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Firewing [Paperback]

Kenneth Oppel
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 18 2002
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.


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From Amazon

Goth, the monstrous cannibal bat who plotted to kill the sun, may have been blown to bits at the end of Kenneth Oppel's Sunwing. But this doesn't stop Oppel from including his arch-villain in yet another electrifying sequel to the bat saga he began in 1997 with Silverwing. The most fantastical by far of the three books, Firewing takes its readers on a breathtaking journey into a bat underworld ruled by Cama Zotz and his dreaded Vampyrum Spectrum. While cosmology has always hung in the background of Oppel's bat novels, in Firewing the struggle between the sun god Nocturna and her dark twin Zotz finally comes to the fore. Oppel also introduces a new hero in Griffin, the "newborn" of Shade Silverwing and his mate, Marina.

As this visually thrilling tour-de-force opens, Griffin has been sucked down into the underworld through a suspicious fissure in the earth's crust. Pursued by his father, Shade, but also by the dead Goth who wants to steal his life force, Griffin makes his way over a bizarre landscape to a fiery tree planted by Nocturna. Naturally, he meets a host of memorable characters on his journey, including a giant bat with the face of a fox and Luna, a newly dead silverwing from his own colony, who ends up playing Marina to Griffin's Shade.

Oppel's underworld is a smoke-and-mirrors purgatory where dead bats are tricked into believing they are still alive and where the enlightened "Pilgrims," who seek passage to Nocturna's better afterlife, are despised as radicals. Drawing on ideas from Christianity, Buddhism, and other religions, Oppel constructs an intellectually stimulating fantasy world that will captivate readers as young as eight. --Lisa Alward

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-With this sequel to Silverwing (1997) and Sunwing (2000, both S & S), Oppel begins a second cycle in his bat-centered, metaphysical fantasy, rearing up a new generation of good guys to face the older one's villains. Regarding himself as a more cautious sort than his famous father Shade, young Griffin tends to gabble his way through difficulties: "All right? What we have here is a cave-in kind of situation. Perfectly straightforward." Plunged into a barren, starlit Underworld created by Mayan bat-god Cama Zotz, however, Griffin finds plenty of opportunities for heroism. A rare living bat in a land otherwise populated entirely by the dead, he picks up a plucky sidekick, Luna, then joins a motley band of "Pilgrims" journeying to a fiery place of promised rebirth created by Nocturna, rival Goddess of Life. Bent on rescuing his son, Shade follows, but ranged against them are not only the god of death, who has designs on Nocturna's realm, but also Shade's old nemesis Goth, a ferociously predatory bat killed (temporarily, as it turns out) in a previous episode. Plenty of rousing action; special effects on a grand scale; a leavening of humor as well as stimulating thoughts on the nature of life, death, the afterlife, loyalty, courage, honesty, and other essential topics more than compensate for iffy internal logic.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but weakest in series March 2 2010
By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
To be honest, this is the only book so far in this series I have not really enjoyed. Maybe it is a little too dark, or maybe it was just the story, but either way, of the four books in this series, this is the only one I am not likely to read again. Shade, our hero from the first two books, has now grown and become a father himself. After an earthquake, his son Griffin is drawn into an underground world through a fissure that has opened up. Shade realizes that the legends say, if a living being enters the underworld realm of the dead and does not escape quickly, its life will be lost. Shade is frantically searching for his son and soon realizes an old enemy is also in the underworld.

Oppel again uses mythology and legends and weaves a story of bats around them. It does fit with the other books in the series, I just happened to not enjoy it as much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! - You'll never forget this book! Dec 30 2003
Format:Paperback
Kenneth Oppel does it again! If you have read any of the other books with Shade in them you'll know how amazing the books are. The powerful words and the unique style of writing kept me attentive to the very end! A must have for anyone who just loves a good book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Firewing Nov. 3 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Firewing by David Oppel is a great book there is nonstop action and has a very exitingplot. This is a story has love and adventure and the consequences of a lifetime. When a young bat is sucked into the underworld he has to make decisions of who and who not to trust. He is faced with grueling tasks and long journeys so he can escape with his life. The characters a so exiting Griffin, a young bat that is not very brave and thinks way to much. Luna, is brave, daring, strong, and does not think at all before she plunges into any wild ideas she comes up with. Shade is Griffins father who is like Luna a lot but he is very famous and is known all over the forest. This is a book that will really keep you on the edge of your set. It has a lot of adventure that will entertain you even if you hate toread. The author has also written these must reads Silverwing and Sunwing. This book is intended for ages 10-15 it is pretty easy to read but is about 270 pages long.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN AWESOME BOOK Oct. 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
(...)
"He was still stunned when Goth struck, slamming him down to the floor, pinned him on his back." Kenneth Oppel countinues to please the fans with another action packed novel of "Firewing", the companion to Silverwing and Sunwing. Shade and Marina have a son named Griffen, and the generation of silverwing bats move on. When Griffen a silverwing gets sucked into the underworld, Shade his father, goes to recue him. With Goth sill in the picture, and cama-zotz trying to take over the upper world, the plots get confusing. But this book has such great detail it paints the images into your mind. This book is filled with wonderful suspence and action, Oppel makes this a "don't stop until you finish it" book. It dosen't matter if you don't like bats this book draws you in with it's description and cunning detail. If you haven't read any of this series, go out and start reading now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN AWESOME BOOK! Oct. 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"He was still stunned when Goth struck, slamming him down to the floor, pinned him on his back." Kenneth Oppel countinues to please the fans with another action packed novel of "Firewing", the companion to Silverwing and Sunwing. Shade and Marina have a son named Griffen, and the generation of silverwing bats move on. When Griffen a silverwing gets sucked into the underworld, Shade his father, goes to recue him. With Goth sill in the picture, and cama-zotz trying to take over the upper world, the plots get confusing. But this book has such great detail it paints the images into your mind. This book is filled with wonderful suspence and action, Oppel makes this a "don't stop until you finish it" book. It dosen't matter if you don't like bats this book draws you in with it's description and cunning detail. If you haven't read any of this series, go out and start reading now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review: Firewing Aug. 9 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This great book contains and interesting plot, in which a young bat named Griffin, half brightwing, half silverwing, journeys into the underworld. Anxiously he searches for an escape rout, at the same time, saving his friend Luna.
I liked to read this book, with the vivid detail and fascinating story. Clear pictures would form in my mind, clearing other thoughts and absorbing me inside the wonderful scenes. Not only does this book contian excitment, it also hooks the reader into the story, creating a fine story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Underworld of Zotz June 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Firewing is 1 of the best books EVER! (^_^) And will be 4 EVER! (^_^) It follows the same great story that Kenneth Oppal has made for the other 2 books in this great series (you're probably very mad at me for saying "IT IS THE BEST AND ALWAYS WILL BE", but that's what it is, so HA!), and both Goth (Don don daaa!) andShade comes back, but has a son and for the 2nd time, he doesn't like the whole 'Migrating thing', but his son falls into the underworld before the 'Migating thing' and his life gets out and saves his friend too. Over all, it is a book you can not put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book EVER! May 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
For The Big Read,most people probably voted for Harry Potter as the best book.But I voted for Firewing,cause its the best book in the history of the world!It is about a Silverwing bat called Griffin who is sucked into the Underworld and,and...its so terribly exciting that I can't tell you how good it is,it would give the game away!Kenneth Oppel,please write another one,please!I used to not like bats,but ever since I read that book,I've been absalutly batty about them!Everyone should read it!Now,enough talking,I'm going to potter off right now and read it!
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