I’m no stranger to recapping children’s fantasy book series. Hell, I spent two or so years recapping Avalon: Web of Magic. However, I’m a big fan of Avalon; I considered the recap project a labor of love. This is the first time I’m recapping something I have mixed-to-negative feelings about.
Spirit Animals is a multi-author series: each book is written by a different author. Multiple authors means a faster publication schedule, meaning I’ll hopefully get through these recaps in a year (barring delays due to grad school and boredom). However, this also means the writing quality and characterization will be inconsistent between the books. And I’m probably not going to shut up about it throughout this recap.
Anyway, let’s get down to my actual first impressions on this series:
So I first heard about Spirit Animals through some press release about Avalon and multi-platform publishing. A book about kids bonding with magical animals to save the world sounded pretty cool.
Months later, I downloaded a copy of the first book … and I was rather disappointed. You can search through my old posts for my rants if you wish. I’ll probably be making and expanding on a lot of the same points in my recap.
Wild Born is the first book, and it follows a rather simple formula:
- Kids from all corners of the world bond with Super Special magical animals.
- Kids are recruited by an organization to collect McGuffins to save the world.
- A secondary character who will only be relevant to this particular book is introduced.
- A party is gathered and ventures forth to collect the first McGuffin.
- Secondary character gets development (usually).
- Big fight scene between two rival organizations.
- Someone gets the McGuffin.
This formula (minus the introduction stuff) is repeated in all subsequent books — which makes things rather predictable and boring for me. So expect me to basically gloss over certain stuff later on.
Wild Born is written by Brandon Mull, who also wrote Fablehaven, which I hear is a popular children’s book series. I’m not a fan of his writing — I tried reading Fablehaven and his writing style irritated me after two chapters. This book hasn’t changed my opinion of him in the slightest.
On to the cover! Nothing really impressive here. There’s a party of four kids of various ethnicities, four animals, and a vague mountain background. Kinda meh. Sorry, no foreign / international covers — as far as I know, this book hasn’t been translated or released in other countries.
Here’s what to expect from my recap:
- Me comparing everything in this fantasy world to their real-life counterparts!
- Lots of pictures of wildlife!
- No witty recap titles! (Why? Because the chapters are actually titled in this series.)
Next time: A protagonist deals with his jerk-ass boss. A fateful event occurs.