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Sunwing: Reviews

Elizabeth MacCallum, The National Post
“Sunwing will keep young readers glued to the page. Right and wrong, breathtaking struggles, good and bad, lovable little creatures and dastardly big bullies were all there. The prose and the multi-layered plot flow with natural ease. Oppel is master of his words. He writes nuanced economic prose that is wholly effective. He has been evoking tunnels and underground passages and filthy polluted water for years, so Sunwing’s burrowing rats in decaying Aztec ruins and crawling bats in muck-ridden dripping sewers are handled with precisely the right words to induce fear. Oppel is a beautiful writer who carries us through his wide world with eclectic energy, wisdom and whimsy.”

Sarah Ellis, Quill & Quire
“In Sunwing Oppel admirably fulfils his promise of a sequel. The pace is hectic, the villains are dastardly, and the narrative style is that of a series of extremely visual scenes. By book’s end, in a tour-de-force of clever plotting, all is resolved. This book is a natural for the on-screen generation.”

Susan Perren, The Globe & Mail
“Oppel’s skill as a writer is such that, short of developing furry wings and bat sonar, the reader begins to see and experience the world as a bat would, and arrives at a point when she or he cares deeply whether Shade Silverwing and his cohorts live or die… a wonderful story.”

Kirkus Review
“Filled with high adventure… criss-crossing plotlines keep the story hopping while excellent characterizations make the anthropomorphizing believable.”

Val Ross, The Globe & Mail
“Perhaps Oppel’s secret is that he doesn’t write down to children, but shares with them the matters that have troubled him since he was their age… Shade is one of the most plausible non-human narrators ever imagined.”

The Toronto Star
"This breathless, special-effects laden adventure will hold its readers, and not just because of its exciting variety. Shade has problems all kids deal with – insecurity, jealousy, desire – here expressed with schoolboy verve.”

"Action packed and suspenseful, this continuing adventure can be read on its own, but will appeal most to those fantasy fans who enjoyed the detailed bat world of Silverwing.”

Quill&Quire’s Best Kids Books of ’99, #1 Fiction Pick
“Oppel’s thrilling saga of a young bat’s journey to find his long-lost father was the first or second pick of most of our panelists. “Great story. More depth than Harry Potter,” says Judy Sarick, co-owner of the Children’s Book Store in Toronto. “A natural for the on-screen generation,” wrote Sarah Ellis in Q&Q. “The pace is hectic, the villains are dastardly, and the narrative style is that of a series of extremely visual scenes. Oppel has floated free of the conventions of the realistic animal story and invented something new.”

The Horn Book Magazine
“As in Brian Jacques’ popular Redwall series, the intertwining story lines, evil villain, and intense action will keep young readers enthralled, but Shade is a more complex character than most Redwallian heroes. The other bats characters are also well drawn, particularly Shade’s female sidekick, Marina, and even the sinister jungle bat – horrible as he is – has a strong reason for his villainy. Shade’s dangerous adventures make a memorable impact.”

School Library Journal
“While the natural behaviour of bats is realistic, Oppel goes much further to develop a history, folklore, philosophy, and quest for the characters in the story, complete with heroes, villains, and a satisfying conclusion that leaves the world a better place for all concerned.”

Michael Thorn, Literary Review (UK)
“There are fantasy sequences capable of captivating both children and adults, and one of the newest is by Kenneth Oppel…. This truly spellbinding sequel combines breathtaking suspense with humorous character development (Shade becomes jealous of Chinook, a handsome hunk of a bat who courts Marina), thought-provoking science (humans trap the bats, tag them with explosive devices and turn them into bat-propelled missiles), and meditations on mythology and religion (the vampire bats have their home under an Aztec pyramid).”


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