Titles! So long!
I actually finished this book last night and then fell asleep at my computer again...
Anyway, since I talked about my history with the series last time I'll just launch right into it.
William Joyce does another wonderful job of weaving the mythology that the reader knows into the story and the characters that he's created. Bunnymund and his chocolate and how eggs are the perfect shape. But in this story he's the last of the Pookas.
This installment of the Guardians series was somewhat lighter than the last. I'm not really sure it was intended to be, seeing as how we almost lost Nightlight (which upset me greatly) and Katherine was taken for a brief period and Nicholas was almost killed. But our new friend Bunnymund has such a lightness to him. He reminds me of Dumbledore in his lightest, funniest moments. I mean, even the scene of him going off to battle is accompanied with a drawing of him all bristled out like a brush and his ears being used as propellers. He's so ridiculous in the best way possible.
I mean, he created the continents out of the extra dirt from when he had to trim the Earth down because it was egg shaped and would spin off into the sun. He is obsessed with making chocolate but doesn't generally eat any of it. He is spurned into action because Pitch and the fearlings don't like chocolate or eggs! I just love him.
But he did make this story significantly lighter.
We're stilling mostly following North, Ombric, and Katherine this time around. There are some flashes back to Santoff Claussen and to Pitch, and, of course, Bunnymund. Ombric has traveled back in time to see how Pitch became the dark creature he is now. We discover that Pitch had a daughter and the fearlings tricked him by using her voice. In that flashback we feel for Pitch and his torment.
It's this book where we really see Katherine begin to transform. This is becoming more her story. She gets Kailash, the giant baby snow goose, and begins writing tales. Katherine is becoming Mother Goose. I feel like now that Joyce introduced the story, he's letting the characters take reign. And it's definitely working out in his favor. The transition feels natural.
The story seems to be going in the direction of humanizing Pitch rather than defeating him. When he grabs Nightlight to turn him into a darkling his hand becomes human. I think this gives the story a natural end ( hopefully...not that I'll complain about more William Joyce) and fits with the themes and tone set up by Joyce. There is so much hope in this series to just kill Pitch off, especially after humanizing him, would ruin that.
I am interested in seeing how it continues. Katherine's transformation, the establishment of the Guardians as the figures we know them to be, the battle with Pitch, and the tone and shift of the story. So far Joyce has a subtle and wonderful tale on his hands.
I give E. Aster Bunnymund and The Warrior Eggs At Earth's Core a rating of: Epic.
It's such a fun book and I love Bunnymund but I did miss some of the darkness from the first one.
Next I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Maureen Johnson's The Madness Underneath and I'm so excited to read it!