An attack on the feral residents of Ankle Snap Alley prompts further heroism and cleverness from resourceful young raccoon Kit, first met in series opener The Wild Ones (2015).
When a coyote grifter and his band of rough otters seize both hostages and the alley’s winter seed stores, it looks like curtains for the ragtag community. But, inspired by stories he hears of the legendary, protective Moonlight Brigade, Kit resolves to strike back with an elaborate con. Pulling it off, though, is going to require not only further tricking Flealess (i.e., house pet) arch rival Titus into a ritual Dog’s Duel, but—perhaps more difficult for the proudly self-reliant raccoon—coming to terms with the necessity of enlisting help. Characters and setting fleshed out in the 2015 opener are only sketched in here, as London crafts a plot in which events are treated as opportunities to explore themes of loyalty, friendship, understanding other (animal) cultures, and the power of collective action. So, once Kit comes truly to understand his new school’s motto, “All of One Paw,” the triumph to which he ultimately leads a motley array of allies (“I’m not a hero,” he tells them, “but we can be”) seems almost incidental to his personal progress.
Although values clearly steer the plot of this sequel, they don’t drive it into the ground. (Fantasy. 11-13)