Now as a start, I haven't read the whole series yet - only the first two books. I do intend to keep reading though, and that should be a hint at how much I've enjoyed these books so far.
As one might guess, I was originally inspired to read these books by the movie franchise by the same name - I enjoyed them so much, I knew there had to be an even BETTER book waiting behind the screenplay. As it turns out, the books and the movies have very little in common.
I'm not here to compare the movies to the books, and it doesn't make much sense to do so in any case, because they're telling different stories. So, let's pack that up and move on, shall we?
In addition to an interesting main character and an interesting setting (all presented in a very Diary of a Wimpy Kid manner) there's a certain line repeated a couple times in the first book and then again in the second, which seems to be something of a theme for the series and which makes me laugh all the more as the running gag gets longer, referencing the current situation (whatever that might be; from a fight with a Sea Dragonus Giganticus Maximus to an awkward conversation with his father) as "the worst day of his life so far."
The vocabulary is good and the plots thus far have had decent twists, but the real appeal to these books I think is the simplicity of the main character's motivation. He just wants to survive long enough to do something worthwhile, and if somewhere along the way he can beat Snotface Snotlout at something, then his life will be complete.
That's something that I think just about every kid can associate with, and the normalcy of the main character and his struggles to do something extraordinary when he's really quite average makes him an endearing kid all around.
Overall, I think I'll give this series a pretty solid 4 out of 5, with potential for upgrading to 5 stars once I've read the whole series and seen if it holds up from beginning to end.
Other books like these that you might enjoy include Into the Wild, book 1 of the Warriors series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Spiderwick Chronicles, all of which have a main character that thinks he's not all that awesome, but whose friends learn to trust his judgment later on. (A but like "Ned's School Survival Guide" from the Disney Channel a few year
Have any of you read the books and/or scene the movies? What are your thoughts?