As the earth splits and heaves in a terrible quake, Griffin feels his small bat body being sucked into a fissure deep below Tree Haven. Shade, Griffin’s father, soon realizes that his son has been drawn into the Underworld, where legend dictates that if the living stumble into the land of the dead, they have only a short time before death claims them too. Shade knows he must find Griffin quickly. What he doesn’t realize is that Goth, the powerful and evil Vampire bat, is also hunting Griffin. Although Goth is dead and trapped in the Underworld, he can live again?if he steals the life of a living creature caught inside this terrible place. Who will find Griffin first? And who will survive to embark upon the perilous journey to discover the Tree, the only portal back to the living?
Firewing, Kenneth Oppel’s latest adventure novel in the megaselling series, should carry a warning: “Do not open unless prepared to consume the entire novel in one sitting.” It’s that good a story, one that will capture readers?adults definitely included?from the very first words. The tale of Griffin, whose feelings of inadequacy stem from his formidable parentage (he’s the son of the heroic Shade and Marina, stars of Silverwing and Sunwing) and his unusual hybrid silver-and red-streaked fur, Firewing plunges the reader into Oppel’s richly imagined world of adventure and fantasy.
Here are all of the familiar elements that have made the series a winner: a feisty new hero who must come to terms with his heritage and his self-doubts; a truly evil but entirely believable foe in the form ofGoth, the Vampire bat; and a story that swoops and soars to exciting new heights. Firewing is a guaranteed hit.