Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 192 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Spirit Animals series
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the second book in the Spirit Animals series by various authors. I am reading this series because my 8 year old son is reading them and really enjoys them. I am going to be honest here, I struggle some with these books actually holding my interest and I am not quite sure why.
In this book Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan are training to work on their bonds with their spirit animals and with fighting together. This book introduces a new element, a dark elixir that can force a bond between a person and an animal. A group of people forcing bonds called the Conquerors enters the story; they are on the Devourer’s side. Our heroes must race the Conquerors to the wild boar Rumfuss to get the next piece of the talisman which will help to destroy the Devourer.
There are many elements and ideas I like in this book. All the characters are working to forge bonds both with their spirit animals and each other. It has been fun to watch them change and grow and learn to work as a team. All of the characters are battling both their own fears and biases and learning to accept each other.
I enjoy this world and the general premise of good versus evil.
However, I continue to struggle with this series. The story just doesn’t hold my interest all that much. There are too many plot elements that don’t quite make sense. For example why would Connor’s mother send him a note telling him how awful things are for them when she knows Connor is already struggling with a big issue? That is so not mom-like. Then why would Connor be so trusting of Earl of Trunswick after having so much bad history with him? There are just times where the plot doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.
The story bounces between all four characters (and some of the enemies as well). I just feel like this is such a short book already that all the POVs really fracture the story. I had a very hard time staying engaged in it and really struggled with this book. Seriously this book is only 192 pages and it took me three days to read (I usually read 2-3 hours a day and 100 pages an hour). This is not a high reading level or a complicated book to read, but I kept falling asleep or finding reasons not to read it.
The above being said I am not the target audience for this series. My son reads them and seems to enjoy them; although he has mentioned he likes Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series and Peggy Eddelman’s Sky Jumpers series better.
Overall an okay addition to this series. I do enjoy the idea behind this series, but have a lot of trouble engaging in the story. The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense at times and the constant switching between characters makes it hard to stay engaged in the story. I probably won’t read any more of this series unless my son begs me to….
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge