Writing this would probably break my younger self's heart, but I must get my feelings out there!
I just finished re-reading Bluestar's Prophecy, which was formally my favorite Warriors super edition. A little biased, however, since Bluestar was my favorite character when I was younger and I was so beyond excited for this book that I completely overlooked all of the problems with it. So obviously I'm not a professional critic, but since I used to think so highly of this book, and I'm a writer myself, I feel that I need to critique it since my first opinion of it was INCREDIBLY biased.
The biggest problem I took issue with was the pacing. It took waaaaay too long to establish a clear focus. If I hadn't been such a Bluestar fangirl when I first read this, I would have given up after the first few chapters because NOTHING happens. Yep, she's a kit. Doing stereotypical kit things. And her father is uncomfortable around her and Snowkit for some reason that's never established. (He grows to like her later in the book, so I'm assuming he just doesn't like kits? Thanks for establishing that, book.) Bluekit and her sister then become apprentices and do boring, stereotypical apprentice things. Goosefeather, the medicine cat, interprets a sign from StarClan that WindClan has been stealing ThunderClan prey, so they attack. But it turns out that Goosefeather was wrong, so ThunderClan pissed off WindClan for nothing. Way to go. I'm telling you about this because I'm about to expand on it. Oh, and Bluepaw's mom is killed. I didn't really care that much though because she had no personality. Honestly, no one in this book has an interesting personality, if any at all. Character development was always a bit of a problem in Warriors.
Finally, FIFTEEN EFFING CHAPTERS IN, Goosefeather informs Bluepaw of her prophecy. Y'know, what the book was named for? He tells her that she'll blaze through the forest like fire, but even fire can be destroyed by water. First off, since the reader most likely already knows that Bluestar falls in love with a RiverClan cat, this "water" thing doesn't really add any suspense or mystery. We kind of already pieced together your prophecy, Goosey. Another problem I have is the fact that Goosefeather clearly has a history of being incorrect. Why should Bluepaw believe a single word coming out of this crazy cat's mouth? She doesn't believe him at first, but she does eventually, which I'll expand upon later. Also, this prophecy is HARDLY brought up again. Every once and a while Goosefeather wanders over to her and reminds her of the prophecy, but she dismisses it and the story is then followed by a new storyline that has no relevance to the prophecy.
The story has no clear focus until you're more than halfway through the book when Thistleclaw and Bluefur decide they both want to be the new deputy, and when Bluefur meets Oakheart and falls in love with him in one night. (I'm also going to assume they had kitty sex that night as well because shortly after, she discovers she's expecting kits. I thought you had higher standards than that, Bluefur, but alright...) FINALLY, the prophecy comes back into play after many, many chapters of filler. (Pinestar becoming a kittypet, Snowfur's death, raising Whitekit, etc.) For some reason, Bluefur finally believes Goosefeather's weird-ass prophecy that she denied for so long. What made her change her mind? The fact that Thistleclaw is ambitious. Wait, I'm confused, why is being ambitious a bad thing? Oh, wait, I remember. In the world of Warriors, ambition is evil. Anyway, aside from that, this is when the book finally gets more interesting, but at this point, the story's almost freaking over! She gives her kits to Oakheart, becomes deputy, and then everything after that is basically explained through narration. So basically, her "prophecy" was over and done with in about two or three chapters, and the rest of the book is just a little insight to what happened in Bluestar's past.
I almost feel like this book didn't even need some dumb, predictable prophecy, and would have done better if it was just the story of Bluestar's past. Then I wouldn't be sitting there reading it like "When am I going to get some action that has to do with Bluestar's damn prophecy?!" If anything, the book should have just been called "Bluestar's Past" or some shit like that because that's all the majority of this book is. If Bluefur could clearly see that Thistleclaw was a dick and that his ideas were dangerous from the beginning, why did she need a prophecy to tell her that? I never got the impression that Bluefur was stupid. She kind of figured it out on her own during the time that she was still in denial about the prophecy! But anyway, those were my main problems with Bluestar's Prophecy. If any of you have opinions on the book (whether you agree with me or not), I'd love to hear them and discuss them with you! I'm planning on re-reading the first Warriors series and maybe the second, so you might be hearing from me again as I continue to tear apart my favorite childhood books.
Childhood = Ruined.