Skydragon #4: Brave the Storm – Anh Do

Illustrations – James Hart

‘Once you embrace greatness, you will become great.’ 

When we catch up with Amber, she’s still feeling the effects of Ride the Wind’s Skydragon/E-Boy crossover. Irene takes a concussed and newly powerless Amber to a rainforest in Sennam for some much needed time out. Amber hopes if she is able to immerse herself in this “insect paradise” she will be able to reconnect with her power. 

Of course, the plan to avoid Agent Ferris’ goon squad doesn’t exactly go to plan. Scarlett Stewart, who works for EverCorp, has her own reasons for being in Sennam and she’s brought a secret weapon.

While I initially wondered how Skydragon would work without Amber’s powers, I really enjoyed this book. Amber proved that you don’t need to have special powers in order to be brave and help others. 

I loved meeting Lin and her tribe, especially her grandfather, and the lure of a rumoured curse was too enticing to resist. It was also wonderful to have the opportunity to spend more time with Irene, who’s an absolute sweetheart. 

After being concerned by the potential insect body count during the last couple of books, I was relieved that Amber specifically acted in a way to preserve their lives in this book.

Firefighter doesn’t have a huge role to play in this book but an important revelation may bring him closer to discovering his true identity.

As in previous books in the series, there was plenty of action in this book, humour and the requisite cliffhanger. I’m keen to find out what Firefighter does with the information that he’s in the process of figuring out and what dastardly plan Ferris is going to cook up for Amber next.

Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Amber is back in a thrilling adventure with new friends and old foes.

Amber took a deep breath and closed her eyes. There were insects everywhere in the park – if she concentrated, she should see a little purple flare of light where each one was. But she saw only darkness.

Her voice came out in a whisper. ‘My power is gone.’

Amber has become used to summoning her insect friends and transforming into Skydragon at the first sign of danger. But now her powers are gone, and she’s just back to being just Amber again. Will she be able to get her powers back in time to help new friends defeat an old enemy?

Skydragon #3: Ride the Wind – Anh Do

Illustrations – James Hart

Amber tries to go incognito in this book. Irene decides it’s time for Amber to get away from Agent Ferris and the rest of the National Service goons, so they’re on their way to Kingston City in a campervan that Irene conveniently had stashed away.

Of course, incognito and Amber (now Angela) don’t mix, especially when E-Boy shows up for an unadvertised crossover. It doesn’t help that there’s two baddies intent on doing bad stuff. It seems that trouble just follows Amber, no matter how well she’s trying to blend in at her new school.

Meanwhile, Reggie, Amber’s brother is still with the National Service, but with a new purpose; he wants to find out the truth about his family. Dastardly Ferris is a step ahead of him, though, having done some redaction work on Reggie’s file.

While it was nice to see Amber trying out normal life for the first time since becoming Skydragon, I haven’t read the E-Boy series (yet) so can’t really comment on his inclusion in this book. It seems like he is already acquainted with one of the story’s Big Bads. I wondered if what’s happening in his series at the moment would allow him to take some time off to lend a hand to Amber or maybe Amber is actually on his turf. 

Note to self: make sure you’re up to date in all series involved in a crossover so you don’t have to wonder about things that are probably irrelevant.

Now, I know you’re probably sick of hearing this from me but the details in the illustrations (which I love, by the way) didn’t always line up with the details of the descriptions in the text. 


On a completely unrelated topic: I think I’ve found the perfect job for me – scrutineer of children’s book illustrations. That’s got to be a job, right? I’ll read every kid’s book ever and be paid the big bucks to make sure the illustrations and text tell the same story. So, who’s hiring? 😜

I didn’t realise I’d gotten a little battle weary during the first two books in this series. They were pretty much non stop action, which I really enjoy, but it was nice to see Amber actually having the opportunity to make new friends and have someone take care of her for a change. That’s not to say that I’m not looking forward to Agent Ferris meeting an appropriately dastardly end. Comeuppance is definitely on the cards for him at some point…

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Amber and her insects are back in a thrilling adventure with old friends and new villains!

The agents fled as the fire took hold of the wooden cabin and any evidence of Skydragon’s identity burned to ashes.

Sounds of crackling flames and cracking wood filled the forest, followed by shouts of ‘Me? No way, you tell him!’ as the agents argued over who was going to call their boss to explain how Skydragon had gotten away from them … again.

