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17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2014Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2014
Synopsis (May contain some light spoilers for earlier books in t
Synopsis (May contain some light spoilers for earlier books in the series): Meilen has run away from the Greencloaks to search for her father in her homeland of Zhong. Conor, Abeke, and Rollan quickly follow - they hope to recover their friend and get the Slate Elephant talisman from Dinesh, the Great Elephant. But Zhong has been conquered, so the kids must fight through armies of enemies to find what they seek. The Devourer is gaining power, and he will stop at nothing to take over all of Erdas with his nature-defiling bile.
My thoughts: Another great installment of the series. And they just keep getting better and better! (Not, of course, because the authors are changing, but because the plot and characters are developing as the series progresses.) Like in the earlier books, Blood Ties shows the power friendship - of working with your team rather than trying to fight evil alone. It encourages trust - of your partners, your friends, and the power of Good to conquer Evil. Most of all, the story is fun. It's a delight to watch as the kids' distinct characters develop, and how each character adds to the dynamics of the team. The world-building is also a lot of fun - it has both a familiar and a novel taste. For instance, Zhong is the Erdas-equivalent of Asia. The comparison is undeniable, and yet Zhong's culture and scenery are also delightfully unique. And, of course, this book is filled with adventures, intrigue, and battles - which any lover of middle grade fantasy / adventure books craves. I'm looking forward to the release of the next book in the series, Fire and Ice, in July.
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2014
These Spirit Animals books get better and better! This third ins
These Spirit Animals books get better and better! This third installment was chock full of exciting action sequences and palpable danger. We also see a lot more character development, especially as Meilin struggles to understand her place with the Greencloaks. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with Jhi, her spirit animal panda, strengthen. After two books of wanting to throttle Meilin, it was a nice change of pace for her to finally get real.
In this third book of the multi-author Spirit Animals series, the Conquerers are devouring whole cities in their quest to disrupt and control the bond between animals and humans. Concerned for her homeland, Meilin has left the others to find her father and fight the enemy. But Meilin soon finds that she's not the only one sneaking into the country.
The story takes place largely in the country of Zhong, a pseudo Asia. Nix and Williams fill the book's locations with rich details. Over the course of Blood Ties we visit a massive bamboo maze, a swamp teeming with enraged crocodiles, and a lake surrounded by high cliffs. This is the first of the Spirit Animals books that really showed me the world of Erdas.
I was also glad to see a stronger focus on the overall problem of the series, the Devourer's quest to conquer Erdas. Those enormous crazy-eyed crocodiles were terrifying!
In my review of Book 2, I had to write a qualification about how multi-author series often water down the elements that make an author's writing style unique. However, that was not true in Blood Ties. I love Garth Nix's other books, such as Shade's Children and Sabriel, for his marvelous world-building. He and Williams pulled off a great world in this book too. Cheers!
Overall, my students and I really love these books and this one is the best so far. Some of my fifth graders have expressed concern that the series is starting to get a bit repetitive. The first 3 are unique enough to be fun reads, but there is some formulaic writing emerging. It hasn't been annoying yet since the authors have mixed it up, but it I agree with my students that it will be a challenge to keep this series fresh.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.