Before I started it, the only knowledge I had about this book was from
a few other 1 ARC Tour reviews, so I wasn't really sure what to expect.
Well, that isn't totally true. I knew that the book was really long, as
in over 500 pages long.
I was pleasantly surprised with that I found!
was a great character, without question. At the start he's a "geeky"
kid who is having one major problem with school. He's stuck in that
endless circle of being bullied, because he can't tell his parents
about what's happening. So, he dreads taking the bus to school in the
morning, and seems to feel weak and helpless. After he rescues Orla, in
the form of a leopard, from a group of hell hounds, everything changes.
Over the course of the book, Owen becomes stronger and more confident
in himself. This is especially true when facing unsavory creatures, and
loss of people he cares about. My other favorite character was the
Aingeal, Winter. At first I wasn't sure of his allegiance, but that may
have just been my overly suspicious nature.
was exciting, unique, and totally unpredictable (in a good way, I had
no idea what would happen in the end!). The scenery was amazing, and I
really felt connected with the characters. I particularly liked the
human/animal dynamic. For example, Owen and Boone (a sort of king of
the dogs, the Duine Madra) have an instant and deep connection. Any pet
owner can relate to that friendship you develop.
reminded me a bit of Lord of the Rings. There were a lot of interesting
characters, different places, and a bunch of great names (i.e Orla's
home, Quailan, and the creature that was called a Vrok). I can't
express what a breath of fresh air this book was. I also thought it was
really nice to have a male as the main character. While I understand
why most of the YA protagonists are female (women tend to be the
biggest group of book buyers), I appreciated reading from a boy's
point-of-view. I can't wait for the sequel!