Dragon Pearl, Yoon Ha Lee’s Young Adult adventure novel, introduces us to a 13-year-old girl with “powers.” Min, a resident of a back-water planet named Jinju, idolizes her brother Jun who joined the Space Forces. When Jun is reported “missing,” Min uses her powers to sneak aboard the battle cruiser her brother had been serving on, Pale Lightning. On board the warship, Min discovers plenty of suspicious activity. The Captain is searching for the Dragon Pearl, a powerful device that can terraform a planet…or reduce it to dust.
Consider Dragon Pearl a mashup of the Indiana Jones movies and Star Wars. There’s plenty of action. Min makes many mistakes, but shows how determined she is to find her missing brother. Mixing magic and SF might annoy some readers, but I found the entire adventure entertaining and fun. GRADE: B