Silverwing: It's Not Just a Kids' Book

Looking for a gift for the children this holiday season without splurging on the sleek new PSP Go? Do you want to get your kids into reading without intimidating them with those insanely thick Harry Potter books? Are your lasses and lads animal-lovers with an affinity for a tad of biology?

Then a little book known as Silverwing just might be what you?'re looking for. It?'s got bats, owls and many other great creatures with a superb back-story to boot. Even though it has been a best-seller since its initial publication in 1997; it still doesn?'t seem to have the recognition it deserves. Kenneth Oppel?'s work in the novel creates both a moody and stimulating atmosphere and makes for quite the exciting and unique adventure.

Silverwing utilizes many facts about bats and their colonies and hybridizes it with detailed fantasy elements. Almost making the reader know first hands what it feels like to fly and echo-locate.

The book (which spawned a 13-episode TV Series of the same name) revolves around the journey of a young runt bat named Shade. The protagonist is barely out of his mother?'s womb when he rebels against his colony?'s law banning any bat to see sunlight. After the colony bully, Chinook, decides to physically out-do him, Shade attempts to one-up him by testing his bravery by breaking the Silverwings?' oldest regulation. He wants to see if Chinook has what it takes to glimpse at the fiery orange ball called the sun.

Whilst Shade does get a glimpse after his so-called peer bails out; things only get worse as owls burn down their nursery, Tree Haven. Prior to which, Shade learns of an ancient battle between the birds and the beasts. Since bats basically belonged to both sides, yet neither, they refused to participate in the war whatsoever which consequently banned them from seeing the sun forever.

However there is a glimmer of hope for Shade and his ambition for bats to reclaim the right to see the sun. The bat goddess Nocturna and her promise for the flying mammals to be able to fly in daylight once again. Another issue Shade is dealing with is the life-long absence of his father, Cassiel. Who was believed to have been killed at some point.

After being separated from his colony in a storm as they migrated toward their winter roost, Hibernaculum; Shade finds himself on an island where he meets a Brightwing bat named Marina. Soon acquainted to some small degree, Marina agrees to help Shade reunite with his colony. Their quest takes them to a large city where inside a cathedral a much older bat named Zephyr reassure?'s Shade?'s hunch that his father is indeed alive.

While in the city, two very large Vampire Bats escape from a terrarium close by. One of the large menaces is the story?'s antagonist, Goth. Who is the prince of his colony from the jungle; the Vampyrum Spectrum. The other bat is named Throbb and together these cannibals are capable of eating birds like pigeons and even owls. Goth, in fact, kills an owl to protect Shade.

That?'s just a small little bit of what the fantastic story Silverwing tells; it is definitely a book worth checking out. If you like it, check out the other three novels in the series.

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