I was introduced to Ratha’s Creature by Clare Bell on the CBS Storybook episode when it originally ran.  I think I would’ve been about six or seven.  I distinctly remember the opening scenes, but don’t think I got to watch the entire thing.  I remember them chasing the deer.  I thought they were hunting.  I remember the fire, but nothing else.

I saw the book cover a year ago and was intrigued by it and managed to immediately remember that it had been adapted… most likely as badly as Heart’s Blood.  I recently added it to my wishlist, along with the other books in the series.  There are four books.  Ratha’s Creature.  Clan Ground.  Ratha and Thistle Chaser.  Ratha’s Challenge and Ratha’s courage – You can read about them here

I purchased Ratha’s Creature along with a $4 lullaby CD for Kim after she managed to finally destroy hers.  I use it to put her to bed every night as part of her nightly rituals.  (I also purchased a set of Peretti books for the trip and left them behind 😀 )

I read Ratha’s Creature and I loved it.  It was surprisingly mature for a book that was made into a cartoon… although that’s probably in my mind because I consider most american made cartoons of the time to not be made from serious books. 😉  Even after reading Heart’s Blood and that entire series.  If it were made today, it’d make for an awesome animated movie if done correctly.

I was pleased by the end and almost shed a tear.

Now, comes the reason I posted this with the note:  SEE the date.  I read this book for the first time starting on June 12th, 2008.  I began Shivae a much longer time ago and realized, whoa… Ratha’s Creature is actually one of the FEW books I’ve read in which not all of the animals are actually sentient.  Now, in their setting, all of the carnivores are apparently sentient and the herdbeasts are simple animals.  I do like that.

But I realize I’ve taken it further by making it very clear that in Shivae!  the predators AND prey can be sentient and while I haven’t fully addressed the issues, it has been shown exactly why the prey seem to have a lot more herd members without stars in their eyes.  They’re there for the predators to eat instead of themselves.  So the more the merrier.

I have not dealt with the wilders amongst the Shivae! or Gryphons or any of the other races.  They are there, but fewer in number.  That reason may be clear to some as to why.  I may have to openly deal with it now that I’ve seen how Clare Bell deals with it.

On to the second part of the title.  You see, I started reading Warriors about two years ago, I think.  I devoured the first series until I got to the last book.. then I did a wtfjhh?!  I didn’t like the last book.  There were too many things wrong with it that just jumped over everything that had been laid out in the entire series before it.  (I would still like to know how cats manage to fasten collars around their necks without thumbs.)

But … I DID enjoy the series to start with.  (At this time, I had been toying with the idea of Feral.  I’ve been toying with that one for years because I do so love anthro stories along the ideas of Watership Down and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.)  I started on the second series.  I read.  I read.  I enjoyed it.  Then I began to enjoy it less.  My amazon.com review:

I read Twilight and Starlight back to back so get to compare. Twilight is the better of the two, which is great, because I was about to lose hope. I really enjoy this world of books and the editing and writing seemed to be better. I’m guessing that one half of Erin Hunter is more interested in this than the other and maybe that other should stop writing on them.
I am getting annoyed with the huge role that Starclan plays in this series as compared to prior ones and just how much they interfere and say stupid things and give out stupid needless information. The story pacing would be much better without it. It wasn’t difficult to guess which cat was at the pool hearing his/her death warning and I admit to getting sniffly, but that didn’t change my annoyance with the books.
Leafpool is an annoying character. Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw are also annoying. I find the whole Brambleclaw issue to be completely different from what his setup was in the start of the series. He seems to become more and more weak willed and stupid with each book, when he was a cunning, clever and non power hungry cat.
Sunset will be the last book in this series I read unless the reviews are just really good for Power of Three. It’s too early to tell.

I didn’t read Sunset.  I lost interest in the story at that point for two reasons:  1.  The reviews  for the last book and 2.  The manga versions.  I detest the manga stories.  I mean, really, really HATE THEM.  If I could do a better book than they could (as a clear nonprofessional), then it has no business being done.  (And I’m going to.  Believe me, I will.  Because I’m going to take my time on it and not rush it through solely to capitilize on the success of the books like they’re doing.  I COULD rush through Shivae! and sometimes I do because I know people want to read it, not because it makes me much, because it doesn’t, but I have big plans for Shivae! as well which will take some heavy duty art techniques that I’m working on acquiring.)

Two series about cats which will likely influence me a bit, one because it inspired me out of sheer enjoyment, the other because I hated the time I put into following it when it went all weird on me.  I only hope I don’t do something like that.  They may not even realize it.

There were things that annoyed me in Ratha’s Creature, more having to do with Bonechewer’s statements about Thistle Chaser and her brothers, the savage little killers, but I’m open to seeing those statements explained in the other books.

(Oh yeah, I’ve found that if you pretend like the owls in Guardians of Ga’hoole are gryphons, the story seems to make more sense. 😉 )