Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book Review: Warriors into the Wild (1)

As an aspiring children's writer myself, reading the books for the little ones could be considered a professional duty. However, the hidden reason is that I simply love to read such books and sometimes I find such lectures a real challenge from the point of view of the language and writing in general. 
I chose Warriors into the Wild completely by accident: One afternoon, in the bookstore, I wanted to find a book, not too expensive not necessarily for children. Even though I am not a fan of cats - I am even allergic to them - and do not fancy too much books with animal characters - a matter of age target - the good price and the attractive cover drove me to the counter for paying it. 
First, to start with the cover: pleasant colours and a dynamic image that gives you an idea that there is action is waiting for you under the covers.
Second, it is a pleasant and entertaining book to read either for your documentation or simply for spending a relaxing afternoon. The language is well chosen, with a lot of verbs of action and a moderate difficulty level which recommends the book for children up to 8 years old. Also, there are some episodes of moderate violence that could raise the threshold to 10 years and more.
The book is part of a long series which started to be published in 2003 and is written by Erin Hunter, in fact a name for two authors. The book was compared with the Harry Potter series but at least for this first volume, I did not find too many common points, except the magic stone that appears at the end of the book. 
The subject is the life of feral cats and the adventures of the apprentice Firepaw. Firepaw is a domestic cat that left his quiet life for living in the wild forest, where the rules are made by four fighting clans. Firepaw, the 'kittypet' used to the comfort of the life alongside the 'twolegs' succeeds to qualify as a good fighter, under the name of 'Fireheart', at the end of a couple of adventures during which honesty and the good heart guided him to make the powerful choices. Thus, for example, when he met Barley, a cat from the previous life, while hunting, and asked if he like his current life, Firepaw's answer was: "I know who I am now".
The characters have a dual nature: you expect their decisions and weaknesses and actions as cats, even though they make moral choices as humans do. The two levels of action do not appear as opposed and this feature makes the book pleasant to read and genuine.
I am not sure that I would have time in the next months to continue the adventures of Firepaw, but if I will have some available time, I will be curious to follow him up.

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