Friday, February 14, 2014

Tallstar's Revenge

Tallstar's Revenge
Erin Hunter
(Image from the Warriors wiki page)
WindClan is divided- tunnelers, who, as the name suggests, dig tunnels for escape routes, shortcuts, and ease of catching prey; and moor runners, who catch prey on the open moor. Tallkit is born into this broken society with his destiny practically sealed. His parents were both tunnelers, and most likely he will be, too. He hates this fate, but when his father is killed, he is determined to take up the duty. But he's denied, and the cat Tallpaw believes killed his father is let off the hook. Tunneling is stopped entirely.

When he gains his warrior name, he notices how little importance he seems to be. Talltail decides to leave the clan, planning to avenge his father. But can his plans ever come to fruition?
Since I enjoy lengthy anecdotes that you guys don't care about, I'm going to tell you why I picked up this book.

I started reading the Warriors book when I was really young- way too young to understand what was going on and also too young to understand why a book wouldn't have pictures. I kept reading the series for years. This past year, however, I called it quits. Doveykins and co. were rampant Sues (actually, maybe they weren't, I haven't reread them yet to check) and things were getting predictable.

So when I found this at the library, I figured it would be a decent reminder of why I might have read the series in the first place, and if it wasn't, hey, I could still read it for the laughs. 
I was pleasantly surprised by the reason I actually kept reading.

Talltail (Okay, Tallstar, but Talltail is what he's called for most of the book, so why change that?) was by no stretch a Stu, however angsty he may have been. For a large part of the book he's described as having a "burning rage" and that gets in the way of true development, but it gets better as the story progresses. He ends as a loveable, well-developed character.

I was amazed how well things in this book were tied in with other Warriors books. The main plot, maybe not so, but there were a lot of fun details to catch. There were also a myriad of technical errors (Appledawn changed gender within a page of the last use of pronouns), though that's become pretty much the norm in the books.

The plot was... unpredictable, almost? I don't know. In hindsight, I feel like I should have expected the find-yourself journey, because those seem pretty popular in Super Editions (Firestar's Quest, briefly in Crookedstar's Promise, I think). However, I was actually fairly surprised when Talltail decided to hunt down Sparrow. In fact, I didn't expect a number of things. It was a good change from my usual.
Got to say, this book wasn't emotional (for the reader, not the cats) for such a long time, it was almost disappointing. It almost got me thinking that despite the cast of snowflakes, it wasn't going to have power. Then at the end... oh, just you wait. 
 The execution and timing were great. Of course, the book was also extremely long, but why else would they call it a super edition?

Oh my deities, if I was still in the Warriors fandom, I'd so be squealing over how cute the friendship between Jake and Talltail was. However, as a reviewer, I must keep calm and collected. Though if I wasn't a reviewer, I feel you should know that I'd being cooing how beautiful they are together. And if I was in the fandom again, which I'm not, I would be squeeing about how, though it wasn't quite realistic that they became besties in a matter of days, they made perfect friends. You should also know that, say I was still a fan, I would be sad that they didn't meet up again later on. But I'm not a fan, even a little, so I'll say it in reviewing terms- it was okay.

Because there was no romance in this book, I'm allowed to mention it before the end. In most of the other books, there was unnecessary romance. (SPOILER: What's with Dovewing and Bumblestripe?) However, this book didn't have any. I took a moment to be surprised, then realized that, well, Tallstar didn't have any kits in the books, did he? So a thanks to Ms. Hunter for not throwing in lovely-dovely love as a trim.

Actually, I'm glad there weren't too many subplots. I hate it when books get a bunch of subplots that get in the way of the main plot. This was a perfect balance, not too simple, not to complicated. The Goldilocks zone of plots.

Ooh, two posts in two days. Lucky, lucky.

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