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Warriors: Warrior's Refuge

by Dan Jolley and James L. Barry

Publisher: Tokyopop

Format: Softcover, 5x7, black & white, $6.99

ISBN: 978-0-06-125231-0

Reviewed by: School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up
Erin Hunter's "Warriors" series (HarperCollins) gets a manga-style treatment in this addition to the series. What makes it different from other prose-to-comics adaptations is that it isn't a straight translation but rather an entirely new story line that expands on the prose novels rather than merely supplementing them. Tough and wise Graystripe has befriended the now-liberated Millie and the two are searching for Graystripe's old allies, the ThunderClan. After braving a highway and escaping some monstrous farm machinery, the felines take refuge in a barn, only to find other cats already living there. The current residents are wary of them, as the situation is tense. The owners have no love for cats and their dogs make the barn dwellers virtual prisoners. Predictably, Graystripe and Millie win over both the humans and cats, but the resolution is actually the book's high point: through Millie's bravery, readers discover that the dogs aren't cruel–they just like to chase cats. The artwork is merely competent and the story (which was not written by Hunter) is slight, but fans of the novels and cat stories in general will be drawn to it. While the majority of the lettering is done in the standard comics all-caps style, whenever humans are speaking the font becomes scratchy and aggressive. While this appears to be a deliberate choice to accentuate the humans' villain role, it is retained even after they befriend the cats, and is especially odd when a toddler is speaking. –Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada