Megan’s Brood by Roy Burdine
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Megan’s life is uprooted when her family moves to a new house in a far away town where she discovers a tiny brood of mysterious creatures living in the attic. As she raises them each begin to manifest unique traits of their own — one that blows fire like a dragon, one who sprouts wings and flies, and a girl with a hypnotic singing voice, are just a few among the group.
The mystery of where these fantastical creatures come from and what their ultimate purpose might be leads Megan down an exciting path to adventure and discovery (and not just a little danger!)
Written by Roy Burdine and beautifully Illustrated by Shawn McManus (Sandman, Fables)
You never know what you’ll find when you move into a new house.
Megan was always kind and polite. This isn’t something I see nearly enough in modern fiction, so I was glad to meet a main character who treats everyone around her with respect. It made her come across as very likeable and friendly! I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in the sequel.
It was never clear to me what age group this was written for. Sometimes Megan and her friends made the kinds of silly, fun jokes that I usually giggle at when I read stories written about kids in elementary school. In other scenes, the main character worried about whether or not a certain boy liked her. That’s something I normally only see in books about teenagers. Switching between the two was odd at times. The plot itself was extremely well done, but it would have been even better if the author had chosen a specific age group and geared all of the storytelling to them.
The ending was exciting. Several earlier scenes that I’d wondered about when I first read them were wrapped up satisfactorily. It was nice to have that closure as I’d spent quite a bit of time coming up with several guesses about how the author was planning to tie everything together. He met all of my expectations, and he also managed to surprise me in a few places!
There were pacing issues. The plot was slow in the beginning. While a long introduction would have worked nicely in a full-length novel, it didn’t leave as much room for figuring out what mysterious little creatures were as I was hoping to see once they hatched. This was such an important part of the blurb that I was a bit disappointed by how much time it took Megan to find out anything at all about them.
With that being said, the author’s descriptions of these creatures were a lot of fun. I could imagine exactly what it would be like to be in the same room with them, and I wished it were possible to actually see one in person. It was interesting to see how unique each one of them was even though they all came from the same clutch of eggs. This was especially true once they began growing and changing.
I’d recommend Megan’s Brood to anyone who enjoys science fiction that’s set in the present day.