This was both an educational and enjoyable read. Oppel takes on a mammoth of a project in anthropomorphizing a generally unknown animal like a bat. However, unlike many who fail at the attempt, he succeeds without question. The entire time, Shade always remains a bat in the reader’s mind, with the description of the lifestyle, the senses, the landscape, and the overall world. Its strongest suit is in the educational element, which is captivating the reader as well as informing them. There is no question that anyone will have a much clearer understanding of the world of bats after reading this book.
The mythology is unique to bats, or at least unique to humans in regards to bats, and that adds an element of credibility, making the bats appear to have their own history separate of humans and other animals. My only gripe would be that sometimes it’s a little slow, and I’m wondering why I care so much about a story involving bats. However, the fact that I keep reading is to Oppel’s credit as a storyteller. It’s a fun read, and I recommend this to children ages 8-13 and adults interested in fantasy and nature.
-Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com