Owlflight shares their opinions about AVOS. Obvious spoilers ahead!
So last year when I read Shattered Sky I had high hopes. And they were shattered, like the sky in this kind of unrelated joke about the kind of unrelated title. I stopped reading the series there because at the time this was the list of future books confirmed for release: books four, five, six, and… Really… Tigerheart gets his own super edition? AARGH! The only thing I was really happy about with Shattered Sky was that my fan theory on Violetpaw and Twigpaw’s parents was confirmed! I was one of the few people who guessed Puddleshine and Hawkwing! But they did make it kind of obvious. They release books 2 and Hawkwing’s Journey at around the same time, where V and T ponder over their parents and SkyClan while Hawkwing nearly has kits but then disaster strikes ten minutes before the birth. Hmm. But some of the theories were so out there… And the confirmation of my theory was not well executed.
Anyway, I touched on this in one of my other articles, but A Vision of Shadows is in my opinion, THE WORST WARRIORS ARC SINCE OMEN OF THE STARS, POSSIBLY OF ALL TIME. But unlike Omen of the Stars or Power of Three, what makes it bad isn’t the dumb characters or the four or five book plot that had to be extended into 12 books for reasons beyond me. Instead it’s a nonsensical story, characters with mood swings so sudden it would make a girl in eternal puberty blush, weird structuring, underwhelming plots, and a lot of disconnected scenes that screw with other scenes or don’t make sense. While if you took a lone scene from any of these books, it may seem like it’s from the first two series, and I have to admit the only boring book in the series that I’ve read is book two, the series is a MESS. Also, just because it has less one dimensional or stupid/cheesy/boring characters doesn’t mean there aren’t any. And this is a huge annoyance to me because some of the main characters are like this instead of it just being limited to side characters and antagonists! Lastly, it seems like all of the conflicts and such are either trying to be really dark and failing or they’re such a huge stretch I can’t even take them seriously. I’m now going to analyse each book so spoiler warning.
The first book is probably the best, and that is honestly very sad for me, because this book feels like a 300 page prologue. Not only does it introduce our other protagonists as a sort of afterthought, pay too much attention developing characters that either don’t matter or completely un-develop just scenes later. I’m looking at Needletail. Still, it does it’s job fine, and Alderpaw doesn’t get grating until about 200 pages in, so I guess that’s good. Also it isn’t trying to be dark in the way books 2 and 3 try. It’s still dark in the normal warriors way of being genuinely frightening, angering, or depressing, and isn’t really dealing with psycho Needletail yet. And I did like some of the character moments, because it still felt like it was part of the comeback that was Dawn Of The Clans.
And then we reach book two, where it really falls downhill and I basically lost interest. So Darktail came up to the clans in about a quarter the time it actually takes (must be related to Sol!) and then hid. Needletail, even though she saw how evil Darktail was literally about four moons ago in the timeline thinks “Let’s go be evil with Darktail and watch as he develops a crush on Violetkit that’s as horrifying as Thistleclaw and Spottedleaf” and eventually leads to the downfall of her Clan. Violetkit kind of hangs around the villainous cats but doesn’t really do anything except yell at her sister twice. Also they played near the beginning, so that was cute. This book has serious issues, like the fact that it repeats scenes, has awful structuring, the characters are unrecognizable, and the protagonists are all pretty much bystanders! But at least the plot it set up was quite interesting, and surely they could redeem the book by having a good follow-up-
NOPE! They repeated the pattern of either cramming too much or too little into a book. Can we have a series with consistent pacing please? This time, too much is crammed in. Darktail now owns ShadowClan, but nobody really cares. All the clans have to unite but surprise, a Clan is missing, even though in the past we’ve had multiple prophecies telling the Clans to unite, it happens in almost every series at some point or another. So Twigpaw sets out to find her dad in an emotonal crisis, and then three seconds later is like, ‘yeah, I’m chill but my end goal is my dad, maybe,’ and then randomly back to emotional crisis mode. Also she gets run over but it seems to mostly be a way to input filler and end the chapter, as it ends up not having any significance. This is where Twigpaw is the most useful. The book also contains a lot of the following in the first half: Characters being depressed and mopey. Violetpaw deciding that Darktail is a bit creepy. Violetpaw watching and thinking but doing nothing, like usual. Alderpaw not contributing to the plot because he was really only needed for the first book. Needletail’s extremely random mood swings. The second half gets a bit more interesting, as Violetpaw starts double-crossing and Twigpaw goes out to find her dad, and Alderpaw’s chapters get a little bit less grating, useless, and annoying, except now he’s grieving and worried that the superclan is too much. so his character is still hard to read about. Darktail is still getting stronger, even though he’s only got 1/50 the cats of ShadowThunderRiverClan and 1/20 the fighting skill. But who cares about logic, he has a prophecy on his side! Twigpaw finds SkyClan in about the most underwhelming way possible. Violetpaw is still doing what she has been. Alderpaw’s chapters are now petty as well. And then the climax whacks us in the face with a twist that nobody expected or really wanted, a climax so generic yet nonsensical it will make MLP blush, Onestar being Onestar, and a really easy fight scene that would be the exact same without WindClan and possibly SkyClan because you overpower Darktail by about 250%. I recognize Firestar’s gone and this means everyone is depressed and not doing their work and their clans are falling apart and everyone hates Firestar- but that’s about the least likely reaction after a greatly valued person’s death.
In conclusion, scene to scene is very jumpy, the characters aren’t likeable, do nothing, and change so fast you could blink and miss it if it was a visual and not a book. It doesn’t properly capture the dark fantasy alter civilization that is literally the foundation of warriors, and therefore bends the rules and messes up the characters.
Well that was longer than anticipated! I don’t think the series is all bad and I know this is one of the more well-recieved series, so please tell me in the comments what I don’t see that you do. Also, these are OPINIONS so don’t be mean in the comments. You can share your own and for this one, please do in the comments.