This series will truly catch you off guard- I for one, expected a thin children's tale, where the main characters have little else to do but fling around magic; a carbon copy of Harry Potter, but warped badly. Something light and entertaining, but overdone. I happen to have been very bored one evening, and found this book in my younger brother's room. I'd initially meant to waste a few hours skimming it whilst waiting for a night out. And that whole night I stayed in finishing it, and ordering the next three online! :O
This novel is a vivid and remarkable read. Instead of exerting your mind in calculating the plot twists, you instead find yourself assailed by waves of imagination and swept along for a rich, fast-paced and extraordinary ride.
I'm nineteen (yes!), and I absolutely ADORE this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. Dax -our main character- thank God, isn't a mimic of your regular cliché orphan, abandoned at birth/parents murdered horribly yada-ya-ya to later face great and overly exaggerated adventures. Yes, he is 'tormented' as such, by a bitchy step mum, but hey. I guess we couldn't have utmost originality there... ;) Her lack of actual care towards Dax justified his eagerness to get the hell out of his mundane life when the opportunity first arises. I can't believe I'm so pulled in by what I'd considered a book for a twelve-year-old audience. Buy it, whatever your age!
The shape shifting and general atmosphere in this is downright believable- not some nonsense where the main character always gets his way, is our typical male Mary-Sue who finds changing into animals easy, and jeopardizes the reality of the story because of it. Dax has to work at it, and the results pay off. I want a Fox so badly!
The characters are all unique individuals (you'll love his best friend at Tregarren, the college Dax is sent away to) and you'll even ultimately fall in love with the most irritating of characters: typical blonde, wealthy bimbo who appears to have a stick shoved up her.... :D
I'm more a Werewolf; Vampire; Crime-Thriller girl, and yet enjoyed this more than Kelly Armstrong's "Bitten" series. Probably because here, I truly felt that shapeshifting could happen!
If you liked anything along the lines of Garth Nix's "Sabriel," Phillip Pullman's "Northern Lights" or "The Doomspell" Trilogy, you'll love this new series. Why? Not because the genres match, but because it's another one of those books that suits all ages, one which is cherished and revisited years after the first read.
Just do it. You'll feel so much better once you have.
.... Are you buying it??