Any good-hearted, whimsy-favoring reader, from acned to aged, who delights in chaotically fantastical or fantastically chaotic narratives involving the quest for one’s authentic identity and place in the world will surely enjoy Gabe Hudson’s debut novel ... one of Hudson’s main achievements in the book: vividly fleshing out the unrepentant, Darwinian, nihilistic, amoral dragon civilization ... The second accomplishment of the tale is the gleeful farrago of SF tropes that are mashed together, making this book a true instance of satirical science fiction rather than any kind of fantasy ... Gork, the Teenage Dragon offers us the insights and pleasures of seeing an absurdist, more savage version of our own bestial arena, a vision that makes us rethink our own default derangements.
Gabe Hudson’s new novel is much like its title character and teen narrator — goofy, eager-to-please and a bit annoying ... Hudson seems to be taking cues from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels and Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with perhaps a smattering of Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Campbell and Mark Twain thrown in for good measure. If Gork’s narrative voice can be a little overbearing and repetitive over the course of nearly 400 pages, chalk it up to adolescent exuberance. Anyone who has ever sat through a teenage rom-com can chart the arc of this narrative, but the fun is in the gonzo, sci-fi/fantasy details. Sweet-natured Gork faces deadly threats and learns lessons about love, poetry, and his own strengths and weaknesses. By the time he returns to Earth for the final battle, only the hardest-hearted reader will begrudge him his moment of glory.
...an uneven [novel] whose execution doesn’t live up to its premise ... For one, I wondered about Hudson’s intended audience. The storytelling feels too libidinous and crude (and occasionally gruesome) for middle grade or young adult readers...Yet the humor and action seem too slapstick to appeal to most adult readers. And Gork’s voice — a crucial element, since he’s a first-person, present-tense narrator — often lands like a dead weight on the page ... Hudson’s bigger obstacle is that most of the novel’s events unfold on that single EggHarvest day. The pace slows to a crawl. One can sense Hudson running out of ways to thwart Gork from getting the girl. Hence, many repetitive scenes describe encounters with bullies.