Top critical review
(In a Way) Met My Expectations
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2014
I know the title of this review seems strange when compared to the rating, but when I read the words carnivorous bat, I figured that the novel would be ridiculous. Also, I expected there to be a good deal of violence. Most of the 'children's' books I read were full of violence. (I'm not one of the most people who want to censor violence over children, but I don't think something should be labeled a children's book simply because the characters are animals.)
The chase scene with Shade, Marina, and the pigeons was quite good.
There are a couple of things that I had mixed feelings about. I had mixed feelings about Shade. I like how Kenneth Oppel chose to make the main protagonist a runt so you might root for him. I didn't like how at times Shade seemed a little too sensitive. I had mixed feelings about Marina not trusting Goth and Throbb. I like how she wasn't going to be their buddy right away. The only thing that annoyed me about those chapters were she didn't give a legitimate reason for her distrust right away.
I found some of this book outright ridiculous. I even found part that explains how the owls wield fire impossible. I really don't like Zephyr's unnatural gift. Not only is it ridiculous, but Kenneth Oppel doesn't even explain how he ended up with the power. However, I will admit that is quite an useful power. Some of the characters were annoying at times. I think that Kenneth Oppel and his editor(s) could have done a better job writing parts of this novel.