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Wild Born (Spirit Animals) by Brandon Mull

Spirit Animals #1. Scholastic Audio (Sept. 2014) Library
Are you wild born?

In the world of Erdas, four children are about to discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that gives great powers to both. Separated by vast distances, Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollen each see a flash of light... and then the animals emerge.

Wolf, leopard, panda, falcon. Each of the children has summoned a beast from legend. Now their fate is set The four new heroes and their animals must band together in a dangerous quest. a dark force from the past is rising, and only they have the power to stop it.


I don't know how this series has bypassed my attention for almost two years. It is one of the greatest portrayals of adventure books I've ever come across. The characters, the plot, the world building were all spectacular. I was drawn in by Nicola Barber's voice and loved every second of my experience. This series is supremely underrated. I know that I've only read the first book, but I truly believe the rest of the books in the Spirit Animals series are going to be amazing. I do worry though because each of the seven books is written by a different author, however I am convinced I will enjoy them all.

Wild Born Emblem
You first meet the four characters on the day they drink their nectar. The nectar is something that all eleven year olds are supposed to drink on their birthdays. For a lucky few, a spirit animal becomes the ally of a child as long as they live. What's special about Conor, Abeke (uh-beck-uh), Meilin, and Rollan's spirit animals is that they were beasts of legend. These spirit animals fought once before when the world needed to them. They banded together to defeat The Devourers and his followers. In four different lands, a certain animal is revered - the wolf - Briggan; the leopard - Uraza; the panda - Jhi; and the falcon - Essix. These spirit animals have returned once again to form a bond with their human partners and defeat The Devourer before he destroys the world.

I knew I was going to love this book when I first listened to Conor describing his life. He was made into a servant of a noble boy because his father needed to pay off debts. Conor is originally a sheepherder on his family's farm. He is very hesitant and doesn't think he is worthy of Briggan. He didn't even think anything was going to happen when he drank the nectar which tasted sweet when he drank it (the nectar tastes different for everyone). Now he is thrust into this new adventure with the help of the Greencloaks. The Greencloaks are all made up of people who have spirit animals. They all go around giving the nectar to eleven year olds on their birthday. They train as well and maintain peace - not with everyday issues, but with big worldly events like the war that is on their doorstep.

Abeke (uh-beck-uh), is probably my favorite character so far although I love all the characters in their own way. She is partnered with Uraza, the leopard. She isn't particularly understood by her father and sister. When you meet her you know that Uraza is the perfect spirit animal for her. I could tell with all the spirit animals actually that they were perfect for each other. Abeke and Rollan were easy to understand why right away. For Conor and Meilin it took me a while, but I believe that even if they don't know it yet - their spirit animal partners will help them grow as a person. Back to Abeke; she forms a bond quickly with Uraza. I loved hearing how she acted so much like her leopard. She crouched and hid so well and could see at night with the help of Uraza. All the characters get help from their spirit animals once their bond grows. They become quicker, wiser, stronger, and all around awesome. 

Meilin is the one character I have trouble with. She doesn't really see why she was given a panda. She doesn't see how Jhi can help her when there is a war going on. She can come off standoffish and rude to Jhi. Yet, Meilin has always had to act a certain part and she just wants to be able to help her people. She has the most growth that needs to take place and it will be nice to see how time changes her.

Rollan, is a lovable rogue. He's a thief with honor. He doesn't like stealing, but he will if he absolutely needs to. He provides the humor and sarcasm for the group. It's funny how alike he is to Essix, his falcon. They both don't trust easily and are very stubborn. I really liked seeing his friendship with Conor slowly forming. he has some growth that needs to happen as well as do all of the characters, but it's more noticeable in some than others. 

I really hope to see all the characters become friends and at the end of everything first of all, survive and second of all, make changes in their homeland. I'm really excited to see where this series will take these characters. I'm invested in all of them and hope they come out of everything in one piece. It's crazy that they are all eleven. There is so much on their shoulders. I highly recommend that you read or listen to Wild Born. It has fantastic characters and a thrilling adventure that I have just begun to embark on.

What spirit animal would you want?

Comments

  1. Is this an MG book? I love the concept of spirit animals. A friend just pointed out to me that mine must be a snake because I dream of them very often... not thrilled because I'm mortified of them.

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  2. Sounds like an exciting series! I hope you like the rest of the books, since they all have different authors. As for my spirit animal...hmm...I feel like it would be some kind of cat or something. :)

    -Lauren

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