Goodreads Rating: 3.99
Format: ARC BEA13
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.
This is a short review for a short book. This was a very interesting concept that was very adequately executed :) I really liked the unique concept of kids summoning spirit animals to save a world in danger. That along with it being a fairly short read, makes this a very nice book for middle school age kids.
To further the interest for the early teens, the book comes with a passcode to gain access to a web adventure where you and your own spirit animal can adventure in Erdas. This was another interesting factor that I really liked with the book. Its super interesting to be able to live what you read in the book and the more books from the series you get, the more you unlock in the game. With the current generation, all about technology, this can make reading more enjoyable.
I liked how the chapters went into the background/pov of each of the 4 main characters. You get to see each of their individual background stories and see them try to connect with their spirit animals. They each have very different personalities, along with different personalities of their spirit animals. I'm already starting to develop favorite characters but so far I have a fondness for each of the 4 main characters (and of course their animals).
As previously stated, the plot is very unique to me and interesting. It was very enjoyable to read, although it didn't offer me much in terms of shock and awe just yet. There are interesting developments but most of which are predictable (to me anyway, to a young middle school kid, maybe not). Don't let this take away from the book. It is the start of an interesting series that I am eager to continue :)
This book gets a 4 from me. Although it is an interesting and unique plot with likeable characters, and a quick read, it didn't offer much in the "oh that did not just happen" department that I am fond of in my books. The fact that the book comes with an online adventure that puts you in the story brought this book up for me :) I will eagerly await the rest of the books and do give Brandon Mull two thumbs up for creating a fantastic fantasy world I wish I could live in :)
The Court's Decision: