It's a new year, and once again time Fiction Friday. On a sort of sad note. last week I planned on doing a special edition of Fiction Friday where I talked about all the books I read in 2012 that I absolutely loved, yet when I examined the list, I discovered there were only one or two books that I truly loved. I mean there were many that I enjoyed and though were well done, but almost none that I'll be talking about a year, or two years, or five years from now. I think part of that comes from the fact that I spent most of year catching up on unread books that have sat on my self for years. The good news is that the first book I started reading in 2013 is one that I absolutely love. In the meantime, here are two books that I did read last year that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Warriors #3: Forest of Secrets by Erin Hunter
In a series that keeps getting better, Forest of Secrets weaves a near perfect blend of action and tension. While the first two books definitely nailed adventure surrounding Fireheart's induction into Thunder Clan, this addition captured the relationships between the characters in a way the other books didn't.
There was never a dull moment in this book and some of the mysteries which began in the first two books were finally revealed. Each subplot, from the saga of Greystripe's kits to the development of Cinderpaw and Cloudpaw, were gripping and well written. Without a doubt I can say this book has made me a fan.
Warriors #4: Rising Storm by Erin Hunter
With the fourth book of the original six book arc, Erin Hunter really hits her stride, creating the best book so far in the action packed series. Faced with new responsibilities as the Thunder Clan deputy, Fireheart struggles to keep his clan together. It doesn't help that Bluestar, the clan leader and someone Fireheart has always looked up to, is still reeling from the treacherous actions of her former deputy, Tigerclaw.
Every book in the series is, in some manner, a portrait of Fireheart's internal battles as he tries to follow the warrior code, gain the respect of the other cats, and yet remain true to himself. This installment is no different, only the stakes are much greater. Now the other cats in the clan are dependent on his leadership and the decisions he makes have consequences for all. In that respect, this book far out-shines the three previous books.
However, the real attraction for most readers of this series is probably the action sequences. Always well-done, with fast moving prose and intriguing twists, the bigger picture has always been the interaction of Thunder Clan with the other three clans of the forest and the constant looming threat of the "two-legs." There are many wonderful escapades in this story, including Cloudpaw's story, the return of Ravenpaw, the constant threat of Tigerclaw, and finally, the beginnings of a love interest for Fireheart. All-in-all, this is turning out to be an excellent Middle Grade series.