Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Summary: Young panther Mez knows she is different from the rest of her family. Unable to sleep during the day, she eventually sneaks out of her cave, triggering a series of events that lead to her family’s discovery of her as a daywalker. This revelation makes her too dangerous to stay with the family, and she is cast out. She is rescued by Auriel, a huge boa constrictor, who tells her that her birth during an eclipse has given her unusual powers. Auriel is traveling through the magical rainforest of Caldera, collecting other eclipse-born animals who have been giving the task of defeating the evil Ant Queen, who is about to emerge from a long period of dormancy. The animals gather at the stone ziggurat, where billions of ants are preparing for their Queen’s arrival. Danger and betrayal await them as they try to discover their magical powers and save Caldera. The enemy is temporarily defeated at the end of the story, but danger still lurks. The animals go their separate ways, agreeing to gather information and reunite in a year’s time. Includes a lengthy Q & A with the author about his adventures in the rainforest. 357 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: Packed with adventure and interesting, funny characters, this book will appeal to fans of animal fantasy like Warriors and Guardians of Ga’hoole. This is the first book in a planned series in which each installment is from the point of view of a different eclipse-born animal.
Cons: There were a lot of characters to keep track of, including some unusual animal species that I wasn’t familiar with.