The Black Dragon

Victor Appleton, II, Author, Anne Greenberg, Editor Pocket Books $2.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67823-4
In this revamped and updated version of the classic (and the first of a series), the eponymous hero battles Xavier Mace (aka The Black Dragon), a ``brilliant, vengeful'' scientist. Mace is after the 18-year-old's newest futuristic creation, a levitating ``skyboard,'' and kidnaps Tom's best friend, Rick Cantwell, to learn the secret behind it. But Rick knows football, not electromagnetism. Aware that Mace won't swallow disappointment easily, Tom utilizes daring, resourcefulness and an array of inventive devices to thwart his adversary. Although Appleton smoothly mixes the SF and action-adventure genres, he occasionally veers toward convolution--and confusion. Too, the few romantic scenes (that link girl-shy Tom with the vivacious Mandy) seem artificial. Yet these flaws may be forgiven by SF buffs who seek a hero with more brains than brawn. Ages 11-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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