Book Review: The Raging Storm

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ShadowClan has returned under the leadership of a new Tigerstar, but their renewed strength has brought the tensions around the lake to an explosive breaking point. SkyClan’s place among the Clans is about to be decided once and for all.

-takes deep breath-

I had moderate hopes for this book. Series three was really bad, but the last book made everything worth it for me. I was hoping something similar would happen with this series. Maybe God was telling me not to read it when months passed and I still had zero drive to pick it up.

I DNFed it with 40 pages left. I have never DNFed a Warriors book. I have read, literally, every Warriors book out until this one. I’m a die-hard fan. I put up with crappy books and unlikeable characters because of good plots or good characters. There was always something to hold on to. This book–this series–has nothing.

I still can’t fully figure out what the point of it was other than bringing SkyClan home? It was a bloody soap opera the entire time afterwards. ShadowClan gets demoted to villain status for the entire series because, for whatever reason the authors can’t think of any other clan to make into the villains. ThunderClan is in everyone’s business to the point that it’s so bossy. They are literally America with every country that’s “below” America’s standard. ThunderClan thinks they have a right to step into every situation and solve problems or boss people around and no one wants it. Firestar did that because that’s who he was. Not the whole clan. Half the clan never liked it when he did that, and the other half begrudgingly went along with it. Like three people were okay with Firestar wanting to fix everything. He’s gone. Why are they still doing this?

Every clan is petty in this except WindClan who has been shoved to the side after the fiasco that was Onestar’s arc (still the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read). RiverClan wants to push itself away from everyone while also being a part of the warrior society. Not sure how that works, but OK. ShadowClan is bad because, uh, uh, they’ve always been the villains, so they gotta be the villains again, right? K. ThunderClan is nosy. SkyClan wants a break. Everyone is arguing or fighting over what each clan needs to do or not do or what SkyClan will do, but instead of doing anything, they all shrug it off and leave SkyClan to fend for themselves, which Leafstar points out as the reason why they leave. Leafstar gets it–the writers don’t care about anyone but ThunderClan, so might as well go back to the Gorge.

Also, what’s with every single character having the same voice? No one is unique in this. Jayfeather wasn’t snarky and grumpy. He sounded like Alderheart who is supposed to have anxiety. They both sounded like every other clan cat in this book. No one has a unique voice/character at all.

Now, I was prepared to let that slide and simply read this book to the end and let it go. Have a nice bonvoyage to Warriors and agree that the series is past it’s prime. But the authors HAD to have the Finleap/Twigbranch thing. This. Was. Not. OK. Finleap spends the entire book being depressed because Twigbranch doesn’t want to have kits, which she is totally allowed to say and feel, but he tells her that because she said she wants to wait, she doesn’t love him. He guilts her, tries to manipulate her emotions by saying “I thought you loved me enough to have my kits,” and blames their failing relationship ON TWIGBRANCH. He takes zero responsibility for his own actions/speech and places it all on her. To top that off, later on, Tree tells Twigbranch that maybe she should just do what Finleap says because “queens only stay in the nursery until their kits are weened.” THAT IS NOT THE POINT. It is NEVER okay in a relationship for one side to attempt to force the other person to do something they don’t feel comfortable with. The fact that this was put in a children’s book further frustrates and confuses me because why does a child need to read about this? And who in their right mind thinks it’s OK to put a toxic relationship like this in a KID’S book?

I would say we can talk about the plot, but there was none. This was a soap opera, plain and simple. ShadowClan and SkyClan spent the entire book pointing paws at one another and complaining and everyone else milled around looking confused and saying “What can I do? It’s not my problem.” Let me remind you that enough of the cats that took the trip from the Old Forest through the mountains and fought against the Dark Forest in a united clan are still alive. These people know how to work together. They shouldn’t just suddenly “forget” how to do it or even be too lazy to step in when they know something is wrong.

I’m mad, OK? And I’m done. This series should have ended after Omen of the Stars. That wrapped up the prophecy from Skywatcher, finished the issues with the Dark Forest, and had a giant grand finale. It was epic, it was sad. I cried. The Raging Storm doesn’t even carry a fraction of that. It feels like a filler book with no purpose except to fill space for books 5 or 6. The problem is, this IS book 6. The next series is about SkyClan, and I’m not bothering. Obviously no one cares enough to write stories of quality and heart like the first series, so I’m not going to keep spending my money, time, and energy to read to read these newer books.

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