Title: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters
Author: Margaret Dilloway
Illustrator: Choong Yoon
Series: Momotaro #1
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
I am a huge fan of Rick Riordan and the publisher Disney-Hyperion, so when I read the blurb of Xander of the Lost Island of Monsters I knew it was a book I had to get my hands on.
Now, I realize that it is not by Rick Riordan, but it has the same idea/concept that he uses in his stories. Xander of the Lost Island of Monsters is a story set in today's world, the main character is a preteen, and the story encompasses Japanese folklore.
Oh, yeah, I am also a huge fan of Japanese culture which is ANOTHER reason I knew I had to read this book.
Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters is about Xander. Xander is a preteen boy who is small for his age. He is half Asian and half white (I only tell you this because it is actually important for the story). Xander loves to day dream and draw. He is also great with computers and is very creative.
In this story, Xander learns that he is a Momotaro and that he actually comes from a long line of Momotaro. In essence, he learns that he has to fight demons. Super fun! Well for us readers it is anyways. Xander happens to have a lot of other thoughts and reservations about it.
The folklore that this story uses and teaches us is that of the Peach Boy. I personally had no knowledge of this story. I found it very interesting and very educational (in a fun way of course!)
All in all, I really enjoyed this story from the beginning to the end and I think others will too. Especially those in the age range that it is intended for.
There are actually some references in the story, that while they do not have the name we know them by, you can tell what they are referring to easily. A huge one being Minecraft (named Craft Worlds in the book). I found these references fun and they helped me relate to the story a little bit more. Making it seem like it could be more like our world and not a created world in a book.
Honestly, there really is nothing that I can pinpoint about the story that I found blegh. I found it well done and very entertaining. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series!
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.