Amber is tired of being hunted, and sick of being afraid. Maybe she can escape her destiny and live a normal life, like a normal girl. 

But two new villains are on the prowl, and when other people’s lives are on the line, will Amber hide … or will she rise?

Skydragon #2: Fly Free – Anh Do

Illustrations – James Hart

Picking up where the first book ended (you need to read this series in order), Fly Free continues to follow Amber (Skydragon) and her brother, Reggie, who is Firefighter. Reggie still has amnesia so he doesn’t know the National Service want him to apprehend his sister and Amber suspects Firefighter is Reggie but doesn’t know for sure.

The stakes are raised for Amber in this book and Reggie begins to question whether the National Service are the good guys or the baddies. Readers already know they’re not trustworthy.

It turns out that Firefighter isn’t the only person with powers that the National Service have recruited; we’re introduced to Senseless (Stefan, Anna and Nic). I’m hoping at some stage all of the people with powers will band together against the National Service, who are probably even more nefarious than I currently suspect they are.

I wasn’t especially comfortable with Amber ordering insects to do her bidding in the first novel. Fortunately in this book, Amber realises that the insects are her allies, not her servants. So many haven’t survived the first two books, though. Given how much Amber loves insects I would have thought this would be devastating for her but so far it appears I’m more upset about their demise than she is. Granted, she’s busy trying to stay alive herself, but still…

There’s mention of E-Boy in this book. I haven’t read any of the E-Boy series yet so I’m not sure if Agent Ferris and the rest of the National Service goons feature in those but it appears we’re building towards a crossover.

There remains plenty of action in this book. Thankfully Justin, Amber’s friend from the first book, has a part to play in the second book. I’m not sure how long they’re going to be able to communicate by phone as I’m pretty sure the cabin Amber stays at is off the grid. Right now, though, that’s the least of Amber’s worries. She’s got a cliffhanger to contend with and things aren’t exactly going in her favour.

To be continued in Ride the Wind

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Amber is back! The second book in the high-flying adventure series from Anh Do.

Amber held her arms out. Surround me. Locusts, beetles, bees and all manner of flying insects nestled together tightly. Shapes formed. Horns on her head, claws on her hands and feet. A thick, long tail. She was a dragon!

Amber is on the run. What will happen when she and the Firefighter finally come face to face?

Skydragon #1: Take to the Skies – Anh Do

Illustrations – James Hart

All superheroes need an origin story. Usually this involves surviving significant trauma. Amber is no different. She was only nine years old when both of her parents died and her thirteen year old brother, Reggie, became comatose as a result of a meteorite falling on their home.

Years later, Amber remains scarred both emotionally and physically.

Every day she caught someone eyeballing the twisted vortex of dark red lines that covered her right cheek.

Although the meteorite took almost everything from Amber, it didn’t steal her love of insects.

‘They’re the closest thing we have to dragons,’ she said.

Amber is bullied by the mean girls at school but finds a friend in Justin.

It was nice that Justin also liked bugs. Perhaps they could be weirdos together?


The purple goo from the meteorite that seeped into Amber’s skin has changed her in ways she’s only just beginning to understand. Now she’s attracted the attention of people who definitely don’t have her best interests at heart.

The first in a new series, Skydragon provides readers with information about Amber’s life before and after the meteorite. She deals with bullies, loneliness and grief as she starts to figure out her new powers.


James Hart’s illustrations bring the wonder, danger, grief and action to life. There were a couple of times when the pictures didn’t line up with the text, e.g., the fallen beam that traps Liz isn’t shown in the illustration and a couple of times the expressions pictured don’t match those described in the text, but overall I really enjoyed them. I particularly liked the detailed illustrations of insects and when Amber has become Skydragon.

I can see some parallels between Skydragon and Firefighter in this book and Nelson and his father in the Ninja Kid series.

I’m looking forward to watching events unfold as Amber learns some critical information readers already know.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Amber knew she’d been given an incredible power, but was it a freak accident, or was there something she was supposed to do with it?

Controlling her new ability might be the hardest thing Amber has ever done. Especially when she is running for her life.

Who is her mysterious enemy? What connection does he have to Amber’s past? And, most importantly, does Amber have what it takes to truly become … Skydragon?