The only other place I’ve ever been happy.

It’s incredibly obvious that Erin Hunter’s Into the Woods, the first in the Tigerstar and Sasha manga series was written well after the original novels. It’s also worth noting that this book has an entirely different writer, Dan Jolley. And he doesn’t exactly fit in with the seven authors who write under the penname Erin Hunter. As exciting as it was to delve into the world of the Warriors manga, there are some serious continuity issues with this first book.

Sasha’s Journey

Into the Woods follows a housecat, Sasha, who escapes into the wood when one of her elderly housefolk dies and the other is sent to live in a nursing home where Sasha would not be allowed. She soon happens upon Tigerstar, who leads Shadowclan. He teaches her the ways of the forest and the clan cats who live there. And it isn’t long until Sasha finds herself falling for the powerful cat.

But she doesn’t know everything about Tigerstar and his past. Unfortunately, Sasha’s entirely unprepared for the truth of his treachery and thirst for power.

A Catmance and Continuity issues

Honestly, Sasha’s story with Tigerstar is cute. It’s a wonderful story to follow and I loved seeing cats I’d already read about illustrated for me. However, the story runs into a lot of problems when you consider what you know of the series as a whole. And that’s not even considering how confusing it is for new readers unfamiliar with the rest of the series.

You see, Tigerstar doesn’t show a lot of his power-hungry feelings to Sasha. In fact, without prior knowledge of his villainy, he’s just a bland cat who protects Sasha and freaks out once he finds out she’s originally from a “twoleg” home. Sure, he saves her when the foxes attack. But does that really justify his utter hatred of where she comes from? Unfortunately, new readers can chock this up a character flaw that he could grow from. Thus, Sasha later finding out the truth definitely would feel like it comes out of left field.

I also find it thoroughly unlikely that he’d stay attached to a cat he supposedly fell for after learning she’s a “kittypet.” Knowing Tigerstar from the prior books, it’s very difficult to accept that he’d look past her kittypet heritage. Thus, it seems rather uncharacteristic of him that he continues to spend time with her once he finds out. Frankly, I think he’d be much more likley to simply abandon her.

Continuity Continued

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only continuity issue we run into. In addition, readers are also introduced to a vague understanding of who Firestar is in this novel. But, if we’re operating on the true timeline of this graphic novel–namely, before Tigerstar sets a pack of dogs on Thunderclan–then Firestar would still be Fireheart. Bluestar was still leading Thunderclan prior to the dog attack.

As a result, the big reveal to Sasha regarding Tigerclaw comes off more irritating than emotional. I found it difficult to care about the moment because I was too annoyed that the timeline wasn’t matching. And, in general, this is a pretty good book. But those continuity problems? Man, did they really bring it down.

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