Book Review: Spirit Animals series
By Brandon Mull, Maggie Stiefvater, Garth Nix & Sean Williams, Shannon Hale, Tui T. Sutherland, Eliot Schrefer, and Marie Lu
Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts – a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. Suddenly the paths of these children – and the world – have been changed for ever. Enter the world of Erdas, where every child who comes of age must discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that bestows great powers to both. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world. Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers …and on you. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
Spirit Aniamls is the brain child of Brandon Mull. As I was reading I was surprised how well the flow was sustained through each book. Upon further research I found that Mull had an outline for the full series though he is the author for Wild Born helping plot continuity. I felt like Abeke and Meilin’s characters were slightly tweaked in volume 3, Home Again. The girls seemed a little rougher than in any of the other volumes and was jarring.
This series is perfect for kids in about 4-5th grade. The premise is a quest that the four children must perform to collect talismans that will help in their fight to save their world. Though the general plot is not overly original, there are elements that are creative and even a plot twist that I didn’t see coming (though I probably should have).
Some of the fun moments in this series include having powers from the spirit bond animals, riding on domesticated rhinos, a powerful leader whose spirit animal is a bunny and the great beast octopus’s wisdom. Issues of trust, forgiveness, betrayal, love, redemption, strength and courage are all addressed through the series. Rather than one coming of age story it is a combination of four coming of age stories, for Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan.
I was looking forward to the end of the series in Rise and Fall, but note it says fall which means there was a seventh book. Thankfully, The Evertree does give a satisfying conclusion because we were all seriously upset at the end of volume 6. You are now warned you will need volume 7 on hand immediately.
Overall Spirit Animals has some violence and death, and one kiss making it still appropriate for the pre-teen age. My 11 year old boy loved the books and then quickly grew out of reading them as he hit 12 years old. There is an online game too which I did not check out, but I think the kids would love adding to their reading experience.