Hunted (Spirit Animals #2)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic, 2014. 185 pgs. Fantasy
Award-winning Young Adult author Maggie Stiefvater weighs in with the second volume in the Spirit Animals series, in which our four champions must travel to the north with an enigmatic, battle-scarred guide, Finn, to try to retrieve Rumfuss the Great Boar's talisman. Conor makes the mistake of visiting his home village on the way, where he and Rollan are imprisoned; Abeke receives an unwelcome visit from two of the Conquerors, and each child finds ways to bond more powerfully with his or her spirit animal. Hunted is an exciting, well-written continuation of the Spirit Animals series, for the profoundly gifted Stiefvater a bit of a toss-off, surely, but she does her job well, combining fine writing with humor and insight to carry the story along to, if not a cliff-hanging conclusion, at least a slippery slope one. The books in this series are sturdy enough to stand on their own, but there is an online component if kids are interesting in taking up the quest themselves by means of an avatar. Entrance to the game does require a code number from a book. Next volume due out in April.