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Literature / Woodwalkers

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German cover of the first book featuring our main character Carag
Woodwalkers is a german Urban Fantasy series written by Katja Brandis with illustrations by Claudia Carls.

It follows the adventures of the woodwalker Carag, a human who has the ability to turn into a puma. For the first years of his life, he was raised by his parents as puma, but after a visit in the human world he decides to leave his family behind to live as a human.

Four years later he struggles at his school. Although he was adopted by a supporting human family he hasn't got many friends and is bullied by his classmates- until he learns that more woodwalkers like him who are also able to turn into animals like squirrels or eagles and that there are even special boarding schools for them.

Supported by his new mentor Andrew Milling he enrolls at the Clearwater High where he soon finds new friends...

This series consist of six books:

  • Carags Verwandlung (2016)
  • Gefährliche Freundschaft (2017)
  • Hollys Geheimnis (2017)
  • Fremde Wildnis (2018)
  • Feindliche Spuren (2018)
  • Tag der Rache (2019)

The first book has been translated into English as The Metamorphosis and is scheduled to be released in October 2022.

Has a sequel series called Seawalkers and a spin-off called Woodwalkers And Friends.Not to confuse with the Woodwalker series by Emily B. Martin. Compare this series with Animorphsnote  or Academy Of Shapeshiftersnote .

This series features the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: In the first two or three books, Lou could actually sense when Carag was in danger but the series suddenly forgets about this mystery and never gives an explanation about it.
  • Animorphism: Well, this is a series about shapeshifters who can switch between their human and animal form...
  • Artistic Licence – Biology: During their time as pumas, Carag and his sister Mia are raised by their parents Xamber and Nimca but this isn't something that happens in real life: In the wild, adult pumas rarely form groups. Also, only female pumas are responsible to raise cubs. Pumas also leave their parents two years after their birth.
    • The last one is kind of justified considering that Woodwalkers mature like humans but considering that Xamber hates humans for most of the series it's not really clear why he wanted to mimic a human family for so long.
  • Artistic License – Education: Even though the series is set in the US, it still uses the German grade system with "One" as the best grade and "Six" as the worst grade.
  • Big Bad: Andrew Milling is this thanks to the events at the end of the first book.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: According to Rebecca Young various gods like Zeus, Hera, Anubis, Thoth or Sekhmet were actually shapeshifters who just posed as gods.
  • Broken Aesop: Although the aesop is something like "Don't be racist against Woodwalkers or humans", Carag believes for a short amount of time that it is impossible to trust Woodwalkers who can turn into wolves after Tikaani starts to hang around with Jeff and his wolf pack again
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The plan of Big Bad Andrew Milling. The only reason why he wants to destroy humanity is because one hunternote  killed his wife and daughter in their animal-form
  • Fantastic Racism: Many followers of Andrew Milling think Woodwalkers are superior than normal humans. Some of them like Jeffrey also believe that some Woodwalkers are superior than others because of the animals they can turn into.
    • As mentioned under Broken Aesop Carag also believes for a short time that Woodwalkers who can turn into wolves aren't trustworthy after Tikaani starts to hang around with her old wolf pack again. He gets better though.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Everything would've been a lot different if the family of Andrew Milling never died
  • Heroic Bastard: Many good characters like Carag or Holly are implied to be one considering that no one of them ever mentions that their parents are married.
  • Love Triangle: Carag developes feelings for Lou and Tikaani during the series. He ends up with Tikaani while Lou starts to date Henry
  • Official Couple: Lou & Henry as well as Carag & Tikaani became a couple in the last book.
  • Protagonist Title: The first book is named after the main character Carag.
  • Sequel/Spin-Off:
    • The series has a spin-off called Seawalkers which follows the adventures of seawalkernote  Tiago and his friend Shari at the Blue Reef High. The series also has some appearances by Carag, Holly and Tikaani. It is set during Carags second year at the Clearwater High
    • Woodwalkers And Friends is an Anthology with stories set in the same world as this series. It's first novel Katzige Gefährten is set after the end of this series but before the first novel of Seawalkers
    • According to the website of Katja Brandis she also wants to write a sequel of this series about Carags second year at the Clearwater High and another spin-off called Windwalkersnote  but she hasn't really given much information about those projects.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't kill wild pumas or the shapeshifter who was in love with one of them will try to destroy humankind with a bunch of other racist shapeshifters.
  • Theme Naming: The names of the boarding schools (Clearwater High and Blue Reef High) have some water-themed names.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Carag, Brandon and Holly.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: There's a secret technique which forces the victim to either stay in their human or in their animal form. Said technique is used on Andrew Milling in the last book.
  • Shout-Out: Carag mentions Imagine Dragons and Harry Potter a few times during the series.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Woodwalkers can choose any time if they walk around in their human or in their animal form although there is a secret technique which forces said shapeshifter to stay in one form. Luckily only a few people know that it exists and only half of them knows how to use it.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's really hard to discuss this series without revealing that Andrew Milling is actually the Big Bad. Also overlaps with First-Episode Twist because this was revealed at the end of the first book.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Many of the followers of the Big Bad are just normal shapeshifters who are just unhappy with the way humans treat the animals and the wildlife which causes them to use violence to change the people. Sadly, their leader only wants to avenge his family...