Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > Dawn

Dawn by Erin Hunter
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Sep 15, 10

bookshelves: young-adult
Read in February, 2009 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I've been reading a series of young adult books for a couple of years now, usually reading 4-5 each year. The series is called Warriors and is about a society of cats (house cats, not lions, tigers, etc.) that live in the wild and are forced to cope with "real life" issues like hunting for prey, maintaining shelter, and the inevitable cycle of life. There are major issues to overcome including the politics of the four clans as well as the deaths of major characters. The books are suprisingly philisophical and readers are introduced to an entire theology that the clans of cats live by and, of course, the warrior code of honor is prime.

We bought the first few books at the behest of our kids back when we were home schooling; they had really cool looking covers, you see. Well, as usual, I started to read them as well and really enjoyed them so I've kept going. The first series contained 6 books and was a self-contained story arc, basically describing the rise of FireStar, the protagonist of all 6 books. Then there is a stand-alone book that serves as a bridge to a follow-on series of 6 more books. Dawn is book number 3 in that series, Warriors, The New Prophecy. There is yet another 6 book series that follows. The author, listed as "Erin Hunter" is actually a pen name for a group of women (3 at first but now 4) who jointly build the world and write the story.

I really enjoyed that first set of 6 books; it was unique, it was exciting, I cared very much for the characters, and I was really impressed with the well thought out world that had been created for this society of cats. I felt the authors did a great job of letting us see this world through the eyes of the protagonist, watching him struggle as he made onerous practical as well as moral decisions. That first set of books was great. The second set is still very good but it does suffer from the "this is great but what is new" syndrome. We no longer have Firestar as the chief protagonist although he is still a key player in the clans. But now we have the next generation taking on bigger roles and there is more than one key player on the stage. I think something is lost in that aspect. Dawn, being book 3 of a 6 part series has the burden of being the one that depicts the "just when you think things can't get any worse...they do" part of the story arc. Our cats are in dire consequences and when it rains, it really pours. That means this is a dark book, a real downer. But that should lead to better times ahead, the darkness before the "dawn".

Anyway, these books are a quick, easy read and they do keep you turning the pages. I will finish out this set of 6 books but may not continue as, even now, I can see some repetition creeping in.
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