Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

Warriors into the wild

Genre: Animal Adventures – Fantasy (Daydreams about what animals do when humans aren’t looking)

Basic Summary: A cat with all his functioning parts goes off into the forest to become a gangster.

Rating: 3/5

Warnings: Mentions of cats and kittens dying. Just sayin’.


I’ll admit, I’ve been curious about this set of books for a while now. When I was younger, I loved books like these. The thought of animals being pretty much humans was more enjoyable for me at the age of ten. Hell, sometimes it still has a certain novelty.

This book follows a pet cat (kittypet) who goes into the woods to avoid The Vet. He meets up with cats who are feral (Clan Cats). He joins the Thunderclan! There are four clans in all and it’s pretty much a book about resource management and what happens when one Clan gets greedy. It’s human politics in fuzzy form.

Overall, the story is a hero’s arc and you can tell what part of the journey the hero is on by his name changes. Rusty turns into Firepaw who turns into Fireheart. It’s not a bad arc to go with.

The author gives each of her characters their own personalities. This first of a series also has several plots that run through it which is great for a multi-book series. Even if I didn’t already know there were MANY books in the Warriors saga, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out.  All the plots are easy to follow and it doesn’t feel convoluted. The simple language of the group, which was very expected given the target age, made this a quick read.

There are some inconsistencies which aren’t just present in this book but are present in books that are similar. For example, the cats will still have names like foxes, badgers, and rats but they’ll call humans Twolegs. This would only make sense to me if all the other animals could speak to one another. However, as far as this novel goes, there isn’t any evidence towards all the others being able to do so.

Adult me found this book interesting and quick. I’ll probably check out the other books from the library to see where it goes. Kid me would have LOVED THIS AND BOUGHT ALL THE BOOKS.



Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Genre: Sci-fi with animal side kicks and modifications for all.

Basic Summary: Planet once used for pleasure is now a kind of nightmare. At least, some of it is a nightmare, some of it is on fire, and this one dude wants to go home early from his sleepover.

Rating: 4.5/5

Warnings: Mentions of rape and slavery. It’s not graphic in the sense there was a scene with it (there are none) but a character who tells the main characters her story of escaping being held prisoner mentions it and there are other such mentions later on.


The story, from Griffin crashing on the planet Artemis to the rescue mission that follows, is paced evenly. There’s not a time I thought “This is moving FAR TOO SLOW!” nor was there an instance I had to reread several paragraphs to find out how we went from point A to F.

The background information is provided, a lot of times, through dialogue. If this is something that makes you go “Really? REALLY!?” then be forewarned. However, if you are like myself, it provides a nice sense of fantasy into this sci-fi story. Reminds you of tavern owners and bards telling the history of whatever place they’re in. Also on the topic of background information, I wouldn’t mind a whole novel which takes place before or during the fall of the seegnur.

There is a love triangle where Adara has (kinda) two suitors in Griffin and Terrell. However, I laughed at how it was handled – not in a bad way. Rather, whenever Terrell would mention if Adara had made a decision between him and Griffin, her response pretty much translated to “Don’t know. A little busy at the moment!”

The main antagonist isn’t all that interesting. He’s a punk who sees people as objects and tools to get what he wants. A little cardboard but, personally, sometimes it’s nice not having a charming villain. He’s actually the reason for the -.5.

Overall, I liked this novel and can’t wait to read the next one. I do wonder if there is going to be a third in the series. The second book came out in 2015. I suppose we’ll see!


Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

Genre: Post-apocalyptic western with mystery

Basic Summary: Enid with BFF Tomas, investigators, are called upon to see if a man was murdered or whether it was an accident. (You can probably guess where that’s going.)

Rating: 4.25/5


This is a rather short book, in my experience and opinion, for a post-apocalyptic setting at 274 pages.

Bannerless, set in a post-modern world where everyone goes back to simple farming and trading and you gotta prove you can care for a child before attempting to have one, isn’t deep in the details. If you’re someone who likes CHAPTERS UPON CHAPTERS of backstory, then this may not be the novel for you. I like how Carrie Vaughn entwines the world building within the story. You get the important bits as the plot goes along.

Enid is the central character and you get to learn a lot about her including flashbacks to a key point in her life where she makes decisions about her future.  Some of the more background characters aren’t given as much fleshing out as I wished but, once again, they weren’t key characters (like the guy whose death they go to investigate).

There is a bit of mystery such as who is the murderer and why they did the deed.  However, I wasn’t the least bit surprised by the end as far as who did it. There was a bit of “political intrigue” (as much political intrigue you can get with a three person ‘city’ council.) For me, I don’t mind when the mystery isn’t a true mystery. I think it worked for the story.

Overall, the reason why this didn’t get a 5 star out of me is more a personal preference reason. I got a bit thrown off that the novel is based on this world and not off an imaginary one. As stated, it’s not anything bad that the author did. Carrie Vaughn made the novel’s world and it’s her playground. It’s simply a personal preference for me and took me out of the story just a bit.

Loved the book. I bought the second book, The Wild Dead, and can’t wait to read it.

Currently Reading:

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan



Welcome to The Return Cart!


The Return Cart is a place where I’ll be posting book reviews. Expect an eclectic variety of literature. When the podcast is up and running (which should be in a few weeks), there will also be posts in regards to its contents and news.

I’m also on Tumblr and Twitter under the username: lostinabookbrb

It’s my hope to have plentiful conversations with all the wonderful people who share the same love I do: reading.


Thank you,