Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Hunt for Elsewhere (Beatrice Vine)

The Hunt for Elsewhere
Beatrice Vine
Fiction, YA? Fantasy
** (Bad)

DESCRIPTION: As a kit, the fox Saxton's father told him the rules of his kind, the Lonely Thief: don't talk to strangers, never stray too far from your territory, answer to no one, and everyone lives or dies alone in this unkind world. But when he becomes separated from the family, Saxton is befriended by the old crow Quill, who teaches him of compassion and curiosity and other lessons. Thus begins his journey through the world, across much of North America, a journey in which he finds many dangers and unusual friends - not the least of which is Dante, the one-eyed, one-eared wolf who tried to kill him. Together, they learn that family is where you find it - and true friendship knows no bounds.

REVIEW: The reviews made this book look interesting. Unfortunately, I found it uneven, not to mention heavy-handed in its life lessons (not to mention rather preachy.) The animal characters seem too human to believe, especially for wild animals, though their knowledge of human concepts varies wildly and often illogically. They just plain don't think like animals most of the time, using logic that's just a little too human to be believed, even in story context. They weren't badly drawn, but as the story goes on they become somewhat forced tools of a plot that's more about teaching the often-harsh, sometimes-sweet ways of the wide world than anything else. Other characters feel rather thin, especially the females. Some incidents are interesting, but many are stilted and some are gory and violent - more than once simply for the sake of showing Saxton how gory and violent the world can be. The ending felt a little neat, not to mention something of a letdown. Some formatting and grammar issues, particularly typos and dropped letters, further irritated me, though I was already discontented to let them bug me. Likewise, the writing itself felt uneven, drifting between viewpoints. Disappointing, though I suspect I'm not the target audience; despite the lack of God or outright Christianity (notwithstanding a few allusions to religion among various animals), this seems more like an inspirational fable than the animal adventure what I was looking for when I bought it.

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Watership Down (Richard Adams) - My Review
Warriors: Into the Wild (Erin Hunter) - My Review
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