“Unnaturals: The Battle Begins” by Devon Hughes, illustrated by Owen Richardson, is the story of a dog named Castor. Castor is a German Shepherd who is a stray and has never lived in a human home. He is part of a pack on the streets of a city called Lion’s Head. One day, he is captured by humans and is transported to the unnatural’s headquarters. This is a scary place where they take animals from the streets and make them a hybrid (a.k.a. unnatural) of many creatures that are forced to fight.
I would recommend this book for ages 8-14. If I had to rate this book on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10 because the author includes so many details on the expressions and emotions of the characters in the book. He also describes in detail their appearance and the locations. It actually feels as though you are part of the movie, tagging right alongside of the animals experiencing the adventure yourself. I felt very empathetic for the creatures, and I felt frustrated with the humans. I felt mad and empathetic most of the time.
There is a black and white illustration at the beginning of every chapter and in the important parts of the book. The illustrator, Owen Richardson, did a marvelous job with the details of the drawings. It was interesting to see how differently the illustrator’s drawings looked compared to the vision of the creatures that I had in my mind. It has 353 pages.