Monday, February 25, 2013

Student Review: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

Chances are you’ve seen a stray cat before. They seem to be everywhere. Parking lots, housing developments, even the woods, especially the woods. In Erin Hunter’s novel Into the Wild, the reader gets a new look on all of the “feral” cats that roam the woods.

Into the Wild follows a housecat named Rusty. He has a good life with his house folk, but wonders about what might be out in the woods beyond his garden gate. One evening, he decides to venture out, and finds a group of cats that offer him a place among their ranks. He drops the name Rusty and takes Firepaw, an apprentice warrior of ThunderClan. Firepaw learns the ways of the forest and makes friends and enemies, like any hero must. And he also learns of a dark secret in his clan’s political system that may be the downfall of the entire forest, for all four of the clans.

Into the Wild is a great read. Granted, it’s aimed at an audience that is a bit younger than the average high schooler, but the plot, characters, and situation are timeless, even if it all comes from a group of cats. But the fact that the characters are cats melts away and they simply become characters. It’s an amazing thing when a character is all you think about, and the fact that the character has a tail and walks on four legs seems to drop out of your mind. Into the Wild is an amazing read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wouldn’t mind getting lost in a story that’s a pretty easy read.

Reviewer: BF

Monday, February 4, 2013

Student Review: Blood Red Horse by K. M. Grant

Blood Red Horse by K.M. Grant

 In the middle ages, a war horse was a knight’s most valued possession, more so than his armor or his sword. Amor could be replaced, swords could be sharpened, but a good war horse took years to train properly and longer still to find one. A knight without his horse was nothing, and that horse belonged to him and him alone. On the battlefield of the second crusade, a good horse was the difference between life and death.  Hosanna is too small to be a war horse, but Will choses him anyway. Hosanna is the perfect horse, fleet and graceful, but the battlefields of the crusades test even the very best, and horses are easily captured. Passed from hand to hand, sword to sword, Hosanna becomes a central part of the stories unfolding all around, beloved by all, but always given up, always passed on. For there are greater things than one horse in war, except to Will, who keeps searching for the horse that defined his childhood.

This book is a surprising and heartfelt historical fiction about the horrors of war in the second crusades and the beliefs that bind people together and tear nations apart. I enjoyed this book, and its comprehensive view of all sides and perspectives without bias. It does not glorify the war, it merely depicts it. I enjoyed how the story moved between different characters in different situations because of the war. What I did not like about it, however, was that the action was slow in places and how the story arcs were not consistent. Overall, however, it was a very engaging book, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

 Reviewer: ER