Seekers: The Quest Begins, by Erin Hunter


Buy from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or IndieBound

Author’s website
Publication date – February 10, 2009

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Taken away from their families when they were young cubs, a black bear, a polar bear, and grizzly bear are suddenly brought together to complete a dangerous quest in the hopes of figuring out where their true destiny.

Thoughts: I enjoyed what I read of the Warriors series, and so when I saw that the HarperCollins website had a free full preview, I couldn’t resist checking out this new series.

It was as familiar, stylistically, as the Warriors books, which isn’t surprising but certainly was welcome. I know sometimes authors use a new series as an excuse to go in completely different stylistic directions, and I was glad to see that this wasn’t the case.

The story itself is fairly simple. Three bears, Kallik, Lusa, and Toklo, all have no parents with them for one reason or another, and all are on a quest to follow the north star to some place that they’ve heard is good for them. None of them have met yet, though undoubtedly they will at some point. All have their own stories, their own personalities and clearly definied characters. Unsurprising, there.

What did surprise and impress me most of all was Toklo’s story. Books by Erin Hunter have a habit of dealing with some very hard issues, like violence, death, and loss, and this is no exception, except that Toklo ended up dealing with a distant mother who was mentally unbalanced and depressive due to the loss of one of her cubs. Enjoy, kiddies. But that wasn’t what interested me. No, what interested me most was the introduction of Ujurak, the shapeshifter with a nebulous past, a childlike personality, and no idea of why he can shapeshift into just about any animal he comes across. Erin Hunter has dealt with animal spirituality before, usually with acceptance that the spiritual world is a real one that can be interacted with, but Ujurak was new and interesting to me, bridging worlds and ideas, and I’m most interested to see more of his character and how his part in the story plays out.

Though Hunter’s books are for children, they can certainly be enjoyed by an older crowd without much difficulty, which I think is a mark of a good author. (Or in this case, group of authors.) I definitely want to check out the rest of the Seekers series when I can, and hopefully they’ll all be as interesting as this introduction.

(Book read for free online at the HarperCollins website)

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