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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

From the author of the global phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice! Hal and the Herons have done the impossible. This group of outsiders has beaten out the strongest, most skilled young warriors in all of Skandia to win the Brotherband competition. But their celebration comes to an abrupt end when the Skandians' most sacred artifact, the Andomal, is stolen--and the Herons are to blame. To find re…

Overall Book Review:

This action-packed book was fun to read and jammed full of suspense.  Brotherband, The Invaders, is book two in a series of six.  It stands alone well but continues the story of the Heron Brotherband well.  It is about pirates and Vikings battling against each other in swashbuckling, fast-paced action.  The pirates are the bad guys.  In this book, the Vikings teach us that they have honor and ethics.  Mainly written about a group of 16-year-old guys in training, these teens learn what it means to be dependable and persistent in all they do.  They are fighting for their honor and push through difficult times by training hard and thinking through the details necessary to make their plans successful.  Working together, they learn to overcome the impossible.  Learning the art of adulthood and completing responsibilities are big themes throughout this exciting read.  A young lady of similar age enters the tale and holds her own in this action-packed story.  This is a fun read for not only the young men but also for the young ladies.

The second half of the book comprises a lot of battle planning and executing those plans.  The author, John Flanagan, has done a fantastic job making the battle scenes age appropriate and is mindful of the age demographic.  He has built up the characters in a way that makes them relatable and realisitc.  The Invaders is also written in a way that would be fun reading for both young adults and adults.  This story is engaging with non-stop action.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 anatomical terms. 

Violence/Gore:  Hunting a wild animal, brief description of the weapon and the kill; a switch is used as a motivational tool; weapons training described (axe, sword, spear, atlatl, bow & arrow); multiple descriptions throughout book of pirates attacking and killing several adults and a child, usually briefly described, some contain minor descriptions of blood; man knocked out by another man, no blood; torture of one man by pirates, several paragraphs with descriptions of pain and injuries caused, blood mentioned, forcible removal of a limb as part of torture; death of many men by sword, several thrown overboard, some blood mentioned; pirate leader zealous to kill all his captives; city attacked and burning, descriptions of fear and screams, mention of many being killed; pursuit of teen girl by eager pirates intent on her capture, one killed; several pirates killed by flying darts, usually brief descriptions and very little blood mentioned; details of planning counter attack on city, lengthy descriptions of ways to attack; teen hits young adult in face, knocks him out; two teens almost die of hypothermia; multiple chapter descriptions of battle, weapons, fire, mention of many people dying, brief descriptions of blood and death; large weapon does allot of property damage, projectiles cause splinters, fire, several descriptions of screams and men hurt, descriptions of plans to use weapon; man (boss) yells, kicks, and demoralizes his men in fury; teen hit with arrow, lengthy description of removing arrow, cleaning wound and blood mentioned; Vikings in battle, moderate descriptions of actions, men hurt and killed; angry mob kills men, brief descriptions.

Sex/Nudity:  2 boys are jealous over a teen girl; man assumes possession of teen girl as his future wife.

Mature Subject Matter:

Weapons, blood-crazed pirates, Norse gods, fear of drowning, fire, murder of many, murder of father-figure, robbery, boss with ethics issues, jail break.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

An adult is a recovering alcoholic; beer is consumed by adults and teens at party. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)