Author: Brandon Mull
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Age Rating: Readers over 8
My Opinion: 9/10
I was more excited than a little kid on Christmas morning when I got my hands on the newest Brandon Mull book, Sky Raiders. I'm so glad to share my thoughts about the book with you for this It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, a blogging meme hosted by Teach Mentor Texts, Book Journeys, and Unleashing Readers. Mull's Fablehaven series is one of my favorites of all time, and I have high expectations for the rest of his new Five Kingdoms series as well.
Cole is a sixth grader who leads a fairly ordinary life in Mesa, Arizona, hanging out with his best friend Dalton and crushing on a beautiful girl named Jenna. He thinks he's hit the jackpot when he gets the opportunity to go trick-or-treating with Jenna and her friends, and to impress them, he takes them to a haunted house. However, as soon as the kids enter, something seems amiss. The decorations are too realistic, and the house is too creepy. Suddenly, kidnappers pop out of nowhere and bring Dalton, Jenna, and the other kids through a portal leading to the 'Outskirts'. Cole hides to avoid capture, but he follows them in to try to rescue his friends. When they become seperated, Cole is sold into slavery to the Sky Raiders, a group of scavengers who pillage empty castles in the sky. His fate and the fate of his friends become entangled with that of an undercover princess on a mission to overthrow her dictatorial father. The children must face unthinkable threats and dangers in order to reunite, and they must figure out a way to return to Earth.
As you can probably tell by my summary above, the plot line of Sky Raiders is extremely intricate. One of the best parts about the novel is that settings are always described in great detail when the characters are traveling through them. For instance, when Cole and his friends entered part of the 'Outskirts' that was made out of food, I could picture in my mind their carriage driving by enormous lakes of milk and cookies and mountains of cake. Another successful part of Sky Raiders is that it made me want to read the rest of the series right away. There were a lot of loose ends by the conclusion of the novel that set it up perfectly for its sequel, which is due to come out in October.
|Sky Raiders' sequel,|
The Rogue Knight
My only complaint about Sky Raiders is the age of the characters. Brandon Mull is definitely writing the series for a younger audience, probably elementary and middle school readers. However, I wish that he had Cole be in middle school in order to appeal to a wider audience of readers. Just think - kids love reading about characters who are older than themselves because it makes the characters ten times cooler. It's not nearly as fun to read about characters who are younger and have less life experience than yourself. I think that Mull would have attracted a much wider audience if he would have aged his characters by a couple of years. All in all, though, I managed to mostly forget the young age of the characters while I was reading and tried to pretend that they were older.
Overall, Brandon Mull certainly did not disappoint in the first book of his newest series. He took a very magical and fantastical approach to the novel, much more than in any other books he's written. His creation of the character Cole reminded me a lot of Seth from Fablehaven. Any young reader would absolutely love Mull's Sky Raiders.