Friday, April 24, 2009


I've completed the 4th book in Erin Hunter's "Warrior: The New Prophecy" series, Starlight. My regular readers will remember that I'm working my way through this young adult series that depicts the lives of an entire culture of cats living in the wild. This is the second set of six books about these cats and I am happy to report this book returns to the roots of what makes these books great.

I really enjoyed the first 6 "Warriors" books and felt the series stood complete at the end of that first set of novels. It was a complete cycle. I had been sceptical about starting a new set of books, wary of a "next generation" syndrome that may have succombed to being only a copy of the original. Trying to "do it again" only to enhance the financial income of the authors/publishers as opposed to moving on to something else is something I am always concerned with because I tend to read quite a few series. And sure enough, when I tried the first book of this "New Prophecy" series, Midnight, my worries seemed well founded. It was difficult for me to switch gears to a new set of protagonists while the old ones were still around. The Firestar character from the first 6 books was a genuine hero but now he would have to be squeezed into a supporting role.

The books were still well written, and absorbing in their own way but it has taken me until this 4th book to get comfortable in the new skin. Perhaps I am just used to this new set of heroes now but I think it is due more to the plot settling down. The first 3 books of this set were all about moving the entire society of cats to a new home due to the infestation of human activity at their old home. Danger was everywhere with no time to rest. But now they have found their new home and this book is much more about building their new home, setting clan boundaries, and becoming 4 clans once again, instead of one bigger uneasy clan. We get to see a return to normalcy in many respects including naming ceremonies, warrior training, and consultations with the spirtual Star Clan ancesters. Clan differences are once again allowed to provide conflict and adventure instead of relying on the great unknown for everything. In short, this novel brings the series back to its roots. And it doesn't hurt that I am comfortable with the new heroes now.

Don't get me wrong; I don't blame the authors at all for having to uproot everything we have come to know and love about this feline society. That's the only way to prevent the "let's do it again" syndrome. And now, after completing Starlight, I am confident that I will look back at the end of this second set of 6 books and see it as another fantastic addtion to the universe of young adult literature. Two more books to go and I'll be sure to let you know!

Next up is Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon, completing a 5 book science fiction series that I began last year. The weekend cometh as well with plans for a World of Warcraft dungeon crawl and plenty of time for my "Empire: Total War" Swedish world domination plan to continue. Paris fell last night along with the remaining Russian provinces. The big push south continues as well as sweeping across the French-controlled Canada. England is still out there of course but the American colonies sure look tempting so I will soon have to bite the bullet and face down their navy, not an easy task I can assure you. Hehe I love it!

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire