Reviews for Empty City
Booklist Reviews 2012 August #1
The first book in the new Hunter series, Survivors, begins with a literally earthshaking event that splits the ground and topples houses. A captive dog named Lucky feels his cage tremble just before the building he calls "the Trap House" collapses around him. A loner and a survivor, he escapes through the strangely empty city. In a mall, he finds his sister and her neighbors, an assortment of pet dogs, now abandoned and helpless. Attempting to teach them to hunt and to protect themselves, Lucky becomes the reluctant leader of a hapless pack. Young readers will find plenty to like here, from the fast-moving plot to the characterizations of individual dogs. Told in third person, this is Lucky's story all the way, and outside events are described as he perceives them. As in the earlier series, some terms (longpaws = "people") reflect this perspective. A promising new start for the many fans of the Warriors and Seekers adventure series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The massive success of the Warriors series (11 million books sold) ensures a fan following who will want to see Hunter go to the dogs. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
After a Big Growl (likely an earthquake), Lucky, a Lone Dog, and a rag-tag pack of Leashed Dogs find themselves navigating the perils of a near-humanless world. As the formerly pampered survivors learn to become self-reliant in the wild, Lucky comes to see the value in companionship. Too many characters make things confusing, but action-packed suspense makes for a promising start to this new series.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
In this dog-themed series opener from the team behind the Warriors franchise, dogs must learn to face not only the results of the devastating earthquake that has turned their world upside down, but their own feelings of loyalty and independence. With the earth swelling beneath them and their cages twisting around them, the dogs in the shelter are trapped and frightened. Familiar with the legend of the "Big Growl," Lucky is able to quickly piece together what has happened. He and another dog, Sweet, manage to escape, only to find themselves in the middle of a city in ruin. With the humans ("longpaws") gone, it is up to Lucky to try to find food and shelter. He is quickly joined by other dogs who are desperately hungry and unprepared for their new world. Lucky is a reluctant leader, eager for a life of solitude, but he feels a kinship and responsibility for this new pack. Weaving together the horrific yet all-too-familiar scenes of natural disaster with the mythical legends of the dogs, Hunter expertly explores the tensions between responsibility and freedom; risk and safety; and loyalty and acceptance. Viewing the unfolding adventure through Lucky's eyes makes even the most mundane or familiar seem alive with magic. Wild and wonderful adventure for middle-graders. (Adventure. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
VOYA Reviews 2012 October
Lucky has always been a lone dog, surviving on experience and instinct. When the Big Growl occurs, his world changes. He escapes from the Trap House and heads into the city. There he searches for food, but the other dogs are reluctant to share. While trying to hoard food, Lucky runs into trouble. When a band of dogs comes to his rescue, he is surprised to see his litter-sister among them. He is horrified to learn that she is a Leashed Dog. Lucky teaches the other dogs how to survive; how to hunt, where to sleep, and how to sniff out potential danger from humans and other dogs. Lucky does not know how his sister and her pack will survive without his help, but can a lone dog like Lucky become an alpha within a pack A new series from The Warriors author is sure to be a hit with animal lovers and middle school readers. The book reads from Lucky's perspective, often using a new set of words for readers to puzzle over (Longpaws is the equivalent of humans). Seeing the world through a dog's eyes will change the reader's viewpoint on the world. The action and danger will keep readers turning pages, while the cliff-hanger ending will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book.--Jennifer Rummel 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.