Through a challenge on another website, I tested a category/genre that I probably would otherwise have avoided. Young adult. The Hunger Games series were so good that I decided to test other works in this genre. First up was the first Harry Potter book, which I had seen in movie form eons ago, but had avoided in written form. It did not block further progress so I dipped my toe into the Warrior series, Into the Wild being the first book in that series.
Into the Wild starts off with an owned kitten, named Rusty, dreaming of catching and devouring a mouse. He wakes up and stares at the pellets his ‘twolegs’ have left him for sustenance. He groans and eats a few then crawls out into the backyard to sniff the air and stretch. Big fat lazy neighboring kitties contemptuously spotted. The woods looked at with longing. With a dash he sprints into the woods going further than he had ever gone before. A streak of red in the greenery. The smell of mouse. Wiggles, ready to pounce, when he himself is tackled by another cat. Graypaw, an apprentice warrior with the ThunderClan, and Rusty lay panting near each other, neither able to get the better of the other. Rusty learns that he is in ThunderClan territory and he really shouldn’t be eating their mice, prey being so scarce.
The leader, Bluestar, and a top warrior of the clan, Tigerclaw, wander up. Bluestar offers Rusty the chance to join their clan of warrior cats. Tigerclaw hisses and calls him kittypet. Rusty is tempted but needs time. The next night he enlists. Training, battle, daring deeds and kitties running around meowing and hissing fill out the book (which I say so that I do not give out too much of the plot, though I think I’m still in chapter one, plot-wise).
Erin Hunter, the author, is the group pen name of Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, Victoria Holmes, and Tui T Sutherland. Quite a large group, eh? Oddly enough, the style and quality remains even throughout the book. Four writers seem to work as well as one in this instance. The series itself has something like 35 books in it (there are many sub-series and side-books and the like so it is not quickly easy to determine the size of the series), and I do not know how the writing might have been broken down. Did all four write each and every book together? One or two write one or more of the subseries? No information came to light.
Would I recommend the book? Well, all the reviews I’ve seen seem to indicate the books are devoured eagerly by their intended audience. Nine to twelve year old girls. I am neither in that age bracket nor a girl, and yet I found the book quite entertaining. Will I read another book in this massive series? More than likely. Am I eagerly awaiting my next dip into the world of cats? Eagerly? No. Willing, yes. Returning to the question that began this paragraph, do I recommend the book? Yes. Just be aware both that it is not exactly intended for adults (if you are one), yet, at the same time, it does not keep the fighting, blood, and death away from view.