How To Train Your Dragon

Note from Nerd Life: Lindsay is obsessed with this so badly. So beware. You now walk where angels fear to tread.

httyd

Um, okay, Nerd Life.

She’s right that I’m a little obsessed with HTTYD. The movie should have won Oscars, but Toy Story 3 swooped in, stealing them all. Even Best Score, which TS3 had like 2 songs and HTTYD had 25. That I listen to. I’m nerdy, okay?

Imagine my joy to learn it was a book series, too. It gives me reprieve while I wait for the sequel.

The books and the movies are really different,  but Cressida Cowell, the author herself, says it keeps with the spirit of the books. I’ll be telling you about the books, but seriously, go watch the movie.

hiccup

Movie Hiccup and Movie Toothless. I was going to include Book Hiccup and Book Toothless, but Google images doesn’t ahve any good ones.

Both center around the Viking Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, Heir and Hope of the Hairy Hooligans (“Great name, I know. But it’s not the worst”- Hiccup says in the movie). He is a “smallish Viking with a longish name.” Hiccup is the son of the chief, who is the best Viking ever, but Hiccup is the worst. He’s very small, very ordinary, horrible at sports, and generally much brighter than  your typical Viking. This book starts with the young Vikings of the Hairy Hooligans, who are about to begin to become full-fledged Vikings. They must first steal a dragon and train it to obey them.

Hiccup’s best friend, Fishlegs, is almost as bad if not worse than Hiccup. He’s allergic to everything and wears glasses. Except he’s the appropriate size.  The boys go in to steal their dragons, and Fishlegs manages to wake all of them up without getting his dragon. Hiccup can’t see his one friend exiled, so he gives him the one he got and just grabs one for himself. This seems pretty unfortunate once he discovers it’s about the size of a Pomerian and nowhere near as docile. Chief’s sons have the right to Monstrous Nightmares, the fiercest dragons, but poor Hiccup got a Common Garden breed, and his worst enemy, his arrogant and Brutish cousin Snoutlout, got a Nightmare. Figures.

Hiccup’s dragon, who he names Toothless, is the most cantankerous little creature alive. All dragons are selfish and wild, but Hiccup’s much too mild to cow his into submission. “How  To Train Your Dragon”, the only guide ever written, is extremely unhelpful, telling only “Yell at it!”  Hiccup instead tells Toothless jokes, feeds him lobsters, and spoils him shamefully in the hope Toothless will begin to obey him from loyalty.

Wait! I found a Toothless!

Wait! I found a Toothless!

Hiccup goes into his final exam expecting to fail, because there is no way Toothless will obey his commands. Hiccup has made progress, but it all depends on the right joke and Toothless being cooperative. Hiccup doesn’t expect sucess, but what happens is a fiasco that manages to not only get Hiccup exiled, but all the boys.

While Hiccup expects to live the rest of his life cold and hungry, that’s not what happens. As a matter of fact, it’s not long before Hiccup ends up being swallowed by the Green Death…

And Cowell has nine sequels to offer, so begin now!

Lindsay’s Verdict: Very fun, silly, and entertaining. 5 Stars.

Genre: Children’s.

Author: Cressida Cowell.

Up Next: In His Steps.  While you wait, go watch HTTYD. And leave comments about it.

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