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Literature / Seekers
aka: Seeker Bears

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Seekers is a series of books by Erin Hunter, author of the wildly popular Warrior Cats series, chronicling the lives of four bears as they journey across North America to the Place of Everlasting Ice in order to fulfill the vague command passed down to them by their ancestors, "Save the Wild." Like its predecessor, Seekers is a regular occupant of the bestseller list.

There are twelve books in the series, not counting the manga. There are also at least two more manga, Toklo's Story and Kallik's Adventure. The first six are:

  1. The Quest Begins
  2. The Great Bear Lake
  3. Smoke Mountain
  4. The Last Wilderness
  5. Fire in the Sky
  6. Spirits in the Stars

The final six-book arc called Return To The Wild is also completed. The traveling bears have finished their journey to the arctic and have completed their mission. Now they're on their way home, but the way back home is probably even tougher than their first journey.

  1. Island of Shadows
  2. The Melting Sea
  3. River of Lost Bears
  4. Forest of Wolves
  5. The Burning Horizon
  6. The Longest Day

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Lusa becomes this after going into the wild and meeting Toklo and Ujurak. Kallik also is this.
  • Advertising by Association: The series is advertised as "From the author of the #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series" right on the covers.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: At first, Ujurak forgets he's a bear when he's in another form. He finally figures out how to keep his memory in Fire in the Sky.
  • Always with You: At the end of Spirits in the Stars, Ujurak's ghost says he'll be with his friends every step of the way home.
  • Animal Religion:
    • Polar bears believe that the stars are pieces of sea ice. Each star contains the spirit of a polar bear. When a polar bear dies, their spirit sinks underneath the ice. In summer the spirits become freed from the ice and go up into the sky. When the sea ice begins to break apart violently due to global warming instead of melting peacefully as it normally does, Kallik wonders if bear spirits trapped in ice that shatters sink into the sea to swim with the fish instead.
    • Black bears believe spirits become trees.
    • Grizzly bears believe that spirits live in rivers, to eventually flow into the sea when no one remembers them anymore.
    • The bears display spiritual rituals. For example, they bury their dead. Black bears, brown bears, and white bears all travel to a Great Bear Lake for the Longest Day. It's a time of truce where black and brown bears call for the sun to return while white bears call for the sun to go away.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Chogan in Toklo's Story and Forest Of Wolves. He's also the Big Bear who drove Toklo and his family out of the forest.
  • The Atoner: Toklo. After Tobi's death in the first book, he allows Ujurak and later Lusa to follow him, as he feels guilty about having not taken better care of his brother. (However, Tobi probably would have died no matter what.)
  • Automobiles Are Alien: Cars are known as "firebeasts". Bears don't understand them much, though they know they "sleep" near human houses. Bears fear them because it's easy to get killed by firebeasts.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • Obviously averted, except for when a rival bear attacks.
    • Played straight with Nanulak, though, who tricked the other bears into saying that his family abandoned him and tried to make Toklo kill his father, who had been trying to find his son. He is also the most irredeemable character in the series.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Played with. In Spirits in the Stars, we hear that Kallik made Kissimi part of her destiny, and that what happens to him is her choice. Although Ujurak's death is an obvious example of this.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Many of the characters' names are words in other languages:
    • Chickasaw: Oka (water), Pokkoli (ten), Shoteka (sky), Tobi (white), Toklo (two)
    • Choctaw: Chula (fox), Hashi (sun/moon), Lusa (black), Taloa (sing)
    • Inuktitut: Amaruq (wolf), Imiq (water), Iqaluk (fish), Kassuq (floating ice), Nanuk (polar bear), Nauja (gull), Pukak (crystalline snow), Qanniq (falling snow), Taqqiq (the moon), Tulugaq (raven)
  • Blood from the Mouth: This happens to Ujurak when he turns into a goose and accidentally eats a fishhook.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": As in the other Erin Hunter books, this is used. "Firebeasts" are cars, a "BlackPath" is a road, a "death stick" is a gun, and "rotfood" is rotten food.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The bear's different abilities- traveling through the ice and catching seals, climbing trees, and swimming often do come in handy.
  • Ditto Aliens: Defied when Ujurak transforms into a seal to talk to some real seals. At first, he thinks they all look the same, but then he notices subtle differences between them.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ujurak dies in an avalanche of all things, although it's after they saved the wild.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The bears frequently have prophetic dreams sent to them by the stars; the most important instance is in Fire in the Sky, where the Star-Bear tells each of the cubs about their destiny... and tells Toklo that one of them is going to die.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Basically every friendship involving Toklo, who is not too keen on traveling with other bears at first.
  • Green Aesop: The bears are on a mission to save the wild. Along the way, they meet animals that have been hurt by humans' actions, and they fulfil their destiny when they destroy an oil rig in the Arctic.
  • Heroic BSoD: After Tobi dies, Oka has a mental breakdown and abandons Toklo.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: All of the friends. Doesn't stop the shippers.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Even more so than Warriors. There are many, many "noun-brain" insults. For example, "salmon-brained", "squirrel-brained", and "bee-brained" are all used in the same chapter.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Well, not all of them. But most of them seem not to care too much about destroying nature.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Humans are referred to as "flatfaces" by grizzlies, "no-claws", by polar bears, and "smoothpelts" by black bears. Overall the series uses "flatface" to refer to humans.
  • Large Ham: The random polar bear who couldn't be bothered to hunt his own seal in Fire in the Sky. "I SMELL SEAL AND IT SHALL BE MINE!"
  • Mama Bear: Oka to Tobi (and Toklo, deep down), and Kallik to Kissimi.
  • Meaningful Name: Lusa is Choctaw for "black", and the zoo's tour guide in her introductory chapter explains she's called that because her fur is all black.
  • Oh, My Gods!: The bears swear to the "Great Spirits!"
  • Pets Versus Strays: Lusa sticks out like a sore thumb because she was raised in captivity. It gets to the point sometimes where even Ujurak thinks she's odd.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: A few bears when they believe their ancestors have doomed them.
  • Shout-Out: One of the bears at Lusa's zoo is named Yogi.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Toklo to Tobi, who got all the attention because he was unhealthy.
  • Smells of Death: Toklo first notices this smell when his ill boy brother Tobi dies. It's a sort of off, rotting smell. He however was too excited about seeing a bear die and seeing how spirits go into rivers that he didn't pay it mind. Since he realized the reality of what happened, he's become quite unnerved by the scent.
  • Species-Specific Afterlife: It's shown that different types of bears have different afterlives. Black bear spirits live in trees, grizzly bear spirits live in rivers and eventually wash out to sea when no-one living remembers them anymore, and polar bear spirits go under the ice and go into the sky to become stars in the summer when the ice melts.
  • The Unfavorite: Toklo seems to be this to Oka even after his brother Tobi dies, but he later learns she loved him too.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Ujurak's used to be a bit uncontrollable, but it's getting better. Only problem is he has a tendency to forget he's a bear when he's being something else.
  • The Watcher: The Spirits don't really do anything other than advising until the journey ends.

Alternative Title(s): Seeker Bears