by John Shors
pub: Sept 2009
384 pagesGiveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!
Dragon House is one of those reads that had me broadening my horizons (out of urban fantasy) and stretching my comfort zone.
The story revolves around a group of people opening a children’s center to help the street children in
Iris is the American adult daughter of a
Mai and Minh are young kids who live under a bridge and aren’t related but have bonded together as much as any sister and brother could. Minh has a stump for one arm, doesn’t speak and plays a mean game of Connect-4. Mai does all the talking and sets up games for Minh to play with tourists for $1 a match (if he wins). Luckily, Minh rarely loses but most of their winnings go to Loc, who uses it to feed his opium habit…and he protects them.
Okay, so Loc’s their Connect-4 pimp and a druggie scumbag who preys on defenseless kids.
Then there are Qui and her granddaughter, Tam, who are beggars. Tam is dying of cancer that didn’t have to be fatal, but lack of medical care has left her too far gone to be helped.
Shors puts these appealing (except for Loc) characters together in a tender heartfelt story of hope and human kindness. Of course the dregs of humanity are in here too (like Loc), and while the conclusion is satisfying, there aren’t happy endings all around. So be prepared.
At times this story was hard to read because of the brutal nature of the reality it portrays against children. I can read urban fantasy murder, mayhem and gore without getting nearly as creeped out as this stuff makes me…because while it’s fiction, this stuff really happens and it’s painful to think about so much suffering. But the novel does end on a hopeful note and reflects the idea that people can overcome adversity and make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Dragon House is a thought-provoking read full of compassion, compelling characters and the ultimate beauty and strength of the human spirit that also gives an excellent insight into another culture, country and way of life through evocative description. While not light entertainment, it’s worth the time to experience these characters and their story.
And Shors is the kind of guy who puts his money where his mouth (and his writing) is. Here is an excerpt from the Dragon House website:
It is my hope that Dragon House will be a success, and out of that success something good can happen. I plan on donating some of the funds generated from my book to an organization called Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. This group works with children in crisis throughout
To my delight, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation already has a center for street children in
If readers want to provide additional support to Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, please visit http://www.bdcf.org. Anyone who goes to the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation web site, and donates $100 will receive an autographed copy of Dragon House. I’ll manage this process and will send out copies of my book. My goal is to help raise a substantial amount of money for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.
It’s always nice to see others giving back. And thank you to John for providing this copy of Dragon House.