Ah, Ghost Wolf. You were the first book I had to special order because the local Borders didn’t regularly stock the series at the time it was released. You were the weird book with the trippy extradimensional travel that was a little hard to understand upon initial reading. But mostly, I remember you for introducing Adriane’s parents and having them settle in one of the more stereotypical artist communes in upstate New York.
Obviously, this is an Adriane-centric book, in which a ton of shit gets piled on her. And I mean a lot: there’s family issues, problems with Ravenswood, and some stuff concerning her bonded animals. Did I say “animals”, as in the plural? That was kinda spoileriffic — but then, it is mentioned on the cover blurb, so I guess it’s not.
Anyway, on to Jewel Riders connections. The book is essentially “Badlands”, in which Fallon reunites with her artisan parents, who don’t approve of her being a Jewel Rider. But there are shout-outs to “Dreamfields” (there’s a lot of weird dream-stuff in this book), “Wizard of Gardenia” (topiary monsters), and “Mystery Island” (the dweasel tea party).
I remember this cover being a lot shinier in real life. This image makes the border look really dull. But hey, now I know there was actually a pattern on the border, instead of a shimmery, oil-slicky brown blob. This is one of the few times I like the original cover more than the new one. Adriane’s standing in the middle of a forest, possibly trying to summon Fenrir. Oh, and I think Dreamer makes a cover appearance in the background there, but I’m not sure. Sometimes you can’t really tell with these old covers.
Hey, doesn’t the cover art look kinda different here? Well, the regular artist for the series couldn’t get the cover or interior illustrations done in time for publication, so someone else (Shiei, who did the art for the last two volumes of Warlock Diaries) finished the sketches. So a lot of the artwork looks really wonky — like this cover, for example. Adriane has this out-of-character XTREME SNOWBOARDING TO THE MAXX! look on her face, and Dreamer looks really cartoony. And wait — didn’t one of those characters on the cover get nuked a few books back? Um … spoiler alert?
What to expect from this book:
* Me getting help from my art grad school friends for artist references!
* More Charday family issues!
* An actual threat to Earth!
* Middle school students getting really involved in nature conservation!
* Bitchy Ms. Windor action!
* A token male character!
Next time: Something that only appears in the original edition.