Reviews for Island of Shadows


Booklist Reviews 2012 January #1
In this series starter, a companion to the wildly popular Seeker books, Hunter picks up after the death of the bear Ujurak in an avalanche. The remaining three bears, mourning the loss of their friend, begin the long journey home. Toklo, a brown bear; Lusa, a small black bear; and Kallik, a polar bear are accompanied by Yakone, another polar bear they met on Star Island. Toklo, in particular, misses his friend and is grumpy and difficult. Ujurak, now a starbear, appears to Lusa and Kallik in dreams, encouraging them to "remember what matters most." The bears encounter great hardship, making their way eventually onto a large island where they encounter a young bear who was driven out by his family. Toklo, sure that the cub has been sent by Ujurak, is determined to protect him. Nanulak's parents are a polar bear and a brown bear, and the young bear is deeply angry over his "mixed" status, bringing intense discord to the group that threatens to divide them completely. The bears' journey has only just begun, and clearly there will be many more volumes. Reflecting the realities of the natural world, this new adventure will be greeted with delight by fans of the series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Extensive marketing efforts, including companion websites, social media outreach, and online games, will likely expand the already vast fan base for Hunter's series. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
In this spin-off series, the remaining bear friends set out to return to their homes and families. New friendships and the question of whether the different bear species should remain together provide most of the drama. Series fans won't want to miss these first ([cf2]Island[cf1]) and second ([cf2]Melting[cf1]) installments, even though the adventures, at this point, have become repetitive. [Review covers these Seekers: Return to the Wild titles: [cf2]Island of Shadows[cf1] and [cf2]The Melting Sea[cf1].]

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #1
The wildly popular writing team (writing collectively as Hunter) sends its team of bears out for another episodic adventure, but the object of this quest is less than clear. Brown bear Toklo, black bear Lusa and white bear Kallik have accomplished the long trek to Star Island and destroyed the threats to its fragile ecosystem, but at the cost of the life of their friend, the shape-shifting Ujurak, reunited with his mother in the stars. Now accompanied by the white bear Yakone, they turn their paws homeward, unsure of both route and destination. After enduring quarrels and hunger, nearly fatal accidents and harrowing encounters with humans, the foursome stumbles across the abandoned Nanulak. Will caring for this strange bear cub fill the empty place in Toklo's heart? Or does Nanaluk conceal dangerous secrets of his own? The authors do a fine job recapping previous events, making this an accessible entry point for new readers. Unfortunately, the characters seem to have lost much of their accumulated growth and nuance as well: Toklo is angry and guilt-ridden, Lusa is wise but weak, Kallik is the nurturing peacemaker and Yakone exists mainly to be big and strong and have things explained to him. Scheming Nanaluk is a caricature of a villain, while the dreamlike visions of the ascended Ujurak only underscore the shift in theme from environmental awareness to a plea for interspecies tolerance. Lacks the urgency and coherence of the bears' first series, but fans will demand this follow-up. (Animal fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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