“Spirit Animals” is book series in which one author guides the overall story, but each novel features a different popular children’s and/or YA author (much like “39 Clues”). Brandon Mull, author of “Fablehaven” and other popular fantasy books, oversees the whole series and wrote the first book, “Wild Born.”
In “Wild Born,” we follow four kids who go through a bonding with spirit animals. While many people have spirit animals, these four particular characters are bonded specific reincarnated spirit animals of legend. However, as typical with many fantasy series, dark forces of old are gathering, threatening the entire world of Erdas.
The second book, “Hunted,” was recently released and is written by popular YA author, Maggie Stiefvater. The story picks off almost right where the first novel lets off, and we get some excellent character study by Stiefvater as the world of Erdas is more deeply explored.
I found the diverse cast of characters appealing in these novels. A Chinese noble girl, a street rat, a shepherd, and a girl from an African tribe make up the four kids bonded to the great beasts of legend. I also enjoyed that every spirit animal bond is different. The authors get really inventive on how each bond is different. I won’t list any spoilers, but you don’t find out how every bond works in book 1.
If you like instant gratification (or as much as you can get in the world of publishing), you’ll enjoy that book 3 (“Blood Ties”) is coming out in March and book 4 (“Fire and Ice”) will be published in June. With each book being written by a separate author, the momentum of “Spirit Animals” won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Scholastic is also promoting this series with bonus material and a fun game online where you can create your own spirit animal and play in the world of Erdas yourself.