Rating: High Five
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of Erin Hunter, and Percy Jackson, Cornelia Funke.
Synopsis (From Amazon):
Peace has come to Pyrrhia . . . for now.
The war between the tribes is finally over, and now the dragonets of the prophecy have a plan for lasting peace: Jade Mountain Academy, a school that will gather dragonets from all the tribes and teach them to live together, perhaps even as friends.
Moonwatcher isn’t sure how she feels about school, however. Hidden in the rainforest for most of her life, the young NightWing has an awful secret. She can read minds, and even see the future. Living in a cave with dozens of other dragons is noisy, exhausting--and dangerous.
In just a few days, Moon finds herself overwhelmed by her secret powers and bombarded by strange thoughts, including those of a mysterious dragon who might be a terrible enemy. And when someone starts attacking dragons within the academy, Moon has a choice to make: Stay hidden and safe? Or risk everything to save her new friends?
Moonwatcher (aka Moon) is an amazing character - everything was spot on and fit her perfectly. Quiet, intrigued, curious, wary, friendly - so many things rolled into one, yet they all came together to make Moon, Moon. Winter, Qibli, and Carnelian fascinated me. Plus, it was really interesting seeing Moon's perspective on their thoughts, and how she reacts to them in their sort-of friendship. Kinkajou, as always, was awesome :), as were all the other old characters.
I can't go on enough about this writing - easy, speculative, more in the back of your mind so that you focus on the story, making this book devoid of dullness. Sutherland does a very good job of making me want to know more - the mystery is always something I look forward to in this series. The author eases you into it, giving away little clues at a time until you realize what happened, either a split second before or after the characters in the book. Either way, this technique makes you cheer for Moon and her friends during the fire/explosion scene (also with the Icicle scene and Starflight).
Of course, I HAVE to add in a part about Darkstalker. DARKSTALKER. Ugh! I can't tell what's up with him - why are you doing this to me, Tui T. Sutherland? The worst part is that Darkstalker isn't in the book that much in Winter Turning, leaving us on a sort-of cliffhanger. At times, Darkstalker seems kind, funny - similar to Deathbringer - but others, you can tell he's lying to Moon. He seems manipulative, yet at the same time, caring - but then you wonder, is he just caring about Moon because she's the only one that can free him?
Overall, I just love this series, and can't wait to read more!