Book Review: Dargo: Eco Hero
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
An underdog’s story about returning to nature and the things that matter most
There’s no better time to read about taking better care of our planet. Karina McRoberts’ latest novella depicts a young man who uses the magic of nature to grow through a tough time in his life. It doesn’t hurt that there is an array of magical characters to get him through it. Dargo: Eco Hero is a bighearted feel-good read focused on environmental activism.
Dargo isn’t exactly the most well-liked person at his job. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. His strange tendencies prevent him from fitting in with his co-workers. Things get a little complicated when his boss decides to give him a week off with no pay to decide if this environment is really the best fit for him.
It’s this decision that pushes him to take a new direction in life—and a literal new direction on his way home. After unexpectedly arriving at an old amusement park he visited as a child, Dargo meets a few unlikely characters that allow him to see how he can put his talents to good use—by helping save the planet.
Fun detail: these four characters each represent a natural element in the world. Through their firsthand accounts of how they’re being mistreated, they convince Dargo to stand up and spark change.
Though no superhero, Dargo’s heroic journey is an impressive one. He grows from a lowly unliked worker to someone with influence. This feels like a journey—though fantastical—that many of us could go on if we just looked closer at nature.
McRoberts writes with such optimism that the reader is never too bogged down by the unsettling nature of the truth: how the world’s greatest resources are being taken advantage of. At just under 90 pages, this is a quick read that’s definitely easy to get through. The size and context of the book are extremely digestible, sometimes maybe even too much so.
With that said, the novella can sometimes feel a bit simplistic. The nature spirits in the book speak to Dargo in a childlike way and discuss the issues they’re facing on a surface level. Marketed as an adult story, Dargo may have made me happy when I finished reading, but it also had me wishing that it had a little more meat to it. If you’re interested in a bighearted novella that discusses the world’s biggest environmental issues, I think you’d enjoy this one.
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Print Length: 78 pages
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