ARC Review – Hunted (Spirit Animals #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

17282619Title:  Hunted (Spirit Animals #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: ★★★ / ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Interactive multi-author seven-book series launches globally September 2013 with first book and storyline by #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull and second book by #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

Sam’s Review:

3 Stars

Huge thank you to Scholastic and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book!

There is a small part of me that feels like I’ve hit a new low when it comes to my love for Maggie Stiefvater, especially upon requesting this book. I adore Middle Grade reads, but there is a small part of me that wonders if I had read the first book would I have gained more enjoyment from this installment.  I seem to have a dilemma: if Maggie Stiefvater puts her name on something, I will devour it regardless of what it actually is. Fan girl, may be?

I love the idea that this an interactive novel in some ways, with a game you can play attached to it. This novel reminded me a lot of the old Animorphs series, which is one I adored growing up. Hunted is full of adventure, very accessible prose and sports Stiefvater’s wonderful description. Although, I had to keep reminding myself that the lack of lyrical prose was intentional to ensure that it wasn’t too difficult for middle grade readers to enjoy. Hunted is delightfully playful, though I found the characters to be a bit one dimensional and lacking depth. I’m unsure of again if that has to do with this being book two and not being familiar with the cast or because the book was very focused on delivering a quick paced, action packed story.

I can totally see how the Spirit Animals franchise will be a large hit with the middle grade audience. It’s very approachable and accessible in terms of writing, the characters are distinctive and recognizable enough, the banter is snappy, and overall it has a great attention grabbing pace. I think I would have enjoyed this more had I read book one and had a better sense of the plot, and I really would have appreciated more characterization because they felt too flat for me to even be interesting. Still, I adore the premise and the interactive aspects of the novel, and I hope it’s a hit for Scholastic and younger readers. There’s a lot of fun to be had, and the pacing never feels dull. It’s definitely something I feel with the right marketing, will take off and soar.

River’s Review

3 1/2 Stars

So… I really had no idea what was going on in this book. I didn’t read the first book and I actually have no intention of reading more of this series (I’m not really into middle grade) but MAGGGGGGGIIEEEEEEE. I had to read this because of Maggie. Ever since I INHALED The Raven Boys I’ve been crazy about anything she writes. So I grabbed this ARC and read it and LOVED. THE. WRITING. I loved the dialogue. The humor. The way she wrote about the characters and the spirit animals.

The story though? I really just was clueless because I mean, I’m reading the 2nd book in a series without reading the first one. I know that these kids have spirit animals and are fighting a war with them. That’s about it. They go on a quest. They have some touching moments where they learn. Pretty basic kids book. BUT MAGGIE’S WRITING OKAY.

I totally think that kids will dig this series. If I had a kid or knew a kid old enough for this, I’d be all over making sure this was in their hands.

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