Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-7-Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan continue their quest to get the four talismen needed to defeat the devourer's minions. In this second installment, they discover that a new and sinister way to create the bond between spirit animals and children has been developed, placing a grave threat in their path. They barely have time to train before they're on a new journey, facing ambushes and an unexpected imprisonment in the town where Conor grew up. The story ends with a cliff-hanger when he is blackmailed into giving up something in order to save his family. This second book in the series will not make much sense to readers unless they have read or listened to the first book, Brandon Mull's Wild Born (Scholastic, 2013). The story line and flavor don't suffer a bit for having been written by different authors. Nicola Barber is an excellent choice, as she narrated the first book and continues to make each voice unique. Readers may find the characters' ambivalence in spots annoying, but overall, kids who love adventure, fantasy, and animals will enjoy this audiobook immensely.-John R. Clark, Hartland Public Library, ME (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In the second book in the Spirit Animals series, Stiefvater flawlessly continues the story that Brandon Mull started, and shifts the characters into a darker world. The four main characters have bonded with the Great Beasts, but they now have to learn to bond with one another so that they can fight together against the villain, The Devourer. Stiefvater blends Mull's brilliant world building with her talent of writing memorable villains. From the beginning, you know it has gone to the next level with the characters facing exciting challenges.--Fort, Bethany Copyright 2014 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Four children and their legendary spirit animals continue their training, honing their skills to better defend their land from the Conquerors. Trust issues abound as one child doesn't feel welcome (Blood Ties) and another can't wait for the team to coalesce (Hunted). The budding heroes must learn to work together in this formulaic, action-packed adventure series (with an online component). [Review covers these Spirit Animals titles: Blood Ties and Hunted.] (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Four young heroes, chosen to save Erdas from the rising threat of the Devourer, find themselves torn between their quest and the needs of the ones they love. In between their expeditions to obtain the Great Beasts' talismans, Conor, Meilin, Abeke and Rollan face an equally difficult task: learning to bond with their spirit animals. Each must confront his or her weaknesses in order to understand the spirit animals' strengths. Conor, normally timid, must rely on Briggan the Wolf to learn to lead. Meilin, a trained warrior, must yield to the peaceful patience of her giant panda, Jhi. However, Rollan and Essix the Falcon's discernment and Abeke and her leopard Uraza's courage allow the four to retrieve the talisman of Rumfuss the Boar. Stiefvater brings to this multiply authored, multiplatform series her ability to create complex, sympathetic characters, enhancing the plot-heavy narrative she inherited (Wild Born, by Brandon Mull, 2013). Characters grapple with conflicting motives, familial responsibilities and the consequences of their choices. This increasing depth moves the story from a straightforward adventure fantasy to an insightful look at what it means to be a hero, with the glory it brings and the sacrifice it demands. The accompanying game offers an exciting off-page experience. Fantastical adventure is enhanced by complex characters. (Fantasy. 8-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.