This is an exciting story full of adventure, villains, unexpected heroes and overcoming adversity. Going in a completely different direction from where I thought the story would go, there is almost a fairy tale-esque feeling, even though everything happening to Benji is based in reality. Right from the start I fell in love with Benji's attitude about life, his determination to finish his story and his courage in the face of many dangerous events. Though written for a middle grade audience, there are some terrifying scenes throughout. Not only was Benji's situation scary enough to begin with; due to his disability, having to live in the attic of his otherwise very nice house, but navigating the streets of Victorian London with its unsavory characters, smells and a monster roaming the streets is not for the faint of heart. From being almost sold into slavery, to being seen as a monster himself and then being taken in by someone who is rich and powerful, but not very good, Benji does his best to survive. The descriptions of the settings and Benji's emotions were so detailed and vibrant that they kept my heart pounding. I loved Thomas' character, he seemed to be a complete contrast to Benji, yet as they got to know one another, they found more similarity than difference. I also thought that the dragon was an ingenious and particularly vile villain and a provided a perfect ending for Benji's story.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.