Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor: Zachary Ying Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Percy Jackson meets Tristan Strong in this hilarious, action-packed middle grade contemporary fantasy that follows a young boy as he journeys across China to seal the underworld shut and save the mortal realm.
Zachary Ying never had many opportunities to learn about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy enough making sure they got by, and his schools never taught anything except Western history and myths. So Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China for a vital mission: sealing the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld before the upcoming Ghost Month blows it wide open.
The mission takes an immediate wrong turn when the First Emperor botches his attempt to possess Zack’s body and binds to Zack’s AR gaming headset instead, leading to a battle where Zack’s mom’s soul gets taken by demons. Now, with one of history’s most infamous tyrants yapping in his headset, Zack must journey across China to heist magical artifacts and defeat figures from history and myth, all while learning to wield the emperor’s incredible water dragon powers.
And if Zack can’t finish the mission in time, the spirits of the underworld will flood into the mortal realm, and he could lose his mom forever.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 48 minutes|
|Author||Xiran Jay Zhao|
|Audible.ca Release Date||November 22 2022|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #17,427 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#342 in Fantasy & Magic for Children (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,426 in Fantasy & Magic for Children (Books)
#13,169 in Literature & Fiction for Children (Books)
Top reviews from Canada
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Zach is a realistic and relatable young main character as he navigates the challenges of youth which he sometimes feels are made more complicated by his Chinese heritage. Raised in the US, Zach gets a crash course in Chinese mythology after an attempted possession by an ancient emperor goes awry and the result is a refreshing take on a myth inspired story. Zach’s unique perspective makes it easy to follow his adventures as the author weaves the explanations of the Chinese history into the tale without slowing down the the overall story.
Along with the mythological elements, I also enjoyed Zach’s character development as he goes from insecure to embracing who he is and wanting to find genuine friends who accept him for who he is. Zach’s squad also experiences character growth when they finally begin to respect one another by the book’s end.
Well written with non-stop action that educates the reader while giving us a diverse main character that is much needed in not only middle grade fiction but in fantasy fiction in general, I can’t wait to follow Zach’s quest in the next book in this oh-so-fun series!
But not at all it’s not as it seems and soon Zachary is running from one battle to the next like he is living in a video game. Only this time the stakes are real life for him and his mother, and the people he thinks are allies may not be all they appear.
As well as endless rising excitement & suspense, the book is a great introduction to many Chinese legends, and does a good job of setting up how immigrant children are caught between their various worlds, at home in none.
The pace is cracking, and I’m sure any 12-year-old gamer will be fascinated by it.
Top reviews from other countries
Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor was an automatic buy for me because I absolutely love Xiran Jay Zhao. Their first book, Iron Widow, was one of my favorite reads last year so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I definitely was not disappointed. While Iron Widow was YA, Zachary Ying is middle grade so there's a different, slightliy lighter, and more fun feel to this book. It's like if you combined Ready Player One and Percy Jackson, with Raya and the Last Dragon or She Who Became the Sun. It's a lot of action and adventure but it also secretly taught me a lot about Chinese history. I really love learning when I don't really know I'm learning and that's what this book does. I can't wait for the sequel, there better be one after that ending!!
I loved this book so much! Look, I totally get that I am not the intended audience for this book and there were some references that flew past me but it's such a breath of fresh air!
Zack is a great character and I loved his voice añd I was absolutely invested in his quest to save his mother.
The ARG stuff was such an interesting twist and I loved the mental images it gave me!
The action scenes are fantastic and I need more of Zack's adventures, please and thank you!