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Dragonfly, by Frederic S. Durbin Book Review | SFReader.com
Dragonfly, by Frederic S. Durbin Genre: Horror Publisher: Ace Published: 1999 Review Posted: 9/21/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10
Dragonfly, by Frederic S. Durbin
Book Review by Gabe Dybing
Have you read this book?
Frederic S. Durbin's novel DRAGONFLY is about Halloween. It's about shadows broken by red jack-o-lantern light. It's about the smell of burning October leaves.
A young girl nicknamed Dragonfly finds herself in the frightening world of Harvest Moon. It's an underground world. Certain evil beings in this region are trying to get into the world above, our world. Dragonfly and her friends struggle to prevent this - and struggle to stay alive.
The characters in this novel remind one, at times, of Tim Burton's puppets in THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, but Durbin has transformed these puppets, like Pinocchios, into real people. The existence of a place like Harvest Moon also is more thought out and justified than the nebulous parallel dimension of Halloween Town. The action in the novel moves with cinematic speed through a series of adventurous and often violent episodes. The action is gritty. The costs are lasting. Characters die. Nonetheless, children should be interested in this book. This book is genuinely frightening, but an enduring theme of the novel is that, even when it appears that there is no hope and that the powers of darkness are insurmountable, "normal" people (Dragonfly believes her nickname is more "true" than the name on her birth certificate), through the bonds of friendship and family, are able to overcome despair and defeat dark forces.
So, if this novel is a celebration of all things Halloween, it also is a meditation on faith. One of Dragonfly's relationships bravely explores the true potential of erotic relationships among young people, which is another aspect of the novel that children should relate to. Children and adults also should relate to Dragonfly's estranged relationship with her parents, who are very busy with their careers. Durbin's prose, at times, can be overwrought and image-laden, but, when it succeeds, it evokes wondrous and startling sensations.
Durbin creates a world of awesome spectacle. Highly recommended.
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