Animas Book One Legacy of the Clawby C. R. Grey, Jim Madsen
To twelve-year-old Bailey Walker, kin means more than just family. It means being a part of the Animas bond, a harmonious link that connects humans and animals, and guides everything in his world. But Bailey hasn't found his kin yet, and without an Animas, he's destined to be an outsider-or worse, lose his mind entirely. So when he's accepted into the/i>… See more details below
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To twelve-year-old Bailey Walker, kin means more than just family. It means being a part of the Animas bond, a harmonious link that connects humans and animals, and guides everything in his world. But Bailey hasn't found his kin yet, and without an Animas, he's destined to be an outsider-or worse, lose his mind entirely. So when he's accepted into the prestigious Fairmount Academy, he's determined to Awaken to his Animas once and for all, even if it's a measly worm.
But once there, Bailey can't resist the pull of the dark mysteries surrounding the kingdom. A bear has been viciously attacked on school grounds, and when he and his friends discover signs of a ferocious predator in the woods surrounding campus, he knows something's out there, something dangerous. And Fairmount isn't the only place where darkness is brewing. In the capital city, a new leader preaches that humans must assert power over their kin, enslave them instead of living as one.
Bailey can't shake the feeling that the root of the unrest, and the key to his Awakening, lies in an old riddle entwined around an even older prophecy-a prophecy that may reveal the truth about the rightful king of Aldermere. And Bailey may be the only one who can unravel them. The capital's dark forces will stop at nothing to prevent the prophecy from coming true. If they succeed, the Animas bond will be in peril. Can Bailey help protect the Animas bond while still trying to awaken to his own? In this first installment of the gripping ANIMAS series, the battle is just beginning.
Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Bailey has been accepted to the prestigious Fairmont Academy in Aldermere where he hopes that he will finally find his animas, a unique bond with an animal that almost everyone has by the time they are his age. The Dark Woods that surround the school seem menacing, but Bailey senses mysterious happenings occurring there and that something or someone is watching him. He and some new friends begin to venture out at night, which leads to some scary and wondrous adventures as well as the threat of expulsion by the school administration. The story has elements reminiscent of the "Harry Potter" series, including a unique school game called Scavage, teachers who are not always what they seem, and encroaching dark forces. This novel about a murdered king, his ambitious and unscrupulous daughter who seeks to overturn the animas bond and make the animals subservient to the humans, her missing brother, and a legendary "child of war" is a fun page-turner with interesting characters and unexpected plot twists. Readers will be propelled toward the next volumes in this entertaining new series.—Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
A new but very familiar-feeling middle-grade fantasy series kicks off. Twelve-year-old Bailey Walker has been accepted to Aldermere's prestigious Fairmount Academy, two days' "rigimotive" travel from where he's been raised by his adoptive parents. Bailey is excited to be going because he wants to meet Tremelo Loren—a teacher at the academy who he had read has a reputation for strengthening the all-important bond between people and their animal kin, known as Animas. Bailey has not yet awakened to his Animas, a fact that makes him feel out of the norm and self-conscious. Meanwhile, Viviana—the long-lost daughter of the murdered King Melore of Aldermere, who has turned evil after having been enslaved—is plotting to overthrow the government by perverting the normally nurturing Animas bond. Borrowing heavily from concepts in both Harry Potter and the His Dark Materials trilogy, with some arbitrary steampunk-y details, this novel is an uneasy patchwork whose central Animas theme never comes close to achieving the believability or significance it needs to. The clunky, adverb-filled writing features an overabundance of telling rather than showing, and characters are both one-dimensional and inconsistent. Plot developments are so easily anticipated that most readers will have figured it all out well before the final chapters. A derivative mishmash that just doesn't work. (Fantasy. 10-12)
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