really needs is just to keep practicing-- work on developing plot exposition and getting information to the reader and our hero without it being so obvious. I could see clearly where certain things happened in order to facilitate plot movement, but they seemed too convenient to really work for me. But then, writing a novel isn't the kind of thing someone learns to do overnight. I think with more experience and more practice, Dahraan's stuff could be really great, and I'm looking forward to it.
By Amanda Scott