Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book review: Spirit Animals: Tales of the Great Beasts builds the world and history of Erdas

Well Halloween has come and gone and I wasn't able to do any related blog posts. For that I am sorry. I meant to get this up yesterday but got distracted playing Skyrim. Anyway, here's my review of the latest book in the Spirit Animals series:
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Tales of the Great Beasts gives us stories revolving around the Great Beasts that if you've been reading the series are referred to as the Four Fallen: Jhi the Panda, Briggan the Wolf, Essix the Falcon, and Uraza the Leopard. The book spans the first war against the Devourer/the Reptile King and the forces of the Conquerors, from how it started all the way to the end. We see ordinary kids rise up to the challenge of helping their families, friends, and their homes against the darkness and how the Great Beasts got involved in the war. Everyone has their own problems, human and Great Beast alike, but both work to overcome their challenges to save Erdas at great sacrifice.
I like how the series encourages friendship and teamwork, and the layout of this book was clever. Five authors, including the author who started the series, each contribute a story involving one of the Great Beasts and each have found a way to make the stories unique while fitting together perfectly. The views switch from first person to third person depending on which story you're reading, but that helps to build the story by giving opinions and showing how this war affects everyone.
Animals and people fight and do get hurt. A snake possesses people. A woman adjusts her teeth to match those of her Spirit Animal, which may be disturbing to some. A leopard threatens to eat people, and injures some. Wolves attack people, though nothing graphic is described. A snake and a gorilla get really violent. A boy is sick and sometimes coughs up blood.
We can overcome our differences and learn to work together. There is no greater act of love than to give your life for another. We must not let personal ambition lead us down the wrong path. Parents might want to use the Bile as a comparison to the dangers of taking drugs when reading with their children.

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