Four children separated by vast distances will undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers, destined to fight together to stop the coming darkness.
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. Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers ... and on you.
Having read several books in this series already (and reviewed some of them!) I was stoked to get hold of a copy of the first book in the series. Although each volume is a standalone with enough cross-referencing to enable the reader to take up the story at any point in the saga, there is something special about going back to the very beginning to check out the background. This book certainly does not disappoint.
The story provides the background material on the four special children (Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollan) who find they each have a special bond with a legendary spirit animal. This sets them aside from other humans as theirs are no ordinary spirit animals - they are the Four Fallen of ancient times. The book follows their adventures as they form alliances with their individual spirit animals, and also with one other.
I enjoyed the opportunity to find out more about the Greencloaks and their history, and the way they fitted into society. For the first time the whole story fell into place for me and a few missing links were joined. Having said that, however, I don't want to give the impression that the book is just an introduction and nothing more. It is very much a story in its own right; the action moves from one child to the next and the pace does not relent for a second. And of course this is as it should be in a children's fantasy story.
I liked the way that the children all stood out as very different characters - they were in no way clones of one another. And, in addition to this, all four had faults. They were certainly not perfect - no more than normal children will be at the age of 11 or 12. The book is advertised as being suitable for readers aged 7 to 12; in fact, the appeal is far wider as is the case with the other books in the series.
This is an exciting book for primary age children that takes place in an Earth-like land that is not yet up to our current technological age. Still living in quite separate villages and cities, the interesting plot twist is that in this world, some people are privileged by being able to summon a spirit animal.
An exciting concept, there is a vast back story to the origin of these animals, and their effects on the people that they connect with. The thing that I enjoy about this story, is that the story encourages good behaviour towards animals, and doesn't only use them as a means to fight. On the edge of a world war, the main group of lead characters are diverse with their own differing back stories and familial relationships that determine how they act towards each other.
The book did start a little bit slow, as it explained the history of each main character individually, and I initially struggled to remember the names of each character, so I would often be switching back to the start to remember who was who. But as the story carried on, the characters began to develop, and I soon came to know the characters in depth.
An enjoyable read, even as a young adult. A book that I couldn't put down until it was finished.
I was really excited when I won this book, the story just sounded like it would be a good one. I really enjoyed this book, I could imagine having a spirit animal and how fascinating it could be to learn to grow with it and how frustrating it could be when things don't always go according to plan.
The story was well written, the book had good people who were trying to do the right thing and then those who were wanting the opposite and who were using old legends (the kids thought they were just stories) to their advantage.
There is a game that goes with the book, I'm having some problems getting the game side of things going but expect it to be worth the wait.
I'm really looking forward to the next book as we see what the next step would be in the journey of the Fallen. I'm hoping the newly formed bonds develop and the kids learn how to connect and use the spirit animals powers.
This is an excellent book for children of primary school age. Both my nine year old and six year old have read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. The fantasy setting is both imaginative and well thought out. Having different continents and cultures (which mirror our own world) gives the illusion of a large world without the need for a great deal of detail. Rather than getting bogged down with historical background, the pace of the book is fast moving (which is good for the target market of this type of series) and the story develops in a very organic way. The characters are easy for children to relate to for both girls and boys. I think the kids liked the idea of being able to summon a spirit animal and this promoted much discussion about what spirit animals they would prefer. In addition to this the book series is linked to a free online computer game on the Scholastic website. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
I'm 13, my mum gave me this book and I think its pretty awesome. Its a book to read and then there is also this game you can play on your computer. Not many books have online games too so I really like that because it covers two of my favorite things - gaming and reading. The book I got had a really cool box that it came in. That's really neat cause there's enough room for the book and other stuff and the box pictures match the book cover too.
This story is about 4 kids that turn 11 and get spirit animals. One of the four gets taken by the bad guys and the other three have to save her. I like how the most unexpected people turn out to get the spirit animals in the story, like a servant and an orphan.
Its a really good story. Interesting to the end and something unexpected happens near the end of the story but to find out what you would have to read it. Thank you.
It is not often books for teenagers will score a full 10/10 by both myself and my children, so it is always exciting when one does.
This book got full points immediately upon opening the box of review goods we received from KIWIreviews. At the bottom of the box was the spirit animals book, beautifully presented in its very own collectors style box. The book inside stored in this box and is hard cover. Both box and book illustrated beautifully and immediately catch the eye.
Spirit animals follows the journey of four young strangers who connect with their spirit animals at the age of eleven. These young strangers, two boys and two girls, along with their spirit animals; a leopard, a panda, a wolf and a great bird, who must save Erdas. One of the children is captured and the other three must save her.
The story follows the children through training etc. This is all I can share as I do not want to give to much away.
This is a fantastic, exciting story. Well presented and one that keeps you reading. My 13 year old thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and can not wait for more in the series. An added bonus, is the online game associated with the book. My children have read about the game, and registered for it, checking it out briefly and all agree it is fantastic.
Definitely a brilliant read and fantastic gift idea for teenagers, and the price can not be beaten.
I was so pleased to get a review copy of this book because as soon as I saw it I knew it would be one my 10 year old niece would love. When it arrived I read it first and really enjoyed it. Even though it is aimed at children its also an enjoyable read for adults.
I really like the fact the book also has game to go along with it. After reading the book I set my niece up on the game and we both really enjoyed having a play. The game provoked her interest in the story and she was keen to start the book as soon as possible.
Book one introduces you to the world of Erdas where children in their 11 year drink a special nectar and try to summon a spirit animals. Those lucky enough to summon a spirit animal share a rare bond with them and are bestowed with special powers. In book one we met four children who summon spirit animals from the past, together they must learn how to work together to save the Erdas they know and love.
I really recommend the book and I will be investing in book two when it comes out as I can't wait for the rest of the story to unfold. I love the fact it's a book I can share with my niece as it appeals to both of us.
I can say this book has been a huge hit in our house and I can see that the series is going to become a sure fire success as my daughter has become Spirit Animal obsessed. From the moment she seen advertising for the book with the cool almost virtual looking animals and characters on the cover she was hooked and began her quest to secure a copy of the book.
We were very lucky to receive a pre release copy of the book from Scholastic and KIWIreviews for which we are very grateful. From the day the book arrived in it's really cool cardboard presentation box Casidy has not put it down. It has gone to school with her each day and to bed with her each night and has been read through twice already. I managed to pry the book from her today so I could read it myself and I really liked the book too.
I have never heard of Brandon Mule before but know that he writes books for children and I think he has done a great job of starting the series off. It will be interesting to see how the series develops with a different author writing each edition. Brandon has done a good job of introducing the first four characters and their spirit animals and we get a bit of an insight into some of the bad guys and the powerful creatures but it will be interesting to see these characters further developed and new greencloaks and enemies come into the mix.
I haven't personally read a multi author series before but I think this one has a lot of hype surrounding it already so should shape up to be pretty good. I am looking forward to the second book by Maggie Stefvater who wrote the Scorpio Races. I think she will do well at developing the story line further. This first book was only short at 200 odd pages so in that space of time we have only just began the journey to saving the world!
In Erdas when children turn 11 they can drink a special nectar and summon their own unique spirit animals. In this book we meet the four main characters Connor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollan and their spirit animals Briggan the Wolf, Uruza the leopard, Jhi the Panda, and Essix the Falcon. These four spirit animals are special as they are the fallen four who fell when Erdas last had to be protected. We begin to see how the children must get to know their spirit animals and bond with them to realise their unique strengths and power.
All in all a great start to the series and we are now eagerly awaiting the second installment which is still a few months away. My daughter is finding this concept really hard and can't wait to read the next book, in the mean time she is hooked on the online Spirit Animals game where she has been able to create her own character and spirit animal and complete quests to bond with her own special animal. Seems to be quite an addictive game that would appeal too children of ages about 8 plus and for both boys and girls.
Each book has a special code inside that you can use on the online game to unlock special prizes and get extra coins which Casidy thought was really cool. It is great to see a book explored through a different means such as an online game as it adds to the excitement and gets you into the spirit of the series.
At first I thought that this book wasn't my kind of thing, but as it turned out, I was wrong. Before I had started the book, I went in and tried out the game, I only got less than an hour of playtime, but it was enough to convince me to read the book. The storyline started off well, it began with the spirit animals of the four main characters being summoned, so it was 4 stories that, in the 5th chapter, came together. I thought that this was a genius way of starting a story, so I must congratulate the author on that.
The theme of the story was remarkably similar to the movie "the Golden Compass", only the animals where not physical versions of people's souls, they were animals with a spiritual bond with humans. It took me a bit to try and realize the sort of cultural theme this book was set in, at first I thought that it would be American-Indian, but as I continued reading I realized that the story introduced an entire new world, with new continents, kingdoms and medieval-age technology, give or take.
I was hooked for the entire duration of the book, not once did I become bored of the storyline, and the game was amazing, in fact, right after I finish writing this review, I'm going to be playing it some more! I highly look forward to the arrival of book 2, and in the meantime, I think I would be willing to reread this one as well!
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